Have you claimed your web3 username yet? according to the homepage of ENS Domains, some 2.76 million names have been registered via their service. That said, over 2.2 million of those were said to have been registered in 2022 alone. That’s quite a figure, showing the massive explosion in growth during the last 12 months. It makes an even bigger splash when you realise that the figure represents 80% of all the names created to this point.
This type of domain name will undoubtedly be new to many people, yet it is gaining traction. Those involved in cryptocurrencies will have a better idea of what’s involved, and will be able to take ownership of their own web3 username.
So… what is an ENS domain anyway, and why are people so keen to get one?
An ENS domain is an NFT
Yes, it can be confusing when you start dipping into this world of letters. However, NFT stands for non-fungible token, something that cannot be replicated. More specifically, this is a digital asset that cannot be copied, so each one is unique.
It makes sense, then, how this relates to an ENS domain. It exists on the blockchain and therefore enjoys all the traditional features you would associate with the blockchain. If this sounds confusing, it’s not as bad as you think. You’re no doubt familiar with the usual domain name system (DNS) that works with regular URLs for websites online. Think of a .eth address as the blockchain version of that.
What are the advantages of having an ENS domain?
Lots of people decide to go for a domain ending in .eth to make it easier to manage their cryptocurrency transactions. If you have ever done even one of these, you’ll be familiar with the long-winded wallet addresses involved. They look like the most secure passwords you can think of, with lots of letters, numbers, capitals, and lowercase letters involved. There is no way of remembering it unless you copy and paste it… and that’s where the .eth comes in.
A lot of people are claiming their name followed by .eth, and at this early stage, this should be simple enough to do. It’s also becoming more common for businesses and websites to claim the .eth alternative to their regular domain name. Any regular dotcom addresses, including .org and .app, can be registered as .eth addresses as well.
It remains to be seen whether 2023 is going to be as big a year as 2022 was. It’s hard to imagine that many registrations taking place again – much less growing to that extent. However, we are ready to return here in 12 months to admit that we were wrong. Clearly last year was a big one for the .eth domains, so it will be fascinating to see if this trend continues. Have we inspired you to go out and claim the blockchain alternatives to your own names or websites, we wonder?