So you used our instant registration feature in our official Manager and snagged an ENS name. Or you’ve been holding onto a name for a while from when we launched in 2017 (RIP your lost unrevealed bids, sorry). Or maybe you grabbed a free subdomain from a wallet, MEW’s giveaway, or from ENS Now.
And you’ve been wondering: so what can I actually do with this thing?
Creating and selling names is easy (and so should be done responsibly); actually creating useful features and getting ecosystem adoption is another thing. In this respect, ENS is the leading decentralized naming project.
This article is a list of those use cases: not of what we hope users could do eventually, but what they can do right now.
One name for all your cryptocurrencies 📛
The blockchain space is multi-coin, so last year ENS launched multi-coin support on mainnet, extending our address support to allow users to store any cryptocurrency address in their ENS records. This means you can use one ENS name to receive any cryptocurrency.
You can use our Manager to put your cryptocurrency addresses in your ENS name’s records.
With around 140 services with ENS integration and growing fast, this cements ENS’s place as the most widely adopted decentralized cryptocurrency wallet naming service by a wide margin. If you want a blockchain-based name for your cryptocurrency with the widest support in the ecosystem, we recommend getting an ENS name.
Decentralized websites 🌐
With ENS as the decentralized naming service and IPFS as the decentralized file storage system, together they make the decentralized web.
And it’s getting easier visit this new web all the time.
If you’re using another major browser, the MetaMask browser extension will give you support. For example, if you are using Chrome with MetaMask, enter “almonit.eth/” into the URL bar and watch the magic happen (it’ll load an ENS+IPFS website search engine!).
For users who don’t have an Ethereum-enabled browser, we have set up a system so they can still access these websites by appending “.LINK” to the end of the name (e.g. almonit.eth.link).
Want to set up your own decentralized website? You can easily upload your website files to IPFS and save the hash to your ENS name directly in our Manager with this handy tool from Temporal Cloud.
Tor .onion websites 🤐
Trying to get human-readable .onion addresses has been an ongoing problem for many years in the Tor community, given the high bar for security. Since ENS is a decentralized naming service that solves Zooko’s Triangle, ENS is a helpful tool to solve this problem today.
Add a Tor .onion address to your ENS records in the Content field (how to do this); then, if you are using the Tor Browser with MetaMask enabled, just enter the .ETH name in the URL bar, and it should resolve to the .onion website.
To show off this feature, we have set up ten ENS names pointing to popular .onion websites. And since if you’re using .onion websites in the Tor Browser security is likely a high priority for you, we have a longer discussion about the security trade-offs here.
Text records 📝
Our text records functionality allows you to voluntarily add various kinds of personal information to your ENS records.
So far, we support eight text records “keys” or types, as defined here. They are: email address, web address, avatar, description, notice, keywords, Twitter username, and Github username.
We also support the creation of new text record keys, so any project can have their own ENS record.
This is just the functionality we have right now. We are working on new functionality and more adoption all the time, so stay tuned for more ways to use your ENS names.
ENS is an open-source project managed by a non-profit organization. We view ENS as a public good, a basic piece of Internet infrastructure that serves not only the blockchain community but also potentially the whole Internet. Among other things, this means we want feedback and contributions from the community at large.
In the meantime, we encourage you to grab a name and start using it today!