Introduction to Ethereum Name Service
Identity influences all aspects of our lives, steering our decisions and connecting us to larger communities. And while digital identity looks a little different than real life, it serves just as important of a role in the world of Web3, particularly with ENS and crypto domains.
People have been expressing themselves in unique ways on the blockchain. Some people buy and display an expensive NFT profile picture, while others might brag about their on-chain credentials.
One form of “showing off” has been through Ethereum Name Service. Owning rare domains can be equivalent to owning a very rare NFT. And extra bragging rights if you were early enough in crypto to register a rare crypto domain name on your own.
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What Is Ethereum Name Service (ENS)
In short, Ethereum Name Service provides a decentralized way for users to attach names and identities to wallet addresses. In the same way that website domains make navigating the world wide web seamless, ENS allows users to simplify their digital identity.
With ENS, you can register a domain or name tag to replace your lengthy and complex wallet address. You can pick any name that hasn’t been taken, and pay a fee to have it registered to your wallet. All ENS domains are represented by: Domain.eth
The process is quite simple, and it doesn’t impact any other aspects of your wallet. You will simply be able to engage with dApps and explore the blockchain in a more personalized and efficient manner.
Note: While your wallet will be represented by the new crypto domain that you registered, your underlying wallet address will never change. ENS is simply a way of “redirecting” transactions and activity to this underlying address.
Benefits Of Holding An ENS
ENS is an exciting concept, but there are also several benefits that it brings to the greater crypto ecosystem:
- User Experience: Wallet addresses are complicated and are currently a major barrier to mass adoption. Allowing users to customize these addresses and not worry about losing funds is a major step in the right direction.
- Personalization: ENS can offer a fun way for crypto users to express themselves, show off their identity or take on a new one. People are continuing to find unique ways to incorporate ENS into their businesses and crypto lives.
- Branding: Many Twitter personalities and other people have built their entire reputations and careers off their domain. And companies entering the space have been quick to adopt this trend as well. Top domains have already fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars in the secondary market.
What We Did: Register A Crypto Domain With ENS
We wanted to add a personal touch to our public wallet, so we registered themilkroad.eth as our ENS domain.
That’s right, you can now easily find and track our wallet by searching themilkroad.eth on Etherscan, or anywhere else on the Ethereum network. This allowed us to officially bring the Milk Road brand to the blockchain and will make our public wallet journey more user friendly.
We’ll be honest with you Roaders though, we already owned the domain. In our case we had to simply transfer the ENS from an old wallet into the Milk Road public wallet. This is done just like transferring an NFT, and can be initiated from the collection screen of any NFT marketplace.
ENS: Step By Step Guide
There are two ways to acquire an ENS domain. If the exact domain you are looking for has not been registered before, you can register that domain yourself.
If the domain you want is already registered to another wallet, you will need to purchase that domain on a secondary market. ENS domains are represented by NFTs, so you can find them on all major marketplaces such as OpenSea.
Minting A New Crypto Domain With ENS
Once you arrive at ENS’ website, you will connect your wallet and be prompted a box to search for a domain:
If the requested name is registered to another user, it will tell you to try again. But if the name is available, you will be able to select the registration term and purchase the domain.
The cost for registration rises as you select a longer time frame. However, ENS also does a good job of showing users the expected savings in gas costs for registering a name for longer.
And just like that you now have a domain tied to your wallet address. Note that aside from renewal when the registration period ends, you will not incur any costs for holding and maintaining the domain.
Purchasing And Registering An Existing Crypto Domain
If you want a domain that is already registered, you will need to go to a secondary marketplace (and hope that the owner is willing to let it go).
ENS domains as a whole are treated as a “NFT collection”, so to browse through them you will need to navigate to their collection on OpenSea.
Once here, you can scroll through existing listings or utilize the search bar to look up a specific domain. If you find one that you like, you can ensure it is listed for sale by seeing if there is an ETH price in the bottom corner.
For example, only the most left domain is for sale in the image below:
Once you find a domain to purchase, you need to click on the exact listing to checkout. Note that this is the same process as buying any other NFT.
Simply connect your wallet, and confirm the purchase as you would on any other marketplace. The individual listing screen will look like this:
Other Considerations Around Ethereum Name Service
While ENS offers a fun and potentially profitable way to express yourself on Ethereum, there are some other things to be aware of:
- Domain Expiration: When you register domains, you choose how long you want to own the rights to that domain for. Registering your domain for a longer time is more expensive, but helps to bundle to network gas fees. If you register for a short time, you can lose access to your handle if you do not stay on top of your renewal.
- Loss of Private Keys: Just like your other digital assets, if you lose access to your private keys, you will also lose access to your ENS domains. This could allow someone else to impersonate you, or make it so that your domain is locked away in a “dead wallet”.
- Anonymity: Many people in crypto value remaining anonymous. While you don’t have to make your ENS domain your real name, you should carefully consider how your identity and actions on the blockchain will impact your reputation.
We’ve now slapped the Milk Road brand on our public wallet and our portfolio is starting to come together. But we’re not stopping there; our next guide is gonna turn things up a notch.
We’ll be exploring a new wallet, as well as our first network outside of the Ethereum ecosystem. Everything we’ve done so far has prepared us for this, and we’ll be right by your side to walk you through it.
For now, readers can track our wallet on their own through DeBank. Simply go to their site, paste in our wallet address and follow our journey in real time under “portfolio”.
Here is the Milk Road Public wallet address:
This report is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions, nor is it offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice. You should conduct your own research and consult independent counsel on the matters discussed within this report. Part performance of any asset is not indicative of future results.
It should also be noted that the writer(s) of this report may hold assets mentioned in the article at the time of writing.