BNS Upgrade: .btc pricing changes

This post is part of a larger effort to discuss potential features to be included in an upgraded version of BNS. Please see the megathread for more information.

Proposal: implement changes to the pricing function for .btc

The current pricing formula for .btc names is a flat 2 STX registration fee, with an expiration period of 5 years. At the current STX exchange rate, that’s a $1.50 USD registration fee, or only $0.30 per year.

The goal of this proposal is to start a discussion around whether this pricing formula should change, and if so, what the new price should be.

There are various ways the pricing formula can change:

  • Change the namespace’s lifetime (expiration period) from 5 years to a shorter period, such as 1 year
  • Change the pricing formula so that shorter names cost more (in line with other namespaces)
  • Change the pricing formula so that the “base rate” (even for longer names) is higher

Any or all of these mechanisms can be applied to modify the pricing formula.

While this change would result in higher fees for existing .btc users, it could result in a better market dynamic, where names are less easily squatted. It will inhibit future registrations that are purely intended for squatting, and would inhibit existing name owners from perpetually owning too many names.

The consequence of having too low of pricing is likely to reduce the long-term viability of .btc as a namespace. It may have worked well when the namespace launched, but as .btc grows in popularity, it will result in a market dynamic that is over-emphasized to reward early registrants.

I am biased, since trading domain names is my profession.

I think it is perfectly fine that early users get rewarded if .btc “takes off”, since they helped kickstart the whole project and invested money into BNS when literally no one else was interested. Many of the early adopters are those that helped (and still help) promote BNS big time through twitter and other channels.

In the end it is always the market that decides, how much a domain is worth. And no “squatter” wants to keep their domains forever. They will sell at a price point, where they meet buyers and as a result help create a lively BNS ecosystem.

My main concern about what I am reading here:
DO NOT under any circumstances change prices or expiration dates retroactively for already registered domains. This would result in a gigantic loss of trust if that could be done, as everyone will wonder if it could happen anytime soon again.
I registered domains and did my calculations because it said 2 STX for 5 years.

All changes (if any) should only be implemented AFTER the original expiration date has been met.

As for pricing:
I like it simple and am in favor of keeping a flat fee for all domains, no matter how many characters. It is not set in stone for me though, but it always felt like an upgrade over ENS and the likes to just have a flat fee.

Price changes:
I also think at this point people would be very hesitant to break the bank to register domains that are connected to Stacks, which for most users is simply not the same as being directly on Bitcoin Layer 0/1. It is tough enough already to convince them at current $1.50 prices for 5 years.

Overall I am in favor of keeping the current model until we gain more momentum and have established BNS as the unchallenged #1 .btc namespace. Once that step is completed, and we have met certain milestones, then a change in price could be justified.

We should debate though, whether some part or all of the fees should go to a BNS related wallet instead of being burned, that can be used strictly to compensate devs working on BNS, or that can be used to compensate exchanges & wallets for their efforts to integrate BNS.


Just reposting this as I had it in the ‘Renewals’ thread…

I do think personally for BNS 2.0/V2 that the registration and renewal fee should be increased an incremental amount. 2 STX / $1.50 (for 5 years) for a .btc at current prices is very cheap. Increasing it an incremental amount (not a dramatic amount, maybe 5 STX instead) set’s an expectation that there is a cost and that one should be prepared to pay this for renewal in the future. Yes STX could be $10 in future (it’s not a stablecoin) but those investing in names, in particular .btc should be aware of this. This may also have the effect of reducing registrations slightly or becoming a barrier for renewals but this is part of the environment we’re in, investing in speculative and volatile assets.

I also feel as though 5 years is a long time for renewals and it might be best to reduce this to 3 years for the BNS 2.0/V2 upgrade. I think 5 years is very generous (too generous imo), although many may not agree to reducing the renewal timeframe.

I’m saying the above knowing full well that it doesn’t help me, but if it furthers BNS adoption and creates a reasonable expectation and entry requirements then I think that it prepares us well for the future.

DO NOT under any circumstances change prices or expiration dates retroactively for already registered domains :white_check_mark:AGREED!

A Balance may be met with stacks value going up or down

Squatters won’t squat for a lifetime

But a new format for unclaimed names (pricing up would be good such as 10stx , because it will reflect a more premium domain , proven results in others such as unstoppable domains and .eth , in line with shorter more premium and keywords more valuable we AGREE✅ but leaving existing claimed domains that agreed upon 5 years still get the 5 years and no change because agreed this could loose trust but will be perfectly happy viable if renewal is free or very low and option to renew can be 3 years + not 5 or 1 or even optional if payed for ? Thanks for reading our reply

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I agree that no pricing or renewal times should be changed retroactively.

I also agree that names should stay at a flat fee for at least first-time registration. Having a system like Unstoppable and other ENS platforms where “popular/premium” etc commands a higher price point could be of some interest and will drive healthy competition. However, having an alternative, such as “most sought after” could be better. i.e. the number/volume of bids across marketplaces being used as a metric for pricing, alongside domain usage i.e. .btc vs .id etc…

DO NOT introduce “reserve” names, as I thought this was a cheeky way of Unstoppable gating access AND ensuring big bucks from companies and celebrities. Smart, but too capitalistic for .btc names.

Again, agreeing with @Deloon BNS needs to become the defacto .btc namespace (we know it is, but needs to function as such!) before making changes that may limit desirability or accessibility.

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Just want to clarify my reply here as re-reading it I can see how it’s not very clear. I’ve also had an idea…

I do agree with Deloon, that existing registration & renewal ‘agreement’s’ should be honoured, as those that registered their BNS/.btc name knew how much they were paying and that they would need to renew in 5 years (however, idea below). Also any upgrade to BNS 2.0/V2 (Q2/Q3 launch) would not cost this user anything apart from the 0.003 STX transaction fee.

