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ICANN turns down money from blockchain alt-root

Kevin Murphy, August 23, 2023, 19:26:48 (UTC), Domain Policy

It seems ICANN is turning down free money from blockchain alt-root providers, apparently as a matter of principle.

We hear one such alt-root,, tried to sponsor the upcoming ICANN 78 meeting in Hamburg, but was rebuffed.

“At this time, ICANN is not interested in having Freename serve as a sponsor and will not be moving forward with a sponsorship agreement,” the Org told the company in an unsigned email.

Freename had offered to be a general sponsor, and not at the cheapest tier, I’m told.

ICANN sponsorship offers typically start in the low thousands but can get up to six figures at the higher tiers. Sponsorship is overall a very small part of ICANN’s revenue.

Org has become increasingly rattled in recent years with the proliferation of alt-roots, which have been gradually gaining market acceptance while ICANN’s own efforts to expand the domain universe languish in interminable policy knots.

ICANN delayed the sale of the UNR portfolio of gTLDs until buyers renounced their ownership rights to blockchain versions of their authoritative root strings.

Clearly, splashing an alt-root’s branding all over an ICANN stage would be seen as problematic. plans to attend the Hamburg meeting anyway.

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Comments (1)

  1. Page Howe says:

    ive done some consulting work with Freename and they have tried to be a responsible integration with the public root…

    coming along after ENS, UD and HNS i think they learned and planned a more stable growth path (and no coin so no rugpull)

    by the time the new G’s rollout in 2026 I think we will just have “Domains”

    1. on a public root (the “assigned” in ICANN) that works globally for everyone, multi-stakeholder, will be here forever

    2. and then there will be over-the-top solutions where starting a tld isnt $500k plus and mandatory provisions, full clarity these dont work on every computer.

    But as we have seen with the New GTLDS as long as you have to build your community and demand, getting a plug-in or extension is a small barrier compared to the ICANN gauntlet.

    These will then be more marketplace solutions, the ones that work survive and thrive, bad ideas fail…

    Web3 domains certainly aren’t for those looking for the leverage that comes from a monopoly and bureaucracy supported mandate as the pathway for success..

    im 99% ICANN root invested, but for me ive always wanted to own my own TLDs so Freename’s platform fits my need.

    Good luck all, DYOR.


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