The ENS system was introduced May 4th, 2017, through a series of auctions where users could bid on any ENS/.eth name that was 7+ characters, such as “darkmarket.eth” and “wallets.eth”.
These auctions were a huge success, with many users locking up significant amounts of Ethereum (ETH) to secure their desired ENS/.eth names.
However, with the passage of time, the ENS system has undergone several changes, and many of the users who locked up ETH in the original ENS smart contract may not be aware that they can reclaim their original funds. Upon publication of this article, there are still about ~135,079 Ether-Addresses, which are holding about ~62,309 ETH, for ENS/.eth names that they had reserved, in the original ENS smart contract-deed, from 2017.
Important to Know: The original Ether-Addresses owner, (who won the auction and reserved the original ENS/.eth name), does NOT need to “still own” that original .eth name, which was connected to their locked up ETH!
In this article, we will provide a complete overview of the original ENS auction, the changes to the ENS system, and the steps required to reclaim locked ETH, using the “ENS DAO” tools or “Daylight” user-friendly interfaces.
History of the Original ENS Auction
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) was launched on May 4th, 2017, as a decentralized naming system for the Ethereum network. Its purpose was to make it easier for users to remember and interact with Ethereum addresses, which are long strings of letters and numbers, and are difficult to remember and lead to many user/process errors.
The ENS system allowed users to register human-readable names, such as “myname.eth,” and associate them with their Ethereum addresses. This made it possible for users to send and receive Ether and other tokens using simple, easy-to-remember names instead of complicated addresses.
To distribute the initial set of ENS names, the Ethereum Foundation held an auction starting May 4th, 2017. The auction was conducted using a “Vickrey auction” mechanism, which is a type of sealed-bid auction where the highest bidder wins but pays the second-highest bid price; and each name had its own release day that it was available to register-mint, and not all at the same day or time.
During the auction, users could bid on their desired ENS names using Ether. The highest bidder won the name and had to lock up their winning bid amount in the original ENS contract, which was a smart contract deed on the Ethereum network. The locked ETH would be released back to the user when they released the ENS name or when the ENS system was upgraded.
The auction was a huge success, with a significant amount of ETH raised, from the sale of thousands of newly minted ENS names. Some of the most sought-after names were reserved for tens of thousands of dollars worth of ETH.
Of which 56% of ETH is locked up by 1 address who owns the highest locked @ensdomains name darkmarket.eth pic.twitter.com/FVHwmGUlRw
— matoken.eth 🔜 ETHPorto (@makoto_inoue) May 4, 2021
The original ENS contract remained in use for two years, during which time users could reclaim their locked ETH by releasing their ENS names or waiting for the ENS system to be upgraded. In 2019, the ENS system was upgraded to a yearly pay model, where users must pay a small fee to keep their ENS names registered each year. This made the original ENS contract obsolete, but it remained accessible for users to reclaim their locked ETH.
Locking ETH in the Original ENS Contract
To participate in the original ENS auction, users had to lock up their Ether bids in the original ENS contract. The amount of Ether locked up was equal to the winning bid for the ENS name, and it could not be accessed until the user released the ENS name or the ENS contract was upgraded.
Locking ETH in the original ENS contract was a way to ensure that users would not abandon their ENS names or try to sell them at exorbitant prices. By locking up their Ether, users demonstrated their commitment to their ENS names and their belief in the value of the ENS system.
However, locking ETH in the original ENS contract also meant that users could not access their funds until they released the ENS name or the ENS contract was upgraded. This created a unique situation where users had to choose between keeping their ENS names and locking up their funds or releasing their ENS names and reclaiming their funds. This was only until the ENS system would be upgraded.
After the ENS system was upgraded in 2019, users were no longer required to lock up their funds to register and use ENS names. Instead, they must pay a small yearly fee to keep their ENS names registered on the ENS system. However, users who participated in the original ENS auction still have their Ether locked up in the original ENS contract, and must follow the proper procedures to reclaim their funds. This process is entirely based on the Ether-address, and not correlated to the associated ENS/.eth name.
Changes to the ENS System
Since the original ENS auction, there have been several changes to the ENS system. One of the most significant changes occurred in 2019 when the ENS system was upgraded to a new contract and a new fee model was introduced, which we just mentioned.
Again, under the new fee model, users are required to pay a small yearly fee to keep their ENS names registered on the ENS system. The fee is payable in Ether and is based on the market value of Ether at the time of payment, with assistance with the Chainlink protocol. The fee is designed to ensure that users are actively using their ENS names and to discourage users from squatting on ENS names that they do not intend to use.
The new fee model also allows for more flexibility in how ENS names are managed. Users can now transfer ownership of their ENS names to other users, and they can release their ENS names and reclaim their Ether at any time. This makes it easier for users to manage their ENS names and to ensure that their ENS names are being used to their full potential.
We still have 135,079 Ethereum OGs holding 62,309.74 ETH for @ensdomains deed when they first auctioned back in 2017 and our contract was upgraded in 2019. Reclaim when gas is low https://t.co/zhXGIJJ0EW
— matoken.eth 🔜 ETHPorto (@makoto_inoue) March 6, 2023
In addition to the changes to the fee model, the ENS system has also been improved in other ways. The ENS system now supports more types of domain names, including reverse domain names, which allow users to register domain names that correspond to their Ethereum addresses, using ENS as your Web3 identity. The ENS system has also been integrated with other cryptocurrency chains, and blockchain projects, such as Uniswap and with “Sign-In With Ethereum” (SIWE), to make it easier for users to access decentralized services and applications.
