ICNS: The Auction is Over

We are finally releasing our community’s most long-awaited ICNS update — instant domain name purchases.

3 min readMay 19, 2022

Following last week’s news on migrating from .host to .xyz, we’re excited to bring you the update you’ve all been asking for. Starting today, you can instantly purchase domain names without worry of someone else snatching it up at the end of the 3-day auction window.

We originally designed the ICNS domain purchasing system based on an auction model. We aimed to prevent the accumulation of many of the most desirable names in the hands of only a few holders. However, as these names have now been distributed, repeated calls from our community have prompted us to transition towards a direct purchasing model.

What’s New?

The previous auction model featured minimum bidding prices for different length names and a 3-day auction window, where other users could place a higher bid on the same domain name. Our community expressed constant frustration watching their most desired names taken by other users at the last minute of the auction window.

As such, we decided to transition to fixed-price, instant purchases instead. Now, each ICNS domain has a fixed USD price denominated in WICP that correlates to the length of the domain name. To purchase a new domain name, users need to:

  • Search for their preferred ICNS domain name in the top Search bar, and click “Register” if available.
  • Click the “Register Now” button within the new page
  • Select the registration duration and approve the transaction details by clicking on “Confirm.”
  • Confirm their transaction within the Plug wallet.

It’s that easy!

*Bear in mind that the instant purchasing model will also prompt a second transaction to Claim the newly-registered ICNS name. If the claim step fails, head over to your “My Account” page and manually claim the domain name under “Domains” and “To claim” tabs.

What happens to ongoing auctions?

The transition has already started with our team upgrading the registrar canister to the instant purchasing version. Ongoing auctions are still open for bids, but users will not be able to start new ones.

Within the next 3 days, all ongoing auctions will end, afterwhich all new names will be registered directly, following the steps outlined above.

The Road Ahead

For our next release, we plan to launch a secondary market for ICNS domain names within Jelly, our NFT marketplace protocol, which would allow early adopters and loyal IC users to put their purchased domains up for sale. The advent of a secondary marketplace would consolidate the IC’s position even further as an all-encompassing and efficient ecosystem.

How can you get involved?

This update was only made possible with the help of our community who constantly provided feedback on the initial auction model. For any other improvement ideas, make sure to join our Discord and ping our team members — we are always ready to listen and answer any questions.

For more updates on all things ICNS, visit the links below and follow us.

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