Currently, in the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), .eth names have to be at least 7 characters long. Length was restricted in the first place because the initial ENS launch in 2017 was something of an experiment. Since shorter names are rarer and therefore more valuable, restricting short names meant limiting fallout from a catastrophic failure.
But in the two years since, ENS has proven itself to be robust, and with the recent upgrade to the permanent version of the registrar (be sure to migrate your .eth names!), we are ready to make shorter names available.
Over the next few months, we plan on making 3–6 character .eth names available in a three step process. Below, I will briefly explain and give dates for each step.
Step 1: Reservation process
Dates: Starting July 11th, lasting 30 days for submissions [UPDATE 08/08/19, submission period extended to August 17, 2019] and 15 days for decisions
The more likely that .eth names are operated by the person or organization you’d expect (e.g. brands using their brand’s .eth name), the more useful ENS is and therefore the more likely ENS will be a success.
In the reservation process, we will give people and organizations a chance to claim their 3–6 character names if they can sufficiently demonstrate they have a good claim on it. Here is information on how the process will work.
Step 2: One-time auction
Dates: Starting on September 1st, lasting about a month
After the reservation process is completed, remaining names will be open for auction for about a month.
Step 3: Instant registrations
Dates: Starting around October 13th (subject to change)
All 3–6 character .eth names not claimed during the reservation and auction processes will then become available for instant registration, just as +7 character .eth names are today.