An Overview of Ethereum Name Service And Why it Matters

ETHEREUM NAME SERVICE - BANNER IMAGE

 

Did you know that back in the early 1990s, when the Internet was still in its infancy, websites were given numbers instead of the names we see now? What happened, and how does it relate to the Ethereum Name Service?

What is Ethereum Name Service?

The Ethereum Name Service allows users to pull up information linked with their names. It is a service built on the Ethereum platform, not an Ethereum-specific naming service. The fundamental goal of the service is to provide a secure and decentralized way of addressing resources with human-readable names.

The logical question that one might think of is, “Why do we need the Ethereum Name service?” Here’s why…

In the early 90s, to surf the web, one had to type out numbers before accessing a particular website. These numbers make up an IP address as we know it today. The crypto-industry is still employing IP addresses, which require consumers to remember large numbers.

This is where the ENS takes its shape through a unique system created to provide users with short, easily accessible names instead of long addresses. The addresses at present appear in the form of swarm hashes that are normally used in the Ethereum platform. 

In simple terms, ENS is a dApp built on smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. The dApp allows users to register a domain name for their wallet address, facilitating the easy transfer of funds. The direct implication is that anyone can transfer funds directly to the name registered instead of an address. 

Regardless of this, why should users purchase Ethereum Name Service?

ENS is safe and entirely decentralized since it is built on the Ethereum blockchain using smart contracts. ENS, which is created by a non-profit, uses open protocols that emphasize decentralization and community decision-making. 

How different is ENS from a Domain Name System:

Both the Ethereum Name Service and the Domain Name System are protocols that govern how certain actions are carried out. 

The DNS has the work of converting the IP address of the web server into a human-readable string that we know as an URL. Similarly, the Ethereum Name Service is responsible for converting an Ethereum address into a format like the URL that is readable to the user. 

Think of it like using a phonebook. All a user needs to do is look up the name that allows them to reach the person directly. Isn’t that wonderful?

A significant difference is that ENS does not grant any sort of trademark or ownership proof as it’s coded on smart contracts. Unlike DNS, registering for an Ethereum Name Service is completely automated. ENS simply gives users information that has been posted on the Ethereum blockchain by the domain owners, with no capacity to change it. Due to this, an ENS name server will directly give information for any Ethereum domain.

A significant benefit of using ENS is the trust factor. DNS is based on a trusted network, which implies that every hierarchy level has to trust the one above it. If, for any reason, there is a break in such confidence, there is nothing the domain owner can do about the issue.

That is not the case with ENS; there are no possibilities of blacklisting since it does not have a hierarchical structure and is based on the blockchain. So if a user has his domain registered in ENS, the information can be queried directly, with no problem of having their data blocked. 

The Process Involved:

Let’s take a look at how to get a name on the Ethereum Name Service

The first step in acquiring or creating a new ENS domain is that users require a crypto wallet. From there, users can look out or search for a domain of their choice. The process takes time, and one has to be careful in understanding the process so that they don’t lose their money. 

  • The process takes about five days which includes claiming a name on the Ethereum Name Service. 
  • The process involves multiple transactions that are time-sensitive and in most cases, irreversible. 

The procedure begins by holding a public auction for the user’s desired name. When an auction begins, everyone monitoring the blockchain for that name receives an alert. Bidders can bid on it for the next five days. They submit a bid by making a transaction stating the highest amount they are ready to pay for the name.

The network accepts all bids until 72 hours after the initial auction has been opened. After this comes the “reveal phase,” which extends to about 48 hours. In this phase, users must reveal their bids or risk losing their funds.

The highest bidder wins the auction, as and when the bids are revealed. However, there is a small problem; if the user fails to reveal their bids during the “reveal phase,” the entire fund will be burned. 

Smart contracts execute domains like “.eth”. The ENS is constructed with two main components: 1. The Registry and 2. Resolvers. 

The Registry: 

This is composed of smart contracts that keep a track of all the domains and subdomains, where they store critical and vital information about the owner, the resolver, and the catching time-to-live for all records. 

A domain’s owner might be an external account or a smart contract. A registrar is a smart contract that owns a domain and provides subdomains to users that follow the contract’s rules. 

Domain owners in the ENS registry can do the following:

  • Programming the resolver. 
  • They are capable of transferring the ownership of the domain to another address.
  • They can change the ownership of subdomains.

The ENS registry is designed to be basic, with the only goal of mapping a name to the appropriate resolver.

Resolvers: 

The actual procedure of converting names into addresses is handled by resolvers. A resolver in ENS can be any contract that implements the required standards. They must implement one or more methods for each record type to serve records of that kind. New record types can be created at any time through the EIP standardization process, and they don’t need any modifications to the ENS registry or current resolvers.

In the ENS, resolving is a two-step process: The first step is to ask the registry what the resolver is responsible for the name, and the second step is to ask the resolver to answer the query from the registry.

ENS Token: 

In late 2021, the Ethereum Name Service token was introduced in the crypto market service. The Ethereum Name Service token operates with the characteristics of an ERC-20 Token. That is, it functions similarly to any other Ethereum-based cryptocurrency. The benefit of holding such ENS tokens is that users can be a part of all governance-related works. They can submit proposals and take part in the voting process, influencing the growth and direction of the application. 

The ENS token has its own human-readable contact address: token.ensdao.eth. The address leads us to understand that the token is managed through the ENS DAO. This DAO is designed at its base with a delegate model, which allows voters to elect their representatives for their constituency. 

Understanding Valid Names: 

To improve privacy, names are hashed during the auction process. You may own any name, string, or file through the auction process. Names with less than seven characters are currently reserved until the network matures. It may be invalidated if you register such a name, resulting in permanent financial loss.

There has been a spike in the number of registered ENS names in recent years. This makes us realize the importance names have while interacting with users and in trading. 

Here are some fascinating stats that show how popular ENS names have become recently:

  • The total number of registered ENS names has touched one million as of April 2022. 
  • According to the latest statistics, In April 2022, 162,978 names were registered, compared to only 85,272 in March 2022. 
  • Furthermore, 71,563 ENS names were registered in the last few days of May 2022, indicating that ENS usage has increased.

Every business recognizes the significance of having their name correctly registered on their webpage URL. The Ethereum Name Service provides an unique advantage to crypto users by naming domains in easy-to-read names with 3-4 letters to catch everyone’s attention on the blockchain.


These links are beneficial since they serve as a one-stop-shop for all Web3.0 requirements. The domains can be used to send and receive cryptocurrency and create a subdomain and use it as an NFT. Users can buy, sell, or lease the domain in this way. That’s about ENS. Stay tuned to bitsCrunch for more such interesting articles related to the developments in the Metaverse.

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