The Great Renewal: It’s Time to Renew Your .ETH Names — Or Else Lose Them

Brantly Millegan
Apr 29, 2020 · 4 min read

The time has finally come.

If you registered a .ETH name back in the early days of ENS when we had vickrey auctions (your unrevealed bids, RIP), you will need to renew it or else you will lose it by this August. Names registered last year for a single year with our new instant registration process launched last May will also need to be renewed this year.

This post explains everything you need to know about this process.

What’s going on

When ENS first launched in May 2017, it used a vickrey auction and a deposit-and-return model for .ETH names. For reasons explained elsewhere, ENS transitioned to instant registrations and an annual fee model in May 2019. (To get your original deposit back from the old system, search for your .ETH name in our Manager, then click “Return” at the top of the page.)

To make the transition easier, all .ETH names registered before the switch got a free year of registration. That free year ends on May 4th, 2020, when names will start to expire if they haven’t been renewed.

Once a name expires, a 90 day grace period is started, during which the original owner still has exclusive rights to renew it. If the original owner does not renew it before the end of the 90 day grace period, the name then becomes available for someone else to register.

How to renew your .ETH name

You can renew your .ETH names with our Manager in just a few easy steps. We have a step-by-step guide to renewing individual .ETH names, but here’s a quick summary:

  1. Go to our Manager
  2. Search for your name
  3. Click “Renew”
  4. Select how many years you’d like to add to your name’s registration
  5. Click “Renew” again
  6. Submit the Ethereum transaction
  7. Once the transaction is confirmed, your name is renewed

Have a lot of .ETH names to renew? Use our bulk renewal tool.

How much renewals cost

The annual fee is based on the length of the name: .ETH names that are 5 characters or longer cost $5/year, 4 character names cost $160/year, and 3 character names cost $640/year.

What if I don’t want to have to think about renewing my names every year?

You can pay ahead for as many years as you’d like.

For example, if you have the name example.eth, you could register it for one year for $5, or for 10 years for $50. You can always add additional registration time while the name is registered.

What if I can’t remember all of my ENS names?

We’ve got you covered! Go to our Manager and log in with MetaMask or your web3 browser with the Ethereum account that owns your names.

Then click “My Names” at the top of the screen to see all of the names owned by that account.

Note: Some names may be displayed as a long string of seemingly random characters. This is because all ENS names are stored as hashes on-chain, and we can only display names in our Manager if it’s in our dictionary look-up or if you provide the name to us. To renew a name that isn’t displaying properly on your My Names page in our Manager, search for the name directly in our Manager’s search bar.

Why do .ETH names have annual fees, and where do the fees go?

Great questions! We’ve previously explained why .ETH names have annual fees and where the fees go.

What happens when a name expires?

When a .ETH names expires, it enters a 90 day grace period. During this 90 day period, the original owner of the name has the exclusive right to reclaim the name.

After the name expires, and if the original owner still has not renewed the name during the subsequent 90 day grace period, then the name is finally released and becomes available for someone else to register.

How can I snatch up a name after it expires?

As explained above, a name does not become available for a new person to register until after a 90 day grace period following its expiration.

For .ETH names that were registered early on in the history of ENS, if they expire in May, their grace period will be ending August 2nd UTC-0. If such a name is not renewed by early August, it will then be released and made available for anyone else to register on a first-come-first-serve basis.

To prevent a mad rush to register them, newly released names will initially have a decaying price premium.

Why am I able to renew names I don’t own?

Any Ethereum account can pay the renewal fees for any name (without affecting who owns the name), so you can renew names without having to be logged in the same Ethereum account that owns them.

Paying to renew a name you don’t own does not give you ownership of the name, nor does it make it so you get the name if it expires. The fact that any Ethereum account can renew any name is a feature merely for convenience.

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The Ethereum Name Service

News about the Ethereum Name Service (ENS).

The Ethereum Name Service

News about the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) from the team building it. Follow this publication for the latest ENS developments.

Brantly Millegan

Written by

Dir. of Operations at Ethereum Name Service (ens.domains). Personal website and ENS name→ brantly.xyz

The Ethereum Name Service

News about the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) from the team building it. Follow this publication for the latest ENS developments.

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