Firm Behind Ethereum Name Service and Virgil Griffith Sue GoDaddy Over Sale of

The company behind the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) protocol is suing web hosting platform GoDaddy over the sale of the domain name to a third party, a complaint filed on Monday shows.

True Names Ltd., the company behind the Web3 domain name service alleges that GoDaddy not only falsely announced to users that the domain registration had expired, but that it also sold the domain off before the date it was supposed to return to the registry and be available for re-purchase.

The ENS protocol is responsible for all the web addresses ending in .eth used by the Ethereum community, and functions as a Web3 version of a Domain Name Service provider.

Domain registration renewals are typically straightforward, but in this case, the person with the authority to renew the registration for, Virgil Griffith, is currently serving a 63-month prison sentence for instructing North Koreans on how to use crypto as a way to evade sanctions.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, alleges that the registration was set to expire on July 26, 2023, but in August, GoDaddy falsely announced it had expired on July 26, 2022. According to the filing, GoDaddy had said the domain name would be available for purchase again on Sept. 5, 2022, but it had sold to a third party, crypto start-up Manifold Finance, on Sept. 3.

"In so doing, GoDaddy has deprived Plaintiff True Names Ltd. of its livelihood. The sale will disable a valuable cryptocurrency network and recklessly risk making it available to scores of malicious actors," the complaint said.

Plaintiffs True Names and Griffith are seeking damages worth at least $75,000 excluding legal costs, and are calling for a temporary restraining order against defendants GoDaddy, Inc., LLC and any employees or entities that directly or indirectly allowed to expire and be available for purchase by third parties.

ENS had two million domain name registrations as of Aug. 17.

The landing page currently displays a message from new owner Manifold Finance that says services will be restored in the upcoming week.

GoDaddy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more: Web3 Domain Name Service Could Lose Its Web Address Because Programmer Who Can Renew It Sits in Jail