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What Is Ethereum Name Service & How It Changes The World Of DNS?

Learning ENS: A DNS like service On Top Of Ethereum Blockchain

The blockchain use case is not limited to crypto, tokens, Defi, Dapps, DEXes, etc, it is also a way to give a name to your wallet or web addresses just like we do with DNS service for our applications and websites. This use case is realized by a special Ethereum service named ENS

What Is Ethereum Name Service?

ENS is a Decentralized naming for wallets, websites, & more. It is one name for all your blockchain based addresses

ENS Shots:

  • The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is like a domain name lookup system. where the Blockchain-based addresses are linked to the human-readable name
  • ENS is a one-stop shop to store all your addresses and receive any cryptocurrency, token, or NFT using the same.
  • ENS has become a de facto blocking naming tool and has given names to more than 285K blockchain addresses to date, with 93.3 Unique owners using ENS service
  • It's not here to replace the DNS lookup, it is here to work along with DNS

In Nutshell :

The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a distributed, open, and extensible naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain.

How It All Started For ENS?

Nick Johnson and Alex Van de Sande of the Ethereum foundation kickstarted the initial phase of ENS development in early 2017, ENS spun off as a separate organization in 2018. Currently, It is currently managed by the Singaporean non-profit True Names LTD, as open-source software.

How ENS Works?

ENS Architecture:

source: ens

In order to understand the ENS functionality we need to decode its underlying technology. ENS is built on using Ethereum’s smart contracts, the smart contracts being used by ENS comprises of

  • ENS Registry
  • Resolver

ENS Registry:

This service keeps records of all the domains and subdomain info. It generally encompasses this information:

  • The owner of the domain
  • The resolver for the domain
  • The caching time-to-live(TTL) for all records under the domain

Like we do with our DNS config files, ENS owner can

  • Set the resolver and TTL for the domain
  • Transfer ownership of the domain to another address
  • Change the ownership of subdomains

ENS Resolver :

Resolver is mainly responsible for the actual process of translating names into addresses. Any smart contract that implements the relevant standards may act as a resolver in ENS.

Technically speaking Resolving a name in ENS is a two-step process:

  • First, ask the registry what resolver is responsible for the name
  • Second, ask that resolver for the answer to your query.

How ENS Is Similar To Our DNS?

As we currently use DNS services to give names to our public & private IP addressees , similarly we can allow our web domain or wallet addresses to have domains and subdomains

For Example :

If I am the owner of a domina name on ENS called: cryptowise.eth , so i will also become an owner of the subdomains like api.crypto wise.eth , email.cryptowise.eth, wallet.cryptowise.eth etc.

ENS It is a distributed domain name service provider that allows anyone to buy and manage domains as we do with our internet DNS service.

Now that I have got my Ethereum address: cryptowise.eth, I can receive any crypto token which is ERC-20 compatible. Now I don’t need to send the hexadecimal address like 0x56bhcsk568699b9… anymore.

How To Book Your Own ENS?

In order to book your ENS, you will be needing an Ethereum based wallet. Metamask or Mew wallet will work fine. To register your domain name you need to go to

source
  • Search the name of your choice
source
  • Connect your Ethereum wallet
source
  • Complete the registration by confirming two transactions using your connected ETH wallet.
  • Once the transaction is done you will get your domain name & become the owner of the same, which can be further configured to map subdomains of your choice
  • Generally, you will be charged $5 a year as rent.

FAQ’s You Must Know :

Some Important FAQ’s For Registrar: (Sourced from official ENS site docs.ens.domains)

How many transactions are required to register a .eth name?

  • The registrar uses two transactions (register and reveal) to register a name.

How long does it take to register a name using the .eth registrar?

  • It takes less than 5 minutes to register a name, including a 1-minute delay between the first and second transactions to prevent frontrunning.

How do renewals work?

  • Anyone can extend the expiry date of any existing name by paying the required fee, at any time.
  • There is no maximum limit of the renewal duration but there is a minimum renewal period of 28 days.

How much will the yearly renewals cost?

  • Yearly renewals cost $5/year for names that are 5 characters or longer.
  • 4 character names cost $160/year
  • 3 character names cost $640/year.

Fees are paid in ETH. The ETH/USD exchange rate is set by the Chainlink ETH/USD oracle.

Where can I manage all my ENS names?

How can I transfer domains registered in the .eth registry to someone else?

What are the “registrant” and “controller” of a name?

  • The registrant is the account that owns the .eth name. They can transfer ownership to another account, and they can replace the controller address.
  • The registrant is the owner of the NFT token that represents the name.
  • The controller is the account that controls day-to-day operations with the name — creating subdomains, setting resolvers and records, and so forth

For More FAQs related to the registrar, ENS registry, etc.

Please visit:

What Other Projects Works Similar To ENS ?

There are some more open-sourced blockchain-enabled projects like Namecoin, BNS, and Handshake, which support domain name service with an, but unlike ENS, they working to replace DNS, which ENS is not trying to do.

Namecoin:

Namecoin is an open-source technology which improves decentralization, security, censorship resistance, privacy, and speed of certain components of the Internet infrastructure such as DNS and identities.

BNS:

Blockchain Naming System (BNS) is a network system that binds Stacks usernames to an off-chain states without relying on any central points of control.

BNS has three attributes:

  • Names are globally unique. The protocol does not allow name collisions, and all well-behaved nodes resolve a given name to the same state.
  • Names are human-meaningful. Each name is chosen by its creator.
  • Names are strongly owned. Only the name’s owner can change the state it resolves to. Specifically, a name is owned by one or more ECDSA private keys.

For more about BNs visit:

Summary & Food For Thought:

Blockchain as a tech has been championing the cause of democratized & decentralized world , where there is a space for every people to contribute and get benefited. ENS, BNS, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Defi, Dapps, Dex’s, NFT’s, are well poised to change the fortune of humanity at large.

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Well researched educational content for the crypto enthusiast

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@pramodAIML

@pramodAIML

Passionate Blogger & Tech Entrepreneur | Founder of FinTech Startup | Write about AIML, DevOps, Product Mgmt & Crypto

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