Overall, the changes to the ENS system have made it more user-friendly and more accessible to a wider range of users. While the original ENS auction was a groundbreaking event in the history of the Ethereum ecosystem, the changes that have occurred since then have made the ENS system an even more powerful tool for managing digital identities and accessing decentralized services.
How to Reclaim Locked ETH from the Original ENS Contract
If you participated in the original ENS auction and locked up ETH in the original ENS contract, you may be wondering how to reclaim your locked ETH directly from the original smart contract.
The process is fairly straightforward, but there is always a risk so you must proceed with caution.
- First, you will need to locate the Ethereum address that you used to participate in the original ENS auction. You can use a block explorer like Etherscan to search for the address and verify that it participated in the auction.
- Next, you will need to interact with the original ENS contract using a tool like MyEtherWallet or MyCrypto. These tools allow you to send a transaction to the contract and trigger the process of reclaiming your locked ETH.
- To begin the process, you will need to send a transaction to the original ENS contract with a specific function call. The function call is “claimRegistrantRewards()”, and it will trigger the contract to release your locked ETH to the Ethereum address that you used to participate in the auction.
- Before you send the transaction, you will need to ensure that you have enough gas to cover the transaction fee. Gas is the fee that you pay to the Ethereum network to process your transaction, and the amount of gas required will depend on the current network congestion and gas prices.
- Once you have sent the transaction, you will need to wait for it to be processed by the Ethereum network. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the current network conditions.
- Once your transaction has been processed, your locked ETH will be released to your Ethereum address, and you will be able to use it however you like. Keep in mind that you will still need to pay the gas fee for the transaction, so make sure that you have enough Ether in your account to cover the cost.
In summary, reclaiming locked ETH from the original ENS contract requires a few simple steps, but it does require some technical knowledge and familiarity with the Ethereum network. There is risk involved.
If you are not comfortable interacting with smart contracts or sending transactions, you may want to seek the help of a technical expert or a trusted Ethereum wallet provider.
Using the ENS DAO Website Tool to Reclaim Locked ETH
You can reclaim the Locked ETH using the ENS DAO Website Tool. Reclaiming locked ETH from the ENS DAO website tool can be a straightforward process using the tool created by @makoto_inoue. Here are the steps:
- First, navigate to the Reclaim tool website (https://reclaim.ens.domains/) and connect your Ethereum wallet to the site by clicking on the “Connect Wallet” button in the top right corner of the page.
- Once your wallet is connected, you should see a list of all the locked ETH balances associated with your wallet. Select the balance you wish to reclaim by clicking on the “Reclaim” button next to it.
- The tool will then guide you through the process of reclaiming your locked ETH, which typically involves submitting a transaction to the Ethereum network. Make sure to review the transaction details carefully before submitting it to ensure that you are comfortable with the gas fee and other parameters.
- After the transaction is submitted, you should receive a confirmation message on the website indicating that your locked ETH has been successfully reclaimed. The reclaimed ETH should then be visible in your wallet balance.
Overall, the Reclaim tool is a convenient and user-friendly way to reclaim locked ETH from the ENS DAO. By following the steps outlined above, you can quickly and easily recover any locked funds that you may have.
Using Daylight to Reclaim Locked ETH
Another way to reclaim the locked ETH is via Daylight. Daylight is a user-friendly interface that allows users to interact with the Ethereum network and access their locked ETH in the original ENS contract. Here are the steps to follow:
- Go to the Daylight website and connect your Ethereum wallet. Daylight supports multiple wallets, including MetaMask, WalletConnect, and Fortmatic.
- Once you have connected your wallet, click on the “Claim ETH” button. This will open a new window where you can enter the Ethereum address that was used to lock the ENS name.
- Daylight will automatically fetch the details of your locked ETH, including the amount and the date of locking. You will also see the gas price for the transaction, which you can adjust based on your preferences.
- Review the details and confirm the transaction. Daylight will submit the transaction to the Ethereum network, and you will see the status of the transaction on the Daylight interface.
- Once the transaction is confirmed, the locked ETH will be transferred to your connected wallet. You can then use the ETH as you wish, including sending it to other addresses or exchanging it for other cryptocurrencies.
It is important to note that the process of reclaiming locked ETH can take some time, especially during periods of high network congestion. However, Daylight allows users to set their gas prices, which can help speed up the transaction.
OGs may have ETH locked up in the ENS auction contract from 2017. Claiming that ETH is an ability, now in Daylight! https://t.co/DFiXBKC65H
— Daylight ☀️ (@daylight) March 6, 2023
Using Daylight to reclaim locked ETH from the original ENS contract is a straightforward process that can be completed in a few easy steps. The interface is user-friendly, and the platform supports multiple Ethereum wallets, making it accessible to a broad range of users.
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a powerful tool that makes it easier for users to interact with the Ethereum network. However, with the passage of time, the ENS system has undergone several changes, and many users may not be aware that they have locked up ETH in the original ENS contract.
Fortunately, it is still possible to reclaim locked ETH using Daylight or ENS DAO tools, a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process. By following the steps outlined in this article, users can reclaim their locked funds and put them to use in the Ethereum ecosystem.
It is important to note that the process of reclaiming locked ETH may be time-sensitive, as gas fees on the Ethereum network can fluctuate rapidly. As such, it is recommended that users act quickly to reclaim their locked funds before gas fees rise too high. By taking advantage of Daylight or ENS DAO’s user-friendly interfaces, users can reclaim locked ETH and continue to benefit from the many advantages of the Ethereum ecosystem.
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