Using lengthy addresses for transactions or smart contracts helps secure blockchain networks but isn’t user-friendly, especially for beginners and non-tech-savvy enthusiasts. Ethereum Name Service (ENS) aims to simplify the user experience with Ethereum addresses and make the network more accessible.
Read on to learn more about ENS and how to get an ENS domain.
What Is the Ethereum Name Service?
Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a decentralized, open naming system on the Ethereum blockchain. It maps machine-readable identifiers, which are long public addresses such as (0x40qp126b…), to human-readable names that are easy to remember, like unchained.eth.
ENS shares a similar purpose to Domain Name System (DNS), which simplifies Web2 IP addresses to human-readable names.
ENS and DNS have key architectural differences where ENS is a distributed domain name provider while DNS depends on centralized servers. You can register domain names for decentralized websites on ENS and import DNS names you own to ENS.
How Does ENS Work?
Like DNS, Ethereum Name Service uses hierarchical names (domains) that give you complete control over subdomains.
The ENS has three principal components: registry, resolver, and ENS name.
- The registry is the core smart contract that has the list of domains and subdomains and maps them to Ethereum addresses. When you create a name, the contract registers a new entry that associates the new name with your Ethereum address.
- Resolvers permit updates of domain names to Ethereum addresses. They are responsible for resolving names on ENS through inquiries to the registry to find records of the name.
- The ENS name is registered after you get a confirmation of your entry to the registry with the domain name and Ethereum address. The smart contract will store the domain name mapped to your address on the Ethereum blockchain, where it is tamper-proof and visible to the public.
You can also register domain names for decentralized websites (dApps) by creating an entry with your website’s InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) hash. IPFS is a peer-to-peer file system supported by web browsers, including Brave, MetaMask, or Opera.
How to Get an ENS Domain
Before you can get your hands on a personalized ENS domain, you will need a crypto wallet and some ETH.
Specifically, you need a non-custodial Ethereum wallet that supports ENS. The wallet address will link to your domain name on ENS. You should choose a wallet that is accessible through browser extensions and can access Web3-based sites. The wallet will aid in purchasing your ENS domain.
Additionally, you need ether (ETH) in your wallet to pay for domain registration and cover transaction fees (gas fees). There are several options for you to buy ETH so you can send it to your non-custodial wallet.
Yearly renewal fees on ENS are $5 for domain names five characters or longer, names with four characters cost $160 per year, and names with three characters cost $640 per year. These costs don’t include gas prices.
Now, let’s look at the steps to get an ENS domain.
1. Connect your non-custodial wallet to ENS
Go to https://app.ens.domains/ and connect your preferred wallet to the site through the ‘connect’ option. Follow the pop-up instructions on connecting the dApp to your wallet.
2. Search for your .eth name
The ENS domain platform has a search bar where you can see if the name you want is still available. If the name is in use, you can check who its current owner is and when its registration expires. If available, you can pick a period (in years) you’ll register for it and move to the next step.
3. Purchase your domain name
You will get the estimated registration and gas fees for your selected name, depending on its character length. Sign the transactions once you request to register and wait for confirmation that no one else is registering the name.
4. Complete registration and set resolver
Once your transaction is confirmed, complete registration and get your ENS domain. Lastly, set the resolver to allow dApps to use your ENS name instead of your wallet address.
ENS makes Ethereum more accessible to cryptocurrency beginners and reduces the chances of error when performing transactions using addresses.