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How to buy Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains?

Vance Wood

Vance Wood

August 3, 2023

10 min read

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If you are a Twitter user, you have probably seen the ".eth" tag featured on some Twitter handles. What does it mean? Why do celebrities keep fueling the hype around it? This is the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and it has emerged as a transformative technology, redefining the way we interact with the internet.

By leveraging blockchain technology, ENS provides users with human-readable names that can replace complex cryptocurrency addresses. In this article, we will delve into the world of ENS domains, exploring their significance, benefits, and potential impact on various industries.

Ethereum Name Service Website

Image by Ethereum Name Service

From simplifying transactions to enhancing decentralized applications, ENS domains have the potential to revolutionize the internet's addressing system and empower users in unprecedented ways. Let’s get started!

What is an ENS domain and how does it work?

ENS domains are a decentralized domain name system (DNS) developed on the Ethereum blockchain. To put it simply, DNS acts like the Internet’s unified phonebook. Users are able to access information by using domain names. Traditionally, of course, DNS is centralized, as it converts IP addresses into URLs. However, the introduction of Ethereum name services has brought a newer and safer substitute.

ENS was first launched in May 2017. Since then, it has been effective in enabling quick and transparent communication between dApps and cryptocurrency wallets.

Each ENS domain consists of two main components: the domain name and the top-level domain. For example, "mydomain.eth" or "yourname.xyz." These names can be easily understood by users, eliminating the need to remember long and complex addresses.

Sample of GetBlockRPC ENS alias

Image by Ethereum Name Service

After purchasing an ENS domain, you will no longer need to repeatedly type lengthy and complicated wallet addresses when doing transactions. Any kind of connections and transactions within the Web3 environment may be performed with the help of ENS domains.

Here’s how this contract looks like under the hood:


pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

contract DNSContract {
    struct Domain {
        string name;
        address owner;
        string ip;
    }
    mapping(string => Domain) private domains;
    function registerDomain(string memory _name, string memory _ip) public {
        require(domains[_name].owner == address(0), "Domain already registered");   
        domains[_name] = Domain(_name, msg.sender, _ip);
    }   
    function getDomainOwner(string memory _name) public view returns (address) {
        require(domains[_name].owner != address(0), "Domain not registered");      
        return domains[_name].owner;
    } 
    function getDomainIP(string memory _name) public view returns (string memory) {
        require(domains[_name].owner != address(0), "Domain not registered");     
        return domains[_name].ip;
  }
}
    

Generally speaking, you can think of ENS as readable wallet addresses on the Ethereum network. Before you try it out yourself, you should be aware that Ethereum domain names might reference additional data, such as addresses on other blockchains, social network accounts, and avatars. It works just like a global username that protects anonymity in web3 apps. Ethereum Name Service domains have been widely used by community members to establish brands and distinctive identities in the web3 environment.

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Benefits of using an ENS domain

ENS domains enable users to register and manage domain names, similar to traditional domain name systems like .com or .org. However, ENS domains offer unique advantages by integrating blockchain technology, including:

Easily readable names

Users may translate their Ethereum addresses into human-readable domain names using ENS, such as "myname.eth." This is a significant improvement over the prior approach, which included searching for a specific address to transmit cryptocurrency using a whole blockchain address. This removes the need to memorize lengthy and intricate Ethereum addresses, which are frequently made up of a string of random characters.

Higher security

Users can prevent potential security issues related to manually inputting Ethereum addresses by using ENS. Regarding ENS, the likelihood of your data being compromised is equally slim. The likelihood of human mistakes is further increased by the lengthy wallet address. Users of ENS have just one easy-to-remember domain name to memorize, lowering the possibility of typos or other errors that might cost them money.

Enhanced accessibility

DApps and other web3 apps are very simple to access with ENS. Every time you wish to connect with an application, you do not need to manually type in the lengthy wallet address. All you have to do, depending on the use case, is utilize your domain or subdomains.

Options for expansion

By offering expansion options, ENS enables customers to add extra details to their domain names, such as content hashes or other data. As a result, ENS may be used by dApp developers to store significant data and content on the Ethereum network.
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Independent architecture

The decentralized Ethereum blockchain, which serves as the foundation for ENS, maintains all related information, including domain names, on a secure and decentralized network. This gives users more security, dependability, and control.

Simplified transactions and payments

ENS domains simplify cryptocurrency transactions by replacing lengthy wallet addresses with user-friendly names. Instead of copying and pasting addresses or scanning QR codes, users can simply send funds to a memorable ENS domain, reducing the likelihood of errors and streamlining the overall user experience.

Decentralized applications (dApps)

ENS domains play a crucial role in enhancing the usability of decentralized applications. DApps often rely on lengthy hexadecimal addresses, which can be intimidating for newcomers. By linking these applications to ENS domains, users can interact with DApps using familiar names, making blockchain technology more accessible to a wider audience.

