Ethereum’s ENS Service: What it is, and How to Use it
Over the past few years, blockchain technology has begun to rise to commonplace in the developed world. Now most people know the names of blockchain platforms like Ethereum, and almost everyone in the world is familiar with the payment processor Bitcoin. But of course, knowing about something doesn’t mean that people are widely adopting it, and much of this is because of the complicated user interface of this new technology.
Blockchain technology is an all-new concept, and when it began, much of it was only understandable by those who could code, or those who had been explained how it worked by friends who were coders. Now, thanks to Ethereum’s ENS system, blockchain technology took one more step forward towards being adopted by the masses.
Wondering what ENS is and if you should use it? Read on to find out more about this product and the role it is about to play in possibly changing the future of the internet as the world knows it.
What is ENS?
ENS stands for Ethereum’s name service. The easiest way to think of ENS is to think of it like a domain name finder. Say you want to make a dapp on the Ethereum blockchain. Currently, when you make a dapp, you can find it in the system via a very long string of letters and numbers. While this makes it easy for you to find your dapp (after all, you can just copy and paste) it makes it very difficult to allow you to share your dapp with customers or users.
ENS solves this problem by taking your long string of letters and numbers, and converting it into an easy to find name. For example a string like ‘Xxys3uRt8spG7fj’ could become ‘Pizza.eth’ and it could be a website that allows you to use a dapp to order pizza. You could then tell your friends about Pizza.eth, and when they went to the blockchain to look for your dapp, they could type this in quickly and easily, and Ethereum will take them to that original string of numbers that refer to your dapp.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because this idea is not new. Something called the DNS or domain naming system, does this exact thing when you type in a web address in an internet browser. It’s what lets users find websites quickly and easily without having to type in strings of information like an IP address of a device to find out information.
Why is ENS Important?
Although this may seem like a very simple concept and product, the truth is this is a huge move in the right direction for blockchain. This is because ENS will make using blockchain technology more easily accessible and more easily able to be shared. Without something like ENS, it is unlikely that blockchain technology would ever become common place in society.
What Does ENS Have to do with NFTs?
Although ENS is a naming service, it has also been associated with the NFT world. This is because it makes it easier than ever before to send and receive NFTs. Before ENS, if you wanted to send an NFT to a customer (or as a gift to a friend) you would have to painstakingly type in that little string of numbers, double checking that each one is correct. And if even one was off, there was no way to reverse a transaction that had been sent to the wrong person.
With ENS, it is very easy to send NFTs to their purchaser. It is also very easy to pay for NFTs, as instead of the customer having to type out a crazy long wallet name, they too get to type in a shorter word.
Additionally, ENS recently launched a token through DAO called the ENS token. These tokens give token holders governance rights over the ENS system. This token launched on November 9th, 2021 and is already receiving positive feedback thanks to an airdrop in which they awarded random Ethereum users with ENS tokens.
How to Register an .eth Domain
Sadly, registering an .eth domain is not near as easy as registering a website. But it can be accomplished in a few steps that shouldn’t be too hard for most people to master.
1. Create a wallet at MyEtherWallet
This step is pretty self-explanatory.
2. Bid on your .eth domain.
Head over to the ENS section of MyEtherWallet, then, just like on the regular internet, you can search to see if the .eth domain name that you want is available. All names must be a minimum of 7 characters long. If your preferred name is available, you’ll want to bid on it. Each auction lasts for 3 days.
3. Check that the Transaction went Through
Before you close your laptop and head out to lunch, you’ll want to double check that your bid actually went through. This can be done at Etherescan.io. It will take about 5–10 minutes for your transaction to show here.
4. Reveal Your Bid
The auction ends after 3 days. At this time, you will have 48 hours to log in to your MyEtherWallet and reveal your bid. If you don’t reveal it, you lose your bid. You can reveal your bid by searching for the domain you bid on like you did in step two. A message will pop up letting you know to reveal your bid. Check Etherscan.io again to be sure the reveal was processed.
5. Finalize the Auction
After the 48-hour waiting period, you’ll want to log back in and find out the results of the auction. If you were the winning bidder, you will receive a message to finalize your name when you log into your wallet. You’ll want a to use a resolver to set the name you have purchased to your wallet address.
There are a few more steps after this before you can officially get your domain up and running. These steps are a little more complicated, and if you don’t have a lot of information about Ethereum you may want to hire someone to help.
Overall, ENS is exactly the technology the blockchain world needed in order to move towards the next step in widespread adoption. Thanks to Ethereum, users can now easily find the wallet they are looking for without having to memorize strings of numbers and letters. Whether you are an individual, or a professional, ENS can help you take your business to the next level, just be sure to go in there and bid on the name for your ideal .eth domain soon before it is taken by someone else!