Did you know there are 42 alpha-numeric characters in your public Ethereum address? Forty-two numbers and letters unconnected by any kind of human-perceivable sense. Oh, and it comes in different versions too, one of which is checksummed — with some seemingly random letters capitalized.
This fact, combined with all blockchain transactions being final and irreversible, makes for a very anxious experience when sending funds to another address. Off by one character — and your funds are irreversibly delivered to some wallet which may not even be owned or accessed by anyone.
Unless, that is, you give your wallet a fun — or classy, or weird, or outright NSFW — name.
You can name your wallet, and get all your friends and payees to do so as well, using the ENS manager in MEW. All it takes is a small transaction fee and a domain maintenance fee of $5/year in ETH (for names that are five characters or longer), or you could get a subdomain completely free of charge (we’ll even pay your gas).
Ethereum, Bitcoin, and beyond
Until recently, the Ethereum Name Service was only available for Ethereum wallets. Other blockchain addresses can be shorter, but not by much — Bitcoin’s are at 34 characters — and it’s still the same alpha-numeric gibberish.
Now, the same ENS name can also be used for your Bitcoin, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin wallets, with more chains coming soon!
Yes, it’ll still have the ‘.eth’ extension, which is just as well because we all know that Ethereum is the best blockchain out there. (You will allow us a bit of enthusiasm, between friends…) While true blockchain interoperability is not a reality yet, using the same name for all your crypto wallets is certainly an indication of great things to come.
Let’s look at the process — it’s super simple with MEW.
Apply your ENS name to other wallets
Once you’ve named your Ethereum wallet, go to the Dapps page, select ENS manager, and enter your domain name.
You should see a screen indicating that the name is already owned. From here, you’ll continue to Manage where you’ll be able to add your other wallet addresses.
Once you have done so, the domain name will work anywhere ENS domains are supported, including on the MEW Swap page. The correct wallet address will be selected automatically, based on what coin you are receiving in the swap. For example, when swapping BTC for ETH, once you enter the name, you will see both the Ethereum address and the appropriate address for the swap(Bitcoin, in this case) resolved from the same name.
If you change your mind about which addresses should be under the domain name, or decide to transfer the domain itself to a different Ethereum wallet, you can do so any time with the MEW ENS manager.