It seems ICANN is turning down free money from blockchain alt-root providers, apparently as a matter of principle.
One such alt-root, Freename.io, tells DI the company tried to sponsor the upcoming ICANN 78 meeting in Hamburg, but was rebuffed.
“At this time, ICANN is not interested in having Freename serve as a sponsor and will not be moving forward with a sponsorship agreement,” the Org told the company in an unsigned email.
Freename had offered to be a general sponsor, and “not at the cheapest tier”, head of partnerships Eleonora Bellotto told us.
ICANN sponsorship offers typically start in the low thousands but can get up to six figures at the higher tiers. Sponsorship is overall a very small part of ICANN’s revenue.
Org has become increasingly rattled in recent years with the proliferation of alt-roots, which have been gradually gaining market acceptance while ICANN’s own efforts to expand the domain universe languish in interminable policy knots.
ICANN delayed the sale of the UNR portfolio of gTLDs until buyers renounced their ownership rights to blockchain versions of their authoritative root strings.
Clearly, splashing an alt-root’s branding all over an ICANN stage would be seen as problematic.
Freename.io plans to attend the Hamburg meeting anyway.