UK Creative Ideas, the .art gTLD registry, has started offering its registrants the ability to register names on the blockchain-based alt-root Ethereum Name Service that exactly match their DNS names, for a one-time fee.
CMO Jeff Sass said that for $20, paid in Ethereum coin, registrants can secure their exact-match on the ENS, with no renewal fees.
There’s an authentication system using DNS TXT records to make sure only .art DNS registrants can obtain their matching ENS names, he said.
“We’ve married the two together, so there can’t be any confusion or collisions,” he said.
The benefit of this is that registrants will be able use their .art domains to address their cryptocurrency wallets. Web browsers that support ENS obviously already support DNS, so there’s no real benefit in that context.
.ART is also selling ENS .art names without matching DNS names — and these can include ICANN-prohibited characters such as emojis — but these are priced from $5 to $650, based on character count, and have annual renewal fees.
.art current has about 230,000 registered names, a pretty respectable number for a new gTLD, and Sass said about 60% of them are in the form of firstnamelastname.art, suggesting usage by professional and amateur artists.
gTLD registries selling matches in alt-roots has been a cause of concern at ICANN over recent years, due to legal concerns. Uniregistry’s sale of its portfolio was held up for months because of this.