A deep dive into Ethereum Name Service (ENS)
It’s become very common to come across well-known Twitter handles with .eth after their name and you may have wondered what it exactly means or what purpose it serves.
So let’s first talk about DNS (Domain Name Services) which falls under the realm of Web 2. Basically DNS is a service that serves as a phone book for the internet.
In layman terms, it translates human readable web addresses into their underlying ip addresses.
In our everyday lives every single one of us use Google.com, which in facts points to an IP address which is http://18.104.22.168
So you could type in your browser ‘www.google.com’ or you could type ‘22.214.171.124', but who remembers this ip address? Almost no one. Hence the need for DNS services.
Web 3.0 has borrowed some features from Web 2.0 and one of these is ENS. A protocol based on the Web 2.0 working of DNS, but this time the name doesn’t refer to just an ip address, it refers to a service and resource identifier. This could be a wallet address, smart contract address, ip address and more.
All this information is stored in a decentralised manner on the blockchain. The technology isn’t new but we see that more and more crypto platforms are now supporting ENS.
A pretty well-known and common ENS address is vitalik.eth (this name is also on his official Twitter handle).
If you go to Etherscan and search for vitalik.eth, you will find his wallet address. So now Instead of pasting a wallet address, try typing vitalik.eth, and the supporting platform will know what you mean or whose wallet address is the transaction being directed towards.
So instead of having to copy paste your incredibly complicated wallet address, you can just share the ENS name. It’s that simple.
Steps to procure your own custom ENS id:
- Visit https://ens.domains/
- Click ‘Go to app’ on the top right
- Search for the address you wish to register and check if it’s available
- If available, great click on it and select the duration you want to rent it for (about $5 for 1 year)
- You’ll have to sign two transactions
- Request to register (a small gas fee to be paid)
- Amount of money to be paid to acquire the chose address.
- Next thing to do is to connect/map your address to the ENS name through ‘Set Reverse Record’ (again a small fee to be paid)
That’s it, your name is now registered!
You can also use Etherscan website to lookup certain ENS names or find the availability of a name you may want to acquire for your use.
As ENS slowly increases in popularity, it starts to struggle with the same issues as DNS. People claim certain domain names and hope to sell them for much more.
You can see this for example on: https://rainbow.me/twix.eth
The owner of this address also owns other addresses such as different variants of bored apes.eth, kimkardashianwest.eth and more. This is most likely with the intention to sell them off for profits.
So always stay cautious while approving transactions between your wallets!