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What is ENS?

Jaiya Gill

What is ENS?

Every day we see more people adding .eth to their Twitter profiles. So what are ENS domains, how do they work, and why is it a good place to start your web3 journey?

What is ENS?

Just like we have DNS (or Domain Name System) for websites on the Internet, we have ENS (or Ethereum Name Service) for the $ETH network. ENS is a naming service for crypto wallet addresses. DNS and ENS allow us to convert complex and long addresses that may be impractical and confusing, into domains that we can easily remember. This makes it easier to use and share wallet addresses. If you’ve ever gotten confused by multiple long addresses when sending ETH, you’ll understand the need for ENS. It creates a more straightforward experience with less chance for errors.

For example:
The IP address is shown as on the internet and the wallet address 0x1c172...5467 also goes by alongside.eth.

But unlike .com domains, .eth domains require a special browser to access them. These are ETH compatible wallets like Rainbow or Metamask.

How does it work?

Your Ethereum wallet has two keys, a private key to send crypto, and a public key to receive crypto. The private key is what you use to access your funds. You should NEVER share this. The public key is like your email address where people can send you things. This one’s okay to share.

If you don't already have a crypto wallet, you can learn more about how to get one here.

Once you have a wallet set up, to purchase an ENS domain you can:

You can purchase any name that’s available and rent them by the year. Costs vary depending on the length of the name you choose and the duration of ownership.

Why does it matter?

If you're looking to start your journey into crypto and web3, then your .eth domain is your on-chain resume. You unlock a whole new world of decentralized apps that you can use with one wallet and your .eth address becomes your web3 username. You can use your .eth domain to own your identity no matter which platform you're on. This is unlike most web2 platforms, where the identity you build stays on that platform and you can't use it elsewhere. With .eth and web3 you can take your assets to any platform. If you get yourname.eth, you don't have to worry about claiming the same username on other platforms.

There are approximately 500 dApps that support $ENS today and every day more are being added; Consensys even made a list here.

It also makes it so much easier to receive crypto assets like NFTs and tokens from anyone and for you to send things to your friends if they have an ENS too. If you want to see which of your favorite celebs are using ENS, there’s an entire ETH leaderboard dedicated to the most followed Twitter accounts with an ENS domain.

To learn more about ENS Domains, check out their website here.

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