State of the ENS: week 1

We’re a week in to the ENS launch — time to stop and take stock. How has the launch gone so far?

Names and bids

About 12% of possible names are now available for auction. There have been over 17,600 auctions started so far, with over 7,500 bids from 1,100 bidders. The number of bids is lower than the number of auctions due to the official registrar DApp’s practice of opening multiple auctions for each bid in order to disguise which name a user is really bidding on.

3,278 bids have been revealed so far, and 463 names registered.


Price wise, activity has been… brisk. The highest bid so far is an astonishing 29,500 ether — over 2.6 million USD at current prices. That bid hasn’t yet been revealed, so we don’t know what name it is for. The highest bid revealed so far has been 6,660 ETH — about $600,000 on the name exchange.eth. At present it looks like the final price for that auction will be 1,103 ether — about $100,000, though the auction still has a few hours left to run.

The most expensive names whose auctions have already finished were:

  • cbsnews.eth, for 287 ETH
  • weather.eth for 250 ETH
  • gateway.eth for 210 ETH.

In total, over 100k ether is currently locked up in bids, with only 712 ether in finalised names. This discrepancy is largely due to the fact that only the first two days’ of auctions have ended, while another 5 days of auctions continue to run.

By analysing finished auctions, however, we can determine that the sum of all bids for finalised auctions so far comes to 5076 ether, meaning that for every ether paid by the winner, about 7 ether was bid.

Winning Bids

It’s a mistake to focus on just the high-value auctions, however; of the 463 names registered so far, over 70% were registered for the minimum price of 0.01 ether.

Once we take into account whether a name was in the big list of names the Dapp and Etherscan use, the picture becomes clearer. 38% of registered names are in the list, but 94% of the ether was deposited on those names. If you bid on a name not in the list, your chances of getting it for the minimum of 0.01 ether is over 90%, but your odds go down to 41% bidding on names in the list.

The mean value of a name in the list is 3.78 ether, while the mean of a name not in the list is only 0.14 ether.

The result is pretty clear: names not in the list tend to be very affordable, but if you’re bidding on a name in the list, prepare yourself for a battle. This isn’t terribly surprising, since names in the list have a lot more visibility in the DApp, on Etherscan, and being tweeted by @EnsBot, but it’s good to have confirmation as to the size of the discrepancy.

User Experience

Aside from, week 1 saw two other registration sites launch, MEW and ETHTools. Etherscan is now offering comprehensive insight and lookup tools for ENS names, auctions, and bids, while codetract offer a great dashboard from which some of the above statistics were drawn.

A couple of bugs surfaced in the registration DApp which caused delays to peoples’ ability to register names; these have since been fixed. In addition, usability issues were identified that have led to a couple of users losing access to their bids for the reveal period; the app has been extended to encourage people to back up bids as soon as they’ve been made to prevent this from happening again.


Launch day adoption is good, though with a long way to go. Besides support in Etherscan, Metamask supports sending funds to ENS addresses already, with support in My Ether Wallet, Mist, and LEth on the way.

Check back this time next week for updated stats — and the extra week will give us a lot more information to work with.