The ownership scheme in the name registry is as follows (from top to bottom):
Top-level domains are created by the administrative multisig and then transferred to the TLD registrar contract.
Second-level domains are in turn created by the TLD registrar on behalf of buying users and transferred to them upon creation. The users are then responsible for their management.
Third-and-higher-level domain creation and management is completely in the hands of the users.
This is a formally verified multisig contract with keys held by well-known community members. It's needed for administrative actions like:
creating new top-level domains,
updating the TLD configuration,
deploying new versions of contracts if a critical vulnerability is found.