DomainDAO x BanklessDAO - bankless.dao URL


DomainDAO is applying to become the TLD (top-level-domain) issuer for .dao URLs from ICANN. A successful application would empower community ownership and oversight of .dao domains, raise awareness of the Bankless mission, and give DAOs a clear way to express their identity as a DAO in the digital space.

This proposal seeks support from BanklessDAO by means of:

  • Raising Awareness (media coverage)
    • 1 x Re-tweet
    • 1 x Tweet
    • Twitter Space
    • State of the DAOs
    • Weekly Rollup
  • Possible Funding (0.1 ETH, optional)


Currently, there is no .dao domain extension in Web2. Domain names sold on Unstoppable Domains and through other providers are Web3 only, meaning users must use a compatible browser or extension (think Metamask browser on mobile). This reduces utility of the domain, and limits a true DAO’s ability to properly market itself. If DomainDAO is granted ICANN approval, they would be the sole issuer of .dao domains, and any .dao addresses in Web3 would be invalidated.

Being governed by the community, DAOs are inherently different from corporations. However, there is no way to identify as a DAO in the URL other than actually putting “dao” in the name (MoonDAO, HumanDAO, BanklessDAO, etc.). Having a .dao domain extension will not only make it easier for DAOs to communicate their identity to users, but it will also open .dao domains to legacy Web2 protocols like email addresses.

Question: Why does it matter if DomainDAO is granted ICANN approval?

Answer: To obstruct corporate greed!

The majority of Web2 domains are owned, issued, and controlled by big corporations such as Verisign who owns .com or private equity such as Ethos Capital who owns .io, meaning they reap all the profits, and even worse, they can suspend or transfer domain names against the wishes of the user at the request of powerful corporations or governments. Based on DomainDAO research, some corporations are currently preparing to buy .dao. Swift action is required from legitimate Web3 interests to combat their profit seeking, and take community ownership via DomainDAO.

The value propositions are clear:

  • Secure the domain “bankless.dao”
  • Endorse censorship resistance
  • Empower community ownership and oversight of .dao domains
  • Create an evergreen revenue stream that benefits community, not plutocrats
  • Support public goods

DomainDAO recently completed Phase I fund raising via JuiceBox (raised over 200 ETH), and is currently in Phase II, also via JuiceBox. After Phase II completion, the next step will be to hire a service provider and consultant service to help complete the application. The application itself will cost $200,000 and the service provider + consultancy fee will be an additional approximate $200,000.

Mission, Vision, Values

Those most in need of “Bankless values” are those who least realize it. They likely don’t understand the meaning of decentralized organizations, let alone DeFi, DeSci, ReFi, and all the other things BanklessDAO stands for. These people are resistant to change, whether by ignorance or by design, thus the best way to educate them is through visual messaging that they can immediately recognise. The more they see .dao, the sooner they will wonder what it stands for.

DomainDAO and its community will encourage the creation of more DAOs thereby facilitating the Bankless mission.


The pre-application process will be opened at the end of August, at which point ICANN will shortlist applicants for the main application process.

During the pre-application process, DomainDAO will also launch DomainDAO NFT, which will entitle early investors and partners to reserve a domain name under .dao before the public registration. A limited set of domain names will be initially available for minting.

Once ICANN opens the application period, DomainDAO will launch a Token Generation Event (TGE) to issue $DDG, a governance token & utility token for DomainDAO. The funds collected from issuing $DDG will be used for bidding. If there are multiple applicants applying for the same string, ICANN uses the bidding process to decide the owner.

By forming partnerships with other DAOs and becoming a legitimate DAO community, DomainDAO may be able to attain “Community Status”. While this isn’t a surefire approach, it could offer a bypass to the bidding process, giving DomainDAO preference for attaining .dao issuance.

After obtaining ICANN approval, DomainDAO will build the necessary tools for all DAOs to obtain and administer their own .dao domain, BanklessDAO will be issued its own domain (bankless.dao), and Web3 integrations will be accelerated.


There are two possible paths for BanklessDAO*:

  1. 0.1 ETH donation: BanklessDAO donates 0.1 ETH to DomainDAO’s JuiceBox crowdfunding in return for free registration and 3 years free use of “bankless.dao” domain name.
  2. No donation: DomainDAO will reserve “bankless.dao” domain name and BanklessDAO will pay the registration fee and renewal fee to use it.

