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I noticed some non-standard names in the early days of EOS and knew that since Block One was the creator of EOSIO, they were able to get special account names like "b1". That just seems like a cool perk of being the "creator" of EOSIO/EOS.

I also know that through name auction one can get fancy names with a similar top level domain (TLD) like extensions such as '.com', or '.eos', etc.

But the entire name auction process is very unappealing due to the restrictions put in place to avoid name squatting.

Now I am noticing many fancy names that do not seem to use any auctioned off naming extension but yet exists with less than required (12) characters.

For example: https://eosflare.io/account/w.h.a.l.e

How does one get a name like 'w.h.a.l.e' ?

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    you buy it from the account who bought the e namespace. in this case, that's okcoin1.bank who bought its name from bank which was bought by starteos in the name auction. the way you buy it differs depending on who's selling and if they have any infrastructure set up for selling subdomains. starteos sells via their phone app – confused00 Jan 2 '19 at 0:59

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