Dynadot auctioned off the estate after the previous owner landed in jail.
[Update: Ethereum Name Service and the domain’s previous owner have sued to stop the transfer of the domain.]
An auction for eth.link ended at $851,919.30 in a very strange scenario.
The previous holder of eth.link configured the domain as a resolver for .eth domains in the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). ENS domains do not resolve in normal browsers, so eth.link has been configured to allow any domain entered at the third level to resolve to the correct website. For example, example.eth would resolve if you typed example.eth.link.
Many people have used eth.link, and some services apparently also used (although my repeated requests on Twitter for an example of a service using it did not result in an example).
Unfortunately for people who used eth.link, domain name holder Virgil Griffith landed in jail for trying to help North Korea evade sanctions. It was therefore not available when the domain was renewed.
This led to an expiring domain auction.
.Link was one of the Uni Registry domains that GoDaddy does not currently offer. (You may recall that he dropped all domains from Uni Registry after the company raised its wholesale prices). GoDaddy acquired Uniregistry (the registrar) but not the registry. When he acquired the registrar, he then managed accounts containing a bunch of .link domains, including eth.link.
GoDaddy has a partnership with Dynadot to auction Uni domains that it does not support. This is why Dynadot ended up auctioning eth.link. This was the largest auction ever held by Dynadot.
Dynadot told Domain Name Wire yesterday that payment is still pending and should be complete soon.