*condition on successful approval by ICANN


DomainDAO will announce an official partnership with BanklessDAO on twitter and will also list BanklessDAO as s partner on the DomainDAO website.


  • Successful submission of the ICANN application
  • DomainDAO is granted ICANN TLD issuance
  • DomainDAO builds its TLD issuance platform
  • BanklessDAO obtains bankless.dao domain


If option 1 approved (0.1 ETH):

  • BanklessDAO will donate 0.1 ETH to the DomainDAO JuiceBox campaign
  • BanklessDAO will announce its partnership with DomainDAO via social media, State of the DAOs newsletter, the Weekly Rollup newsletter, and host a Twitter Spaces AMA with DomainDAO

If option 2 is approved (partnership without funding):

  • BanklessDAO will announce its partnership with DomainDAO via social media, State of the DAOs newsletter, the Weekly Rollup newsletter, and host a Twitter Spaces AMA with DomainDAO


NF Thinker: BanklessDAO contributor and collaborator

Meaningless: DomainDAO Founder, Web3 Investor

Pizzaless: DomainDAO head of Business Development, strategist / marketer

The DomainDAO team is comprised of DAO enthusiasts with different strengths and diverse backgrounds. Some are from traditional finance such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, some from consulting such as Roland Berger, Capgemini, and some from crypto such as Diginext, Metalpha and Refinable. They also have ICANN experts as advisors with 20+ years of experience in domain and ICANN.


  • Approve + donate 0.1 ETH for 3 years free access to bankless.dao
  • Approve + reserve the right to register bankless.dao
  • I suggest something else (comment below)
  • Deny

0 voters

Thank you for the proposal. As far as I know ENS has integration with the legacy DNS systems, which means that bDAO ENS can be used to as a .com/.dao ens as well or am I missing something?

Thank you for the question. .dao does not exist, meaning that the “legacy” DNS system does not have .dao. .dao needs to be applied and approved by ICANN to exist in DNS system, which we are trying to do

Apparently, the terms mentioned do not do add anything to Bankless, and anyway bDAO has to pay for .dao url, if at all.

Why & how a “community status” is attained? Why & how it gets preference then?
And why & how it can be expected to support public goods?

Appreciate clarifications. Thanks.

Hi Kravi
First of all, thank you for raising the questions.

For your first question
Q. Apparently, the terms mentioned do not do add anything to Bankless, and anyway bDAO has to pay for .dao url, if at all :

Currently, bDAO use .community, which belongs to “Identity Digital” which belongs to “Ethos Capital,” a private equity alleged of “insider dealing” and risk of “censorship-for-profit”. By supporting DomainDAO in getting .dao TLD, bDAO NOT ONLY no longer need to pay a fee to Ethos Capital who does everything DAOs are against, BUT ALSO can govern .dao TLD together with other DAOs. We believe that we are adding value to DAO society including bDAO not only by giving .dao TLD to show their identity but also enabling DAOs to govern the service they use.

Also, “bankless.dao” name would be reserved for bDAO, I think “bankless.dao” is a much cooler than “”; even if bDAO decides not to use “bankless.dao”, bDAO can prevent others from using “bankless.dao” by supporting us and reserving the name;

Q. why & how a “community status” is attained?

Community status is proven through a process known as Community Priority Evaluation. ICANN will evaluate whether we meet the requirements to earn “Community Status”

The requirements are

  1. Community Establishment : whether an applicant has an ongoing relationship with a clearly delineated community
  2. Nexus : whether the String matches the name of the community or is a well-known short form or abbreviation of the community
  3. Community Endorsement : whether the applicant has multiple strong letters of support from recognized community institutions
  4. Registration Policies : policies include name restriction rules, content and use rules corresponding to the community’s mission and purpose

Q. Why & how it gets preference then?
“Community status” gest preference because that’s ICANN’s policy. There is a possibility that they change the policy for this round, based on the previous rouud, ICANN had such a policy because they intend to give the TLD to the community groups that are interested in operating their own TLD registry. You can read more details here Community TLD - ICANNWiki.

