There’s a hot new trend on crypto-Twitter, and it has spread super fast in the last few weeks. Everyone seems to be putting a .ETH name in their Twitter profile names!
It’s hard to know how many people have added .ETH names to their Twitter profile names in the last few weeks. A few hundred maybe?
And it has brought ENS into the limelight, helped spur growth in ENS adoption, and opened some important conversations about the future of cryptocurrency payments.
What are .ETH names? 🤔
The .ETH names are native on the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), the leading blockchain-based naming system that runs as a set of smart-contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. ENS is the Internet naming infrastructure of the future.
In principle, ENS can provide naming for anything. But right now the main uses are allowing people to have one name for all of their cryptocurrency addresses (not just ETH, but also BTC, LTC, DOGE, et al), point to a decentralized IPFS website (check out almonit.eth.link), name Tor .onion websites, and even voluntarily share personal info like an email address or personal website — all with the decentralization, censorship-resistance, and security of the Ethereum blockchain.
ENS is the most widely adopted blockchain-based naming system by a wide margin, so if you want the most useful name for the use-cases above, grab an ENS name.
(Read more: Everything You Can Do With Your ENS Name Right Now)
Get your own .ETH name 📛
Want your own .ETH name to use and possibly to put in your Twitter profile?
Or you can instantly register and manage your own main .ETH domain name with our Manager.
(Read more: Step-by-Step Guide to Registering a .ETH Name)
Privacy questions 🔐
The viral trend also prompted some great discussion about ENS and privacy.
Here’s the concern: When you share your ENS name with someone (or with everyone by putting it in your Twitter profile), you are linking all of the cryptocurrency addresses in that ENS name’s records to your personal identity. Since anyone can look-up the entire transaction history of any of those addresses with a block explorer, you may be inadvertently sharing your entire cryptocurrency financial history with the world.
Some people have pointed out that you can simply use the addresses attached to your ENS name for receiving but keep your main cryptocurrency stash in other wallets. While that’s true, if you receive cryptocurrency with the addresses in your ENS records and then transfer to your main stash, you may still be exposing your main stash to the world.
Privacy on Ethereum in general (not just ENS) is an area needing work (feel free to contribute ideas and buidl!). But until it is fixed, the point here is this: be aware of what you’re revealing, and be careful.
Join the party 😎
As long as you’re aware of the privacy tradeoffs and have acted accordingly, we invite you to join the party!
Grab an ENS name and put it in your Twitter profile— marking your citizenship in the new blockchain-based naming world.