Dynadot auctioned the domain after the previous owner landed in prison.
[Update: Ethereum Name Service and the domain’s previous owner have sued to stop the transfer of the domain.]
An auction for eth.link ended at a staggering $851,919.30 in a very odd scenario.
The previous registrant of eth.link set the domain up as a resolving system for .eth domains in the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). ENS domains don’t resolve in normal browsers, so eth.link was set up to allow any domain entered at the third level to resolve to the correct website. For example, example.eth would resolve if you typed in example.eth.link.
A lot of people used eth.link, and some services apparently also used it (although my repeated requests on Twitter for an example of a service using it did not result in an example).
Unfortunately for people who used eth.link, the domain’s registrant Virgil Griffith landed in prison for trying to help North Korea evade sanctions. So he wasn’t available when it came time to renew the domain.
That led to an expiring domain auction.
.Link was one of Uni Registry’s domains that GoDaddy does not currently carry. (You might recall it dropped all of Uni Registry’s domains after the company raised its wholesale prices). GoDaddy acquired Uniregistry (the registrar) but not the registry. When it acquired the registrar, it subsequently managed accounts with a bunch of .link domains in them, including eth.link.
GoDaddy has a partnership with Dynadot to auction Uni domains that it doesn’t support. That’s why Dynadot ended up auctioning eth.link. It was Dynadot’s biggest auction sale ever.
Dynadot told Domain Name Wire yesterday that the payment is still in process and is expected to complete soon.