What is the Ethereum Name Service?

There has been a lot of attention on the ENS project as of late. The Ethereum Name Service allows anyone to access information in a decentralized manner while still using easily readable names. This is an interesting take on decentralizing the DNS system we use today. Now is a good time to look at what ENS has to offer.

The Ethereum Name Service Gains Traction

It is important to note the ENS system is not about registering domain names in the traditional sense by any means. Although users will still use human-readable names for their projects, everything will be more secure and decentralized. By using the Ethereum name Service, anyone in the world can access resources on and off the blockchain in this decentralized manner.

Rather than using very long addresses – such as hexadecimal ones – the ENS will be able to let users send money to an abbreviated name. For example, one could register “themerkle.eth” and ensure users can send money to this address if they feel the need to do so. Moreover, this name service can be used to redirect to popular services, such as smart contracts, Dapps, or any other resource one can think of.

Moreover, the entire Ethereum Name Service is built on top of smart contracts, all of which reside on the Ethereum blockchain. This results in not having to worry about the insecure and potentially vulnerable DNS system we use today. With no central party to attack, and no plausible way to redirect registered names to a different address, the ENS provides a secure and powerful solution. In the end, all registered names will always work as originally intended.

Moreover, the infrastructure and governance of the Ethereum name Service are both decentralized. Registering a .eth domain name can be done by participating in the associated auction process. All transactions are mediated by the blockchain, ensuring domain names are registered in a fair and transparent manner. This also means particular domain names will be worth quite a high price as well.

As one would expect, the Ethereum Name Service comes with an automated registrar. This registrar acts as a decentralized application, as we would expect from anything related to the Ethereum ecosystem. For now, this Dapp is only an interim registrar solution, which will eventually be replaced by a more permanent service. As of right now, it is expected this process will occur around two years from now.

Future changes may come to the Ethereum Name Service in the future. However, before any revisions can be introduced, at least four out of seven developers will need to come to a majority consensus. This step is required due to the ENS root being owned by a multisig contract, which includes multiple Ethereum developers as keyholders. If any big change is to be introduced, they will need to form some form of consensus to do so. All things considered, it appears ENS is in good hands right now.

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