What is ENS and How to Get a .ETH Domain
The whole notion about cryptocurrencies appears overly complicated and dubious to the masses. Thus, creating skepticism and fear that holds back its inevitable world adaptation.
A few decades ago, people thought the internet itself was a scam because they couldn’t fully comprehend its potential and usage. Everything has changed since then, and almost everything is done online, including jobs, entertainment, education, and businesses.
Similarly, we’re seeing the same response and opinion from people who remain ignorant and adamant about cryptos.
But we can’t blame them because the mere concept behind cryptos is ridiculously complex, and understanding how they work is even more mind-boggling. However, people are creating ways and innovations to make cryptos simpler and easier for everyone to grasp/
Hence, the creation of ENS and .ETH domain.
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What is a domain address?
First and foremost, let me explain the context of a domain address to help you understand what it is and its importance. A domain address refers to a string of letters and numbers representing a website or platform on the internet.
For example, if you want to visit Walmart’s website, their domain name would be “Walmart.com,” which is one of a kind, and no other domain can have the same name. And if you would look that up on a browser, it would direct you to their exact website. Now think of your digital wallet as a website, except that it doesn’t have a simplified domain name where other users can send their funds.
So when transferring digital funds like Ethereum from one crypto wallet to another, it requires you to share your public key or address that typically consists of long random letters and numbers that look like this:
And yes, I know, it looks outrageous. It’s not something that you just pass around to your friends. And typing the entire thing would be a nightmare.
What’s even worst is that every user would have a different public address for other cryptos making it hard to keep track of all their digital assets. This is where ENS and .ETH domain comes in.
ENS and .ETH Domain
Back in the old days, if you wanted to visit Google’s website, you’d have to type its IP address (
126.96.36.199) on a browser (you can give it a try as it still works).
But after Domain Name Service (DNS) became a thing, we now prefer typing “google.com” instead of some random numbers that are hard to follow.
Similarly, ENS works the same way as DNS, but for Ethereum.
ENS or Ethereum Name Service is a platform built on the Ethereum blockchain where you can convert machine-readable addresses to human-readable addresses—allowing you to create a “Nickname” for your crypto wallets.
ENS also serves as a platform for looking up other crypto domains if one decides to transfer their funds.
By creating a ‘. ETH’ domain for your wallet, you can simply use a name that’s readable and easier to memorize, like “nickname.eth” to represent all your wallets, instead of that long string of code that’s impossible to read.
ENS also works with traditional DNS names that you already own, such as .com, .org, .io, .app, .xyz, and more, so you can integrate them using a single ‘.eth’ domain.
And ENS is also supported by all major crypto wallets like MetaMask, Coinbase, Trust Wallet, MyCrypto, etc., allowing you to send and receive funds with your ‘.eth’ domain.
Furthermore, decentralized applications (dApps) are also compatible with ENS, including Uniswap, Etherscan, OpenSea, Aave, Decentraland, and so on, allowing you to send and receive NFTs from other wallets.
How to create an ENS domain
Setting up your own ENS domain requires you to have a crypto wallet and some ETH tokens to pay for the registration fees.
If you already have this part covered, proceed with the following steps below.
Step 1. Visit app.ens.domains, Connect Your Crypto Wallet
Access the ENS registration application by connecting your wallet. The most popular one is MetaMask. Note that you can do this from either your phone or computer.
On the upper left corner, click on Connect and it should ask you to connect your wallet. Make sure you are on the Ethereum mainnet.
Step 2. Once connected, search for your new domain
On the search bar, enter your desired ‘.eth’ domain name to see if it already exists or is still available. The system will notify you if the name you’ve entered is “Available” or “Unavailable.”
Step 3. Register an ENS
Once you have an ENS domain name that you can use, set the validity date by choosing the number of years, you’ll then be asked to pay the registration fee. You can also extend the validity of the registration before it expires.
Note that the average cost of registering an ENS domain is $5 a year. And the shorter the name is, the more expensive it’ll be. It’s also important to note that you will need to pay for an additional fee – Gas. This could be anywhere from $15 to $150 depending on the network’s load.
Step 4. Verify and wait
The system will ask for verification for your registration fee, all the while checking and making sure that no one else is trying to register that same name.
After confirming (and if everything goes without a hiccup), you’ll be notified that your registration is successful.
Who can utilize an ENS domain?
Aside from making transactions more straightforward, the ENS domain would be perfect for organizations, businesses, content creators, and individuals who want to display their products and services out to the public without having to worry about any intervention and limitations set by others.
Moreover, having easy access to their domain would be beneficial for their business to drive traffic and the number of potential customers.
ENS is also for everyone who wants a decentralized domain for all their assets. It’s also a great way to display their wallet address in case someone wants to send them cryptos and NFTs for donations and special events.
Advantages of having an ENS domain
While it is evident that the ENS domain helps you transfer funds with ease, its function doesn’t simply end there. It offers much more utility than you initially thought.
Easy transaction and access
When you transfer any digital asset to another wallet using their ‘.eth’ domain, you won’t have to worry about entering a wrong address because the system would notify you in case of a mistake so you can double-check and retype it.
This makes the entire process so easy that you can even walk up to a friend and cite your domain address “nickname.eth” and be done with the transaction. With a domain name that easy, it’s hard to mess that up.
In contrast, transactions done using the original machine-readable address put users at risk of making erroneous transfers, resulting in losing their funds. The process is also irreversible, and the only way you can retrieve your fund is if the other party to whom you sent your funds by mistake agrees to give it back to you. And that’s a whole new problem that’ll cause you a headache.
Your ENS are also NFTs
An ENS domain is also an NFT since it’s built under the ERC-731 standard. Therefore, you can buy and sell an ENS domain name. Note that domain names are unique, and there can only be one of one.
Therefore, people can earn money by creating a ‘.eth’ domain that’s catchy, short, and easy to memorize. Those are the people who were lucky enough to hop in early were able to mint domain names and resell them for a higher price.
Store more than just your cryptos
ENS domains are built on smart contracts, which are programmable and scalable, allowing the domain to interact with other smart contracts that break the limit of simply a storer for cryptos.
With ‘ENS.,’ you can also add other addresses like ENS-supported blockchains for your cryptos and NFTs, Social media profile (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), avatar, E-mail, biography, and so much more. Others can simply use or look up your details by visiting the universal ‘.eth’ domain you’ve created.
With the help of IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) with ENS, you can decentralize your website, free from any constraints, allowing everyone to access it without any restrictions and the need for a VPN.
Disadvantages of ENS domains
It’s funny how some of the advantages and benefits of having an ENS domain can also be considered a disadvantage. Here are a few disadvantages that are worth mentioning:
Illegal website’s immunity from censorship
Unfortunately, as great as ENS may seem, it also has some downsides. Terrorists and criminal organizations can benefit just as much from this due to the lack of restraints of decentralized immutable websites.
Illegal websites dedicated to criminal activities can thrive and won’t be taken down or filtered out once it’s up and running.
One of the critical concepts of cryptocurrencies is the element of anonymity behind them. But by using the ENS domain, we are opening ourselves for the public to see, nullifying one of the selling points of cryptos.
Losing your private key
Once you lose the key to your domain, it’s over. And you can’t simply call someone and request a password reset because the ENS domain wasn’t designed that way.
ENS is, without a doubt, a powerful tool that’ll contribute to crypto’s worldwide access, allowing users to interact with one another and eliminating the stress of copying complex address codes.
However, we must not overlook the possible dangers it may bring, so always be mindful of the information you want to put out into the public.