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Name Squatting & Dispute Resolution

May 29th, 2022

Planning on squatting a domain? Please don't.

This community is all too familiar with scammers & impersonation. We see it on our social feeds, in our DMs, and in search results. 

Naming systems are favorite targets for scammers - we hope to minimize the impact on the community by supporting dispute resolution processes.


What is name squatting?

Squatting is the act of occupying property which the squatter does not own. With names, the concept of “ownership” is often unclear (who truly “owns” a name?). 


Clear examples of squatting

Let's look at a two fictitious examples where a name squatter clearly exploits another entity:

  • A user registers emingunsirer.avax with the intention of selling the domain for a profit to Emin Gün Sirer.
  • A user registers avvydomains.avax, with the intention of using the domain as part of their Telegram scam campaigns, where they impersonate Avvy Domains.

In both of these examples, we can see that the registrant seeks to use the identity of another for their own profit. These are known as bad-faith registrations, and such registrations do harm to members of the community. 


What can we do?

One option is to simply ignore the problem. We can let the squatters squat. We can let the scammers scam.

Doing nothing negatively impacts community members. 

We believe we can do better. 🌟 


Dispute Resolution

Another option is to evaluate each dispute on a case-by-case basis. Though more complex, we feel this will benefit the community overall.

In order to support decisions made during the dispute resolution process, it must be possible to transfer domains from the squatter.

To start, a multisig will be in charge of these powers. We hope to populate the multisig with well-known community stakeholders. We hope that this will help the community trust that these powers will not be abused.


What is the process for dispute resolution?

We will use ICANN policies as our guidelines. Complaints can be filed with ICANN-approved Dispute Resolution Service Providers. These neutral dispute resolution providers publish decisions that were made on previous cases - you can view the decisions & logic involved in the decisions by visiting this page and selecting the Decisions link under any of the listed providers. 


What is the long-term vision for governance?

Long-term, we hope that the community can be involved in the governance of these complex but very important problems. We hope that the multisig's role in governance will decrease.

There will be significant challenges in implementing such a model, but we believe name squatting & bad-faith registrations are problems that simply cannot be ignored.


Be good to each other. Don't make bad faith registrations. Don't scam or exploit. If we work together, we can build a better place for everyone. ❤️