For the BNS 2.0/V2 upgrade and for future registrations & ‘length until expiry’ I do think we the incremental cost could be determined by how far the user extends the time until renewal date. For example:

The user wants to register their BNS, the registration process includes a length of 3 years until expiry, which will cost the usual 2 STX fee. If the user wants to increase the length until expiry to a max of 5 years the fee could increase to 4 STX. There would be a +/- during the reg process allowing the user to determine the length of their renewal (3, 4 or 5 years) and also the fee they pay.

Those renewing their domains can also, in the same way, determine the fee being paid and the length i.e. 2 STX = 3 years.

I also agree with Deloon’s last comments in that the STX fee from BNS 2.0/V2 registration/renewals should probably go to the BNS DAO to help fund initiatives, marking campaigns, development etc etc. There should be a degree of autonomy that isn’t wholly reliant on Stacks/Stacks Team.

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STX could go to $10

This is a good point to demonstrate that changing the price in STX can have different effects in USD if STX goes up/down. You could argue that the success of STX and BNS are correlated, and so it’s expected that BNS getting more popular will increase the cost of names automatically. The USD value of 2 STX is already ~5x higher than when Stacks 2.0 launched.

Just to understand your point better - would you be very opposed if the rule for existing users was:

  • No change to the current expiration for existing owners
  • After the expiration ends, then pricing and/or expiration changes?

Sorry not 100 % I understand your reply correctly (english).
Let me rephrase my point:
In general I don’t have an issue if prices and lenghts of domain registrations get changed now for all of .BTC. I don’t think it is good, but that’s a different thing. BUT all I am saying is, those that already own a domain name, need to be able to keep the domains for the price and lenght they signed up for, for the CURRENT registration period. After their domain runs out and needs to be renewed, I think it is fine if there is a price adjustment everyone needs to pay.

To be more clear:
I was not saying that domains, that are already registered need to be granted a lifetime 2 STX deal. Just that the current contract needs to honored for the current expiration period.

For .id domains I suggest to keep it as it is. Pricing is also way more expensive than .btc anyway.


Regarding .BTC pricing just wanted to add this:
I think pricing models of ENS, SOL and most others in web3 are ridicolous and unsustainable.

As a DID and wallet address think I like a middle ground between:

  • messenger services (whatsapp…) and social accounts (instagram) = $0
    (Threema at $3 being the exception)
  • web2 .com domains of around ~$10-15 a year
  • credit card ~$30-40 a year?
  • bank account $0 year

So IF there are changes, I think something like $1-5 a year seems honestly fine to me. I can’t see mass adoption comming otherwise.

I proposed a modified harberger tax scheme for pricing BNS names that has a few desirable properties such as:

  • Addresses a major contention with harberger taxes (i.e. that someone can swoop up your domain name at a moments notice)
  • Removes the need to have arbitrary expiration periods
  • Accrues more value to the STX token itself and makes it more profitable and easier to just buy and hold STX than to squat on individual BNS names. Squatters should like this as instead of having to buy a bunch of individual names and take on liquidity risk for each name, they can just buy STX as all the value of BNS can be captured in the STX token

There’s an insightful thread on it in the SIPs repo here:

The gist of it is that instead of self-assessing one scalar price for tax calculation, you self-assess a price that is a function of time (t) where the price at time (t) is what it would cost for someone to take control over the domain at that time. With this you can set a high price for t=now and in the near future so it would be very costly for someone to take your domain away in the short term. Then you can lower the price as you go further out in time. This gives the owner of the domain a strong assurance of ownership in the short term while being able to reduce their tax burden as compared to using a harberger tax that just uses a scalar value for price.

Interested in some feedback on this.

Great discussion and ideas here!

Another idea I’d like to throw out there is the possibility of pricing .btc names in btc with the fee payable in sbtc. This would strength the connection to bitcoin and the narrative for the namespace.

I’m generally very sympathetic to this sentiment against changing the rules of the game mid play. That said, this project has been pretty clear from the start that updating name prices and expiration lengths is something that is well that we do regularly - it is within the rules of the game. Our goal is to create a usable product for end users and ultimately the ability to do that is going to drive value for people who own names.

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Yep this could be a good alternative to STX based pricing, making the pricing in $'s by default and then the user can choose to pay/claim/buy & renew in STX, sBTC or maybe even sUSDT (2-3 choices).

For instance the default (claim &) renewal period could be 3 years at $3, or the user can select: 4 years at $4 or 5 years at $5 (paid in STX, sBTC or sUSDT).

These fees could then go to the BNS DAO for use in it’s treasury for marketing and other initiatives, managed by the Council & Community. I don’t think the fees should be burnt for BNS 2.0, I think they should be sent to a DAO STX address to contribute to the growth, development and adoption of BNS.

I believe there’s a platform where this could be managed - StackerDAO? @larry

Larry, you are referencing a 6 year old post in the Stacks forum. No normal .BTC user knows about this thread. 99% of .BTC users see as THE “official” website. This site is linked everywhere and there is zero talk about price changes.

Take a look at the faq on


It would be a complete bush league move to change prices retroactively. Competitors will always (rightfully!) attack us for changing prices retroactively.

Your take is honestly a little mind-boggling right now. Prices were 2 STX for 5 years and now that .BTC got some traction, the prices apparently should be changed. You could then argue that the price never really was 2 STX if you just change it now.

I can only repeat myself, this would be a terrible look for BNS and something that scammers would do.

edit: Of course prices can be changed. But existing registrations have to be honored for their initial 5 years.

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