What is an ENS Domain? Ethereum Name Service Explained

What is an ENS Feature Image

Ethereum Name Service is a domain system based on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to simplify their addresses to be readable by humans.

Suppose people want to make transactions on the Ethereum network. In that case, they have to share their addresses, which are made up of 42 hexadecimal characters that are impossible for a human user to read. Essentially, the Ethereum Name Service is a service that users can use to simplify these domains to words or phrases that are much easier to read and automatically connect to their Ethereum wallet.

What is the Ethereum Name Service?

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) was born as a largely decentralized system that works on Ethereum, and its function is the same as a DNS. It serves as a great notebook or container for any information. This information is stored in the Ethereum blockchain, and we can reference it and search freely and without censorship.

How does ENS work?

The operation of ENS is framed under a series of smart contracts in the Ethereum blockchain. These are in charge of carrying all the functions within this platform clearly and exhaustively.

In a few words, ENS functions separately from its operating base, allowing us to interact with the system without intermediaries. This way, we can register both the main domain and the subdomains when the details about their owners are obtained. 

ENS also processes the language change, which converts the addresses (Ethereum addresses) into a more understandable language. And at the same time, compliance with the agreements established within the system is ensured. It is a straightforward way to make your crypto experience easier.

In this way, this system allows the owner to control all derivatives of the main domain. Thanks to this, it is possible that it can practically create an endless number of development tools that are related to the main domain, which allows quick identification of all the information. And at the same time, owners are allowed to create the content they want freely.

Likewise, by using Ethereum smart contracts, it is much more reliable due to its privacy and resistance to censorship. In addition, it allows interaction with different smart contracts that are not within the denomination.

The structure of the Ethereum Name Service

The system that makes ENS work consists of three essential components:

  1. ENS Registry
  2. Resolvers
  3. Registrars

At this point, the job of the ENS Registry is to maintain a list of all domains and subdomains. It is our point of control and storage of information, to avoid the existence of two domains using the same name, but pointing to two different addresses.

In each of the records, we can see the following information: the domain owner, the Resolver associated with the domain, and the TTL (Time To Live). 

The first data (domain owner) is expressed by an Ethereum address or a smart contract address. They are the ones who have the necessary permissions to handle the registry. This includes the ability to indicate the Resolver, the TTL, or the ability to transfer ownership of the domain to another address, as well as changing ownership of subdomains.

On the other hand, we have Resolvers, a series of smart contracts whose function is to search for resources associated with domain names. Their job is to drive traffic and get us to the resources we want. These resources related to domain names can be from a contract address, a hash, or IP addresses, among other options.

Finally, we have the Registrars, which are the smart contracts that own the domains and issue subdomains to the users following a set of rules defined in said contracts.

Of these, there are three subcategories, each with a specific task. The Permanent Registrar implements the assignment and renewal of names in the “.eth” domain. The Test Registrar, for its part, executes the selection of test names to be used in the Ethereum test networks. And finally, we have the Reserve Registrar responsible for managing the reverse resolution in ENS.

What is the origin of the ENS?

Ethereum Name Service is a project that began in 2016 and was created by Nick Johnson and Alex Van de Sande. The goal of the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is to create a decentralized and uncensorable matching and search system (Domain Service). In addition, they wanted to create a system that would allow anyone to be part of a vast network of computers accessible from anywhere in the world using Ethereum.

Although the project began in 2016, it was not until April 2018 that this project took off. Its development took place in several stages, and the aim was to create a safe structure and operation. In addition, there were not very many developers on the project, and this smaller workforce slowed down its development.

However, in 2018 with the release of Ethereum Name Service to the public, the project caught the attention of many stakeholders. However, this is just the beginning of a long road that must be walked to achieve accurate and complete development. Despite this, ENS is already an active and usable project that you can access without significant difficulties at this time.

How to get an ENS domain?

To get your domain, first visit the official ens website: https://app.ens.domains/ and connect your wallet. We recommend using MetaMask. 

Then, check if the domain you want is available. If available, you can continue to a page that will tell you the price + gas fee you will have to pay.

Make sure to follow their three-step process when purchasing your domain. All transactions will be using Ethereum from your wallet.

What is the DAO?

The DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization that operates the ENS. The DAO uses the ENS Token to govern itself.

What is the ENS token?

The ENS token is like any other decentralized token, this means that its price varies according to many characteristics that are taken into account, but this token is also used so that ENS users can participate in the development of this same system.

All articles published on Coinmash are strictly for informational purposes only. Coinmash has no involvement with any assets discussed and urges everyone to do their own research before making any financial decisions. Read our disclaimer to learn more.


James Satoshi
James Satoshi
James is a leader in Web3, NFTs, & DeFi with over 4 years of experience in the industry. You'll spot him covering all topics through-out Coinmash in our guides and analysis sections.