Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Introduction

. 3 min read

Have you ever wondered if your wallet address could be more readable? Perhaps a little like a website URL than a string of chaotic characters meshed together in a stream of incomprehensible madness, well this is where the Ethereum Name Services (commonly called ENS) can make things a lot more interesting.

What is Ethereum Name Service?

ENS is a naming standard that takes advantage of blockchain technology. Ethereum Name Service touts itself as being the most widely integrated blockchain naming standard, and given its proliferation among the cryptocurrency community, it's hard to argue with that likely being the case.

At its core, ENS is an extensible, open, and distributed naming system that leverages the popular Ethereum blockchain and enables the use of addresses that are actually human-readable. So when you're using an ENS address, there's no need to be awkwardly copying and pasting your address when a friend asks for it; instead, you can opt for an ENS domain that is not only far easier to read but also far easier to error check.

How Does ENS Work?

While you don't necessarily have to fully understand how Ethereum Name Service works merely to use it, it can still be an interesting thing to explore to help expand your understanding of how blockchains can be used.

If you're somewhat familiar with how the internet works, the concept of ENS domains is in a sense remotely similar to how DNS (domain name service) works. However, for those that aren't, in the simplest sense, when typing the name of a website into your browser DNS is used to help find the actual IP address that is serving the actual data for that domain. So instead of typing a series of numbers and dots that are even less intuitive than a phone number, you can instead type in an easy-to-remember, often very readable URL.

While on the internet, a top-level domain (like '.com') is managed by a registrar with domains available on request; in the case of ENS, the traditional registrar is replaced by smart contracts which control top-level domains like '.eth' and provide and manage the rules for registering one yourself. If you own a domain name, you can even create subdomains attached to it as you already control the higher-level ENS name.

For a far more in-depth explanation of how ENS works, as well as some further technical detail, the official ENS documentation is a fantastic place to learn more about this impressive service.

What is the ENS Token?

If you've been looking into ENS, you may have noticed a token by the same name, and this is associated with the project. The token is actually for us in the form of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) governance token to help push support of ENS forward while enabling it to remain an open, decentralized service.

A quarter of the entire ENS token supply was distributed in the form of an airdrop to those that had held NFTs representing ownership of ENS domain names. The amount of time someone held an ENS domain alongside other factors decided the actual amount received. A significant amount of Ethereum Name Service tokens were also held for their community treasury, for core contributors, and other parties in much smaller amounts.

Receiving tokens was also rather interesting in that claimants were required to vote on several ENS proposals using these governance tokens as well as choose an applicant to offer the voting power of your tokens to a chosen delegate that had applied to take part in the process.

How Do I Buy an ENS Domain?

ENS domains are purchased with a small subscription fee. While at first thought this may seem off-putting, it helps to ensure that only those using or having an active interest in a specific domain are likely to maintain holding it long term.

For those wanting to buy an Ethereum Name Service domain, you can head over to the ENS domain app and get started. The process will require you to have the relevant subscription fee and some extra funds to cover the gas cost of the transaction involved in the form of Ethereum.

The search function present as soon as you open the app enables you to find out which ENS names are available quickly. Then, using MetaMask or other supported wallets, you can quickly purchase a domain for yourself.

Using ENS Names on LocalCoinSwap

Alongside popular ethereum wallets like MetaMask and MyEtherWallet supporting ENS, LocalCoinSwap does as well! Using your non-custodial ethereum wallet that is generated when you create your account, you can easily withdraw ethereum or other ERC-20 tokens directly using an ENS domain name in place of other ethereum addresses.

So the next time you buy ethereum/sell ethereum with LocalCoinSwap, why not take advantage of the awesome human-readable names provided by ENS and experience how nice it can be to personalize your cryptocurrency wallet with an ENS domain of your own.