The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a distributed, open, and extensible naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain. Our mission is to empower web3 citizens to interact easily with people, organizations, and smart contracts through self-sovereign identities.
We do this by mapping human-readable names like
alice.eth to machine-readable identifiers such as Ethereum addresses, other cryptocurrency addresses, content hashes, and metadata.
I. Name ownership shall not be infringed
ENS governance will not enact any change that infringes on the rights of ENS users to retain names they own, or unfairly discriminate against name owners’ ability to extend, transfer, or otherwise use their names.
Permissible: ENS governance may enact a change affecting the registration or extension costs of all names based on transparent criteria such as length, as long as it pursues a goal outlined in this constitution.
Not Permissible: ENS governance must not enact a change increasing or reducing the extension costs of a list of existing ENS names, as this would unfairly benefit or penalise a handpicked group.
II. Fees are primarily an incentive mechanism
The primary purpose of registration fees is as an incentive mechanism to prevent the namespace becoming overwhelmed with speculatively registered names. A secondary purpose is to provide enough revenue to the DAO to fund ongoing development and improvement of ENS. ENS governance will not enact any fee other than for these purposes.
Permissible: ENS governance may increase the price of name registrations in order to address excessive speculative registrations induced by a price that is set too low, or because the current price is insufficient to fund ongoing ENS operations at a reasonable level.
Not Permissible: ENS governance must not enact a change imposing a fee for claiming DNS domains inside ENS, because such a fee would be purely an income generating measure and not an incentive mechanism.
III. Income funds ENS and other public goods
Any income generated to the ENS treasury is to be used first of all to ensure the long-term viability of ENS, and to fund continuing development and improvement of the ENS system. Funds that are not reasonably required to achieve this goal may be used to fund other public goods within web3 as ENS governance sees fit.
ENS governance will not allocate funds to a team or individual who does not commit to uphold the same principles outlined in this constitution in their use of the allocated funds.
Permissible: ENS governance may offer grant funding for a public good unrelated to ENS or Ethereum, so long as doing so does not affect the long-term viability of ENS.
Not Permissible: ENS governance must not use the funds to support projects that conflict with the goals of ENS.
IV. ENS Integrates with the global namespace
In order to facilitate making the most widely usable naming system, ENS aims to integrate with the legacy DNS naming system to the greatest extent possible without sacrificing decentralization of ENS. ENS governance will not enact changes that compromise ENS’s ability to do this.
Permissible: ENS governance should grant control of a top-level domain to its owner in the DNS system on request.
Not permissible: ENS governance must not create new top-level domains unless those domains have been granted to ENS by a DNS authority.