Unauthorized Blockchain Domain Names - What’s a Brand to Do?

| 18 min

Just when you thought you had a handle on domain name enforcement, blockchain technology has given rise to blockchain domain names, which bring novel and complex challenges. There are currently millions of blockchain domain names, with extensions such as “.crypto” and “.eth.” These domain names may be used as an address for a website (typically on the decentralized web), as well as for other purposes, such as an identifier or nickname for a crypto wallet. Some blockchain domain names mimic brand or celebrity names and are being offered for sale on NFT marketplaces for the cryptocurrency equivalent of $100,000 or much more. This advisory provides a summary background regarding blockchain domain names and some suggestions for rights owners to navigate the new challenges they present with respect to enforcement.