Also known as Ethereum Domains, Ethereum Name Service (or “ENS” for short ) brings human-readable names to the Ethereum ecosystem. Names in the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) look just like the familiar DNS addresses we use today, with “.eth” initially being the only top-level domain (TLD) available currently.
An Ethereum address looks like a string of mixed case letters and numbers, but behind it lies a private key so that only the owner of that private key can spend or send their ether. Contracts and other various programs each have an address too. That address is called a hexadecimal (or hex). That hex is a long string of numbers and letters in mixed case that looks something like this:
As you can imagine, this can be can be quite a pain to type manually, especially since the chance of making an error is high. Compare this to Coinbase, Paypal or Venmo; where you can send money to someone just using their email address or a username.
ENS eliminates the need to copy or type that long hexadecimal addresses.
With ENS, you’ll be able to send money to a friend at ‘mycoolwallet.eth’ instead of ‘0x4abv577c502eFbCD..’, interact with a smart contract at ‘mycoolcontract.eth’, or even contribute to a project at ‘coolnewstartup.eth’.
ENS Is More Secure Than Traditional Systems
ENS is built on smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning it doesn’t suffer from the insecurity of traditional systems; as users can be sure names entered will work the way their owner intended. ENS operates in a distributed fashion for both its infrastructure and governance. Anyone can register a .eth domain name for themselves by participating in an auction process, mediated by the blockchain.
A New Market Is Emerging
Even as we are in the infancy stages of this new market, it’s become clear that ENS Names are becoming quite valuable and may increase in value over time as Ethereum continues to become more widely adopted.
Considering the fact that ENS names are beginning to become more valuable, a trustless and decentralized solution will be important for people looking to eliminate the third-party risk of these high-value transactions.