I was learning about applications of blockchain technology, how smart contracts, third-gen cryptos, and IPFS work, then I came across the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). The idea of ENS seemed pretty obvious to me, but I found that only a few people actually use it. So, I took it upon myself to share it with the world and save them some money and time.
What is Ethereum Name Service
In the early days of the internet, users had to type a long string of characters just to visit a webpage. This IP address looked something like this
220.127.116.11 Can you recognize which website it is?
That’s google. Copy that address and paste it in a browser to confirm.
Domain Name Service (DNS) provided a way to convert the human-readable address to a long, unreadable string of IP address that is readable by the computer. These services keep a track of all the domain names and provide the right IP address when requested.
Where does ENS come in?
The same problem which plagued the early web haunts web 3.0 now. To transfer crypto from one account to another requires a relatively long and cryptic address, which is impossible to remember and easy to mess up.
Unlike visiting websites, where if you mess up the IP address you can retype it again with no consequences; if you mess up the crypto address, you can lose the transferred amount. What’s worse is that now the recipient is angry because he did not receive the payment, and now the sender is broke.
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a distributed, open, and extensible naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain.
ENS is a lookup system that converts the long unreadable address to something like
[shubhpatni.eth](app.ens.domains/name/shubhpatni.eth) (you can actually send some eth there 😉). So, you can send ETH or any other cryptocurrency registered by the recipient to this address, and it will automatically send the money to the desired crypto account.
Note: Make sure to check if the recipient has registered the address for the cryptocurrency you want to send. You can check it by visiting
How ENS works
ENS has a registry smart contract that keeps track of all domain names, sub-domains, owners, resolvers, etc, and allows the owner to change this data. The registry is the backbone of ENS.
The other key component of ENS is the resolver. Resolvers are responsible for translating names into addresses. So, a resolver must handle different types of data such as cryptocurrency addresses, IPFS content hash, user profile, avatar, etc. If need be, we can also add other data types through the EIP standardization process, with no changes in the ENS registry or any other resolvers.
How resolver and registry work together?
Getting data from ENS is a two-step process. First, we need to find the correct resolver from the registry. To do this, we pass the ENS domain name to the register, which returns the address of the resolver. Now, we ask for the desired data from this resolver.
Benefits of ENS
Enough with the technical details. Now let’s see what you can actually do with an ENS domain and how it is much more than just a DNS for the decentralized web.
Host IPFS sites
IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) with ENS allows you to host any website in a truly decentralized way. This means your website will be censorship-resistant, immutable, and in a decentralized network. If you don't want your website to end with
.eth or want to connect your existing domain name to your IPFS hosted site, you can do so.
Store your E-Mail, profile, bio, and other info
ENS allows you to store more than just your cryptocurrency addresses or IPFS site. You can add addresses of other ENS-supported blockchains, your Twitter profile, bio, avatar, E-mail, and a lot of other things. People can find all these details by just visiting your
Here’s a guide by Brantly Millegan on how to set it up- Guide for Soulja Boy to Setting Up His .ETH Name and Beyond Soulja Boy tweeted out his Ethereum address earlier today.medium.com
Receive blockchain-based assets
You can use your one ENS domain to receive native assets of over 100 blockchains. This means you can receive tokens of those cryptocurrencies and any other asset, such as an NFT that lives on that blockchain. So, let’s say you added a BNB address to your domain, you can now receive any BEP20 token. The same is true for any other supported blockchain for which you have registered on ENS.
Below is the list of all the supported blockchains ensdomains/address-encoder This typescript library encodes and decodes address formats for various cryptocurrencies. Text-format addresses are…github.com
ENS as an NFT
All ENS domains are registered under the ERC-721 standard, so they are an NFT, which means you can treat these domains as you treat an NFT. You can buy and sell it, transfer it to another account, or use it as collateral on projects which provide that service.
Don’t worry if you enter the wrong address
Another small but useful feature of an ENS domain is that it would tell you if you have entered an unregistered domain name. What does it mean?
Let’s say you wanted to send some ether to your friend or employee. If you enter the long string of hash, the application does not tell you if that address exists or is correct or not. But if you enter an ENS domain name, it will tell you if that address exists or not, and it will throw an error if the address is not owned by anyone.
One more thing! Storing any data on the ethereum blockchain costs gas. So, I would recommend you to add your cryptocurrency addresses, bio, etc in one go to save on the gas fee.
This is all you need to know about ENS before creating your own domain. Below is a step-by-step guide by Brantly Millegan on how to set it up. Step-by-Step Guide to Registering a .ETH Name This guide will give you step-by-step instructions of how to register and set up a new .ETH name with the official ENS…medium.com
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