Q. And why & how it can be expected to support public goods?
Currently all domain names are controlled by private equity or centralized corporate, DomainDAO intends to decentralize the governance of .dao domain names, so that the user will also be the governor of .dao domain names, and share the upside of ecosystem with its token holder. Upon voting, member can choose how to charge registration fee/renewal fee for sub domain names under .dao, as well as how to use treasury to help promote DAO community

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Post edited to add this link:

Phase 1 Funding Press

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Super stoked about this. Did some research on Domain DAO and really loving their approach to things. Looking to see how this turns out.

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Interesting, what happens if DomanDAO does not win the bid and does not get the ICANN TLD issuance?

Any direction else for DomanDAO?
What happens to the contributions?


First of all, thank you for raising this question. I think that there are many people who also have the similar questions.

DomainDao’s ultimate mission is to decentralize the domain governance in such a centralized industry. Even if we do not win .dao, we will attempt to acquire other TLDs and run the domain biz as a DAO in a decentralized way.

Having said that, we will also allow people to redeem token at discretion, similar to how ConsituitionDAO did. Contributors can redeem token after incurred cost from treasury at their discretion if we don’t win .dao.

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So does this mean that .dao domains can be used in Web2 browsers yet have Web3 functionality? So I could connect my mobile MM wallet on my mobile device to the .dao domain without having to use MM mobile web browser? Could I use Brave or Firefox instead? Because right now, I can’t connect my MM wallet unless I’m using MM mobile web browser.

Hey, I’m totally in favour of this collab. i have some questions since ICANN is notorious in allocating TLDs.

  1. what is the expected timeline for the entire process?
  2. I have read that there will be an NFT accompanied. Will the domains also have the same features as what ENS offers?
  3. what’s the strategy if DomainDAO loses the bid and the 70,000$ bound?
  4. how do you distinguish yourself from UD, considering they had filed a lawsuit against an HNS register that owns the .wallet domain

Thank you very much for your support.
Please see our reply below and kindly let us know if there is anything unclear.

  1. What is the expected timeline for the entire process?

ICANN is under the process of ODP (operation design phase), which is expected to be completed by the end of Oct 2022. Once completed, the board will review and approve the ODP, then open the application window. It is expected that they open the application window in 2-3Q 2023. When ICANN would be completed with review would depend on how long it would take to resolve contention between applicants who apply for the same string.

  1. I have read that there will be an NFT accompanied. Will the domains also have the same features as what ENS offers?

Yes, that’s what we aim to achieve. Also ENS already supports .com, .org etc so once we secure .dao, we intend to collaborate with them as well.

  1. What’s the strategy if DomainDAO loses the bid and the 70,000$ bound?

Supporter can redeem their donations from treasury after incurred cost, similar to how it was done when ConstitutionDAO lost the bidding.
However, we will continue to attempt other TLDs and govern in a decentralized way.

  1. how do you distinguish yourself from UD, considering they had filed a lawsuit against an HNS register that owns the .wallet domain?

First of all, UD is not a DAO, but we are. It would be ironic if .dao is owned by a centralized organization.
Second, UD has been selling .dao domain names in web3 even before they acquire .dao in web2, claiming that “You buy it once, you own it for life.” In web2 space, no name can be owned forever.
We will do in an opposite order. We will secure .dao in web2 space first through ICANN process then will integrate with web3. We will only claim things that we can promise and keep our words.

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Hi first of all, thank you for the question.

Once we secure .dao TLD in web2, we will integrate with web3.
Then YES, .dao domains can be used in web2 browsers yet have web3 functionality.

Comparing with ENS, currently, people use yourname.eth as wallet address (you can send money directly from MM app). But since .eth is not a web2 (dns) name under ICANN, you cannot use it to host a website, meaning that you cannot visit yourname.ens through a regular browser unless you use the compatible browser or extension.

In our case, if we secure .dao from ICANN, you can use yourname.dao both as a wallet address as well as a website address on any web browser.

Hope this answers your question. Let us know if anything unclear.

Totally support this proposal and rooting for a DAO in fact to become the issuer of .dao domains. Reasonable ask from BanklessDAO as well.

A question on reserving domains: Any thoughts on if and how you intend to reserve .dao domains for active DAOs in the space today, and hopefully avoid a first come first serve for domains once .dao domains start to roll out?

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