Ethereum Name Service – Secure Blockchain .ETH Domains?
Ethereum Name Service, or ENS, is a unique platform that is already changing the future of cryptocurrencies.
Let’s take a closer look at Ethereum Name Service today in our review.
What is Ethereum Name Service?
Ethereum Name Service is a secure and decentralized way to address resources both on and off the blockchain. Instead of using long, hexadecimal addresses, ENS lets us use simple, human-readable names.
In layman’s terms, it’s a way to change a hexadecimal blockchain address that looks like 1x48x38dj3kn1oa5 into an address that looks like dave.eth. You don’t need to meticulously copy down each character of the hexadecimal address. You can just remember an easy name.
Ethereum Name Service is similar to a Domain Name Service (DNS). The goal of the ENS project is to decentralize the DNS system we use today while still using easily readable names.
Unlike DNS, however, ENS doesn’t deal with registering domains. Instead, users can register a name like “OurWebsite.eth”. Then, people can send money to this address when payment is required.
The advantage is obvious: instead of using very long addresses – like the hexadecimal ones associated with cryptocurrency wallets today – the ENS lets users send money to human-readable names.
ENS can also be used to redirect to popular services – including Dapps or smart contracts. In fact, the entire ENS project is built on top of smart contracts found on the Ethereum blockchain.
Advantages of the ENS Project
The main advantage of the ENS project is that it decentralizes naming services. Today’s DNS system is vulnerable because there’s centralized registry information attackers could exploit. With the ENS project, there’s no central party to attack. There’s no way for attackers to redirect registered names to a different address.
That means a stronger, more secure internet. Registered names work as originally intended – and they’ll always work like that.
How Do You Get A .eth Domain?
While the ENS project itself is decentralized, the infrastructure and management of ENS are both centralized. You register a .eth domain through an auction process. Transactions are mediated by the blockchain to ensure domain names are registered in a fair and transparent way.
As an extension of this, certain domain names will become quite valuable. When you try to purchase a domain name like “Lawyers.eth”, for example, the name will need to go up for auction.
Right now, Ethereum Name Service uses Dapp as an interim registrar solution. Dapp works as an automated registrar. In the future, the ENS project plans to replace Dapp with a more permanent solution. That solution is expected to be implemented within about 2 years.
How Are Decisions Made on the Ethereum Name Service Project?
The ENS project uses a democratic system to make decisions. To come to a decision on the future of the project, at least 4 out of 7 developers will need to come to a majority consensus.
Overall, the ENS project is very transparent. The project is open source and you’re free to check it out online. Furthermore, all 7 root keyholders (the 7 developers mentioned above) are listed by first and last name on the ENS project website. If 4 of those 7 developers don’t agree, then the change won’t be implemented.
The ENS project is very much a new thing in the cryptocurrency world, and the project has lofty goals. However, it also appears to be built on a solid and transparent foundation. Stay tuned for more information about the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) project as it continues to move forward.