Content hosting and distribution

ENS domains also offer the ability to host decentralized websites and content. With traditional domain systems, centralized hosting services are typically required. ENS domains, on the other hand, enable content distribution through decentralized networks, promoting censorship resistance and eliminating single points of failure.

Crypto wallet integration

Several cryptocurrency wallets have integrated ENS functionality, allowing users to associate their wallets with ENS domains. This integration simplifies the process of sending and receiving cryptocurrencies, further reinforcing ENS domains' user-friendly nature.

Domain marketplaces

Marketplaces dedicated to ENS domains have emerged, providing users with a platform to buy, sell, and trade ENS domains. These marketplaces foster a thriving ecosystem around ENS domains, encouraging their growth and expansion.

Decentralized identity

ENS domains also have the potential to play a significant role in decentralized identity systems. By associating personal identities with ENS domains, individuals can maintain control over their online presence, eliminating the need for centralized identity providers and enhancing privacy and security.

How to buy ENS domains

Step 1 Open the ENS App at app.ens.domains.
Step 2 Connect wallet. Choose one of the available options and click the Connect button.
Step 3 Type the ENS domain name you would like to use in the search bar. Example: “get_block.eth”
Step 4 Check the availability of your desired ENS domain name. If available - click on the name to claim or “heart” it for later. If unavailable - repeat the search.
Step 5 Register your name. You may purchase your ETH domain after you click on the available name. Take a minute to think about your future strategy for using this domain. Are you planning to use it for a long time? According to the ENS app, by renewing your domain registration each year, you will also always be obliged to pay for gas fees, which are frequently more expensive than the cost of the domain itself. Click the "Request To Register" button after choosing your registration period.
Step 6 Confirm the transaction with your wallet that will pop up on the screen.
Step 7 Wait a few moments until the service verifies that nobody else is claiming the same name.
Step 8 Complete the registration. Click on the “Register” button. That’s it, congratulations! Now you have your own ENS domain name.

Tips for using ENS domains

ENS domains are gaining traction across various industries, showcasing their potential for widespread adoption. Here are a few tips on how you can utilize them:

1. Make a Web 3.0 username claim.

When combined with a picture-for-profile NFT, a .eth domain name could be an indicator to your followers that you are active in the Web 3.0 or NFT space. It is easily recognizable as a component of the new web culture. Following the purchase of an ENS domain, you can use it as:

-A URL for a website
-Twitter account
-Email address
-Handle for Discord
-Telephone number
-Avatar

It is especially helpful to link an avatar to an ENS domain name. In essence, this step connects an ENS address to a certified picture-for-profile NFT that you possess. Then other users will be able to see your avatar on OpenSea and other Web 3.0 domains.

2. Establish an online identity

A .eth domain can be used to create an online persona or alias. With this online persona, you may develop a reputation and a fan base while keeping your identity private. This procedure is accelerated by connecting an ENS domain to a picture-for-profile NFT.

If you spend any time in Discord communities or on Twitter, you'll notice that many individuals use NFTs as their profile image. To increase the trustworthiness of their avatar, many people use their .eth or ENS domains in their handles or bio.

The use case for pseudonyms is quite popular. For instance, Reddit claims to have over 400 million anonymous users. It's also a terrific approach to creating an identity devoid of racial, gender, or background preconceptions.

3. NFTs

The ER-721 standard is used to register ENS domain names. In essence, they function similarly to NFTs. They are interchangeable in storage, transport, and trading. These non-fungible tokens can also be used for investments.
The size of the secondary market for ENS domain names will be intriguing to watch develop. Some ENS owners, for instance, advertised Nike.eth and Amazon.eth for $1 million and $4 million, respectively

4. Proofing future actions

You'll need to get a .eth domain if you're serious about developing a platform for Web 3.0 or if you just want to get more active in the field. However, despite purchasing several ENS domains, Ethereum is just one blockchain, and using it is pricey. However, in order to build their own brand or company, content producers and publishers still require a traditional top-level domain name ending in .com, .io, .net or another well-known extension. So, if you can, acquire both.

Final thoughts

While ENS domains offer immense potential, they also face certain challenges. Scalability remains a key concern, as the Ethereum blockchain's limitations may impact the performance of ENS domains at scale. Efforts are underway to address this issue through layer-two scaling solutions and interoperability with other blockchains.

Moreover, wider adoption and awareness are necessary for the success of ENS domains. As more individuals and businesses become aware of their benefits, the demand for ENS domains is likely to grow, driving innovation and development in the field.

Looking ahead, the future of ENS domains appears promising. Ongoing research and development aim to overcome any currently existing issues.

Vance Wood

Vance Wood

August 3, 2023

10 min read

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