What is ENS? Ethereum Name Service Explained. When the Internet first began to gain popularity, one of the biggest challenges for consumers was that domain names weren’t associated with specific IP addresses. This made them highly unwelcoming to the typical user, who had to manually enter the IP address of the website they wished to access. Cryptocurrency addresses are much larger strings of numbers and letters than standard IPs. To transmit money to another user on the Ethereum network, one must enter the recipient’s address and double-check that it has the correct series of digits and letters.
Know that blockchain-based technology is harsh in this respect. The money you transfer cannot be recovered if you provide an incorrect address or transpose a letter. Since there is nowhere to go to get your money back from this purchase, you must accept it as final. Similarly to how DNS was created to facilitate Internet use, ENS was developed for the Ethereum network.
What is Ethereum Name Service (ENS)?
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is based on the same idea as the Domain Name Service (DNS), but it is changed to fit the needs of Ethereum users. At its core, the Ethereum Name Service is an open, distributed, and scalable name system. It runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Its goal is to connect names that people can read to codes that computers can read. In this case, the word people can read could be “cactus. eth,” and the identifier that computers can read could be the Ethereum address (or any other Bitcoin address).
Here is an example of what it looks like in the picture below. The Ethereum Foundation owns the address. The domain name for ENS that we made up is just a sample for this guide: The standard Ethereum Address is turned into words that people can read (foundation. eth). In other words, users can give money or talk to “foundation. eth” instead of the usual address. This makes it much easier for regular users and makes mistakes much less likely.
The official ENS documentation says that the system “has similar goals to DNS, the Internet’s Domain Name Service, but has significantly different architecture due to the capabilities and constraints provided by the Ethereum blockchain.” Like DNS, ENS is based on a system of domains, which are hierarchical names divided by dots. When someone owns a word, they also own all of its subdomains.
How Does ENS Work?
The Ethereum Name Service is made up of two main parts. The registry and the resolvers serve these functions. This is how the system is put together structurally:
A smart contract serves as the foundation of the registry. This contract is programmed to keep a list of all the domains and subdomains and keep three crucial bits of information about each one. These items are known as:
- The website’s proprietor
- Domain Name System (DNS) Resolver
- All of the records for this domain share the same caching TTL
The ENS registry serves a fairly fundamental function: establishing a connection between a given name and the resolver that is accountable for it. In the meanwhile, proprietors of domains registered in the ENS registry are permitted to do the following:
- Subdomain ownership should be updated
- Changing the domain’s registrant information to a new host
- Determine the domain’s time-to-live (TTL) and resolver
On the other hand, resolvers are the ones who are in charge of the process of translating names into addresses. Every contract that successfully implements the requirements has the potential to function as a resolver within the Ethereum Name Service. On the other hand, the resolution of a word in ENS is a procedure that takes place throughout two steps. The first step is to inquire about the resolver accountable for the name above through the register. The second step is to consult that particular resolver to obtain the response to the query.
The Difference Between DNS and ENS
US computer scientist Paul Mockapetris developed the Domain Name Service (DNS) in 1983. It was in response to findings by another American researcher, Elizabeth Feinler. The Domain Name System (DNS) translates numerical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses into more recognizable, human-friendly domain names. Users can type in the domain name instead of entering the numeric IP address. Ethereum Name Service, in a similar but distinct method, aims to simplify the process of reading and sharing Bitcoin addresses for humans and software.
How to Register an Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Domain?
A hot wallet, such as MetaMask, is required to register a name with the Ethereum Name Service, but other than that, writing a domain is straightforward. You can register an ENS domain by going to the official website, app.ens.domains, and entering the domain name you want to write. This will check whether or not it is available.
Ethereum Name Service Governance
The Ethereum Name Service is regulated by several distinct arms, each of which bears its weight of importance in its own right.
ENS Token + Distribution
On the Ethereum network, the ENS token is a standard token that operates according to the ERC-20 standard. Its primary function is to assist in the administration of the system. Token holders can submit suggestions and vote on such proposals. The forum known as discuss.ens.domains is the primary location for community members to discuss their views and hold conversations around governance.
Early adopters who had already registered an ENS domain name were eligible to get the ENS token through a process known as an airdrop. Claiming tickets began on November 8, 2021, and users had until May 4, 2022, to claim the tickets allocated to them.
A decentralized autonomous organization runs the Ethereum Name Service, or DAO, in keeping with the idea of decentralization. Holders of the ENS token can submit proposals and vote on them to determine the direction the protocol will go. The holders of the ENS token manage the DAO itself.
The ENS Foundation, which already exists in the Cayman Islands, serves as the representative organization for the ENS DAO itself.
It serves several uses, including the following ones:
- Because without a formal company, DAO participants may be liable for a specific share of the DAO’s profits, even if they don’t have access to this money, it’s essential to file the appropriate taxes.
- To make business deals with other organizations.
- To shield DAO members from personal responsibility for the organization’s conduct.
ENS is a significant development in the cryptocurrency business. A means of addressing the sector’s fundamental problem is the poor user experience. Mistakes are common in crypto and can be highly costly due to the necessity of dealing with large strings of random numbers and letters. Like how Domain Name System (DNS) enhanced the UX for Internet users, normalizing addresses and presenting them in a human-readable and friendly fashion is a step towards improving the overall UX.
However, domain name system (DNS) data is often stored in centralized locations, making it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The Ethereum blockchain, on the other hand, ensures the safety of ENS, making them both more robust and flexible. However, there is no denying that the Ethereum Name Service is a groundbreaking concept that has quickly gained traction and is being utilized by the thousands.