What is ENS and Why Should you Care?


You are likely already familiar with the Domain Name System (DNS). It's a directory for the internet that lets you search for websites by their domain names instead of an IP address. DNS improved the internet user experience. Without it, remembering our favorite websites would be impossible. Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is the next iteration of DNS.

Web 2--the internet we know now---let computers read and write data to and from each other. It’s great for sending text, images, and videos but not for transferring value and ownership rights. Blockchain solves this problem. It's a public ledger that accounts for every penny and asset on the network. Meaning value transfers without concerns of accounting fraud or the need for a bank.

Computers can now read, write, and execute transactions over the internet, without the help of a third party. This is the evolution of the internet---Web3. Assets and currencies are now integrated into the network making transactions as easy as sending a text message. This is where ENS comes in.


Without DNS users would have to remember that is the IP address for Google.com, is the IP address for Facebook.com, and they would end up with a long list of numbers that correspond to their favorite websites. If you copy and paste the IP addresses above into your browser, you can still watch it navigate to the domain names.

Every account on the Ethereum network can be identified by its ID also known as a  wallet address. Wallet addresses are comprised of 42 letters and numbers that are generated by the network for each wallet.

As an example, a wallet address is displayed in the grey rectangle.

If you want to receive money, you have to share the series of letters and numbers, and if you have to send money, then you have to type the series in, paste it in, or scan the QR code. If you mess up, your funds will be gone forever and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Now imagine trying to remember the wallet address of your friends, family members, and the businesses you want to transact with.

Instead of typing in a series of numbers and letters, ENS enables users to assign a human-readable name to wallets, making them easier to find and mitigating transfer risks.

For example, the Mix3d community wallet address is 0x79c9FDE84f44270444b7e0b4D9a962117831d2Ce but you can search for the wallet by typing Mix3d.Eth into any Ethereum application. All wallets on the Ethereum network end in .eth following the naming convention set by DNS for websites like .com, .net, and .org.

Web 2 meets Web 3

Domain names can be imported to ENS making it easy for website developers and owners to enable their businesses to interact with the Ethereum network in a way that customers are familiar with.

Let’s say you are a business owner and your website is yourbusiness.com. If you import your domain to ENS users can search for yourbusiness.com in any Ethereum application and send you money. Domains on ENS reduce the chances of scammers posing as your business with a .Eth name and allow you to receive ETH without having to integrate payment systems into your website.

In short, importing a domain name to ENS is like having a website name and a username for payment systems all in one string of text.

ENS Wrapper

Recently the ENS team announced that they would allow users to wrap their ENS names into ERC-1155 tokens. The ENS wrapper will enable name owners to issue subdomains to compartmentalize their operations. A state could issue subdomains for government services, informational websites could issue subdomains for different languages, and big brands could issue subdomains for their subdivisions.

In the Mix3d community we plan to issue subdomains for our media, clothing, and development working groups, the domains will appear as Media.Mix3d.Eth, Clothing.Mix3d.Eth, and Development.Mix3d.Eth respectively. The subdomains will allow us to collect funds in one wallet while identifying the revenue generated by each group, which can help us determine the projects to support and the projects to sunset.

What should you do about it?

If you believe Ethereum will continue to be the go-to smart contract platform and you own or manage a business then you should secure your ENS name.

ENS names with numbers ranging from 001.Eth to 10000.Eth are being purchased to match the IDs of NFTs in generative art collections. These buyers are molding digital personas and personal brands. Speculators are buying up the names of famous brands hoping to be bought out once mass adoption forces brands onto the network. The owner of Amazon.Eth recently rejected a 1 million USD offer for the ENS name and the opportunity to pick up names at retail value is quickly evaporating. Grab your ENS name for cheap while you still can.


Writer’s Note

WRITER: Jonathan Albert is a writer, fullstack engineer, and product manager. He's also the Co-founder of Mix3d, a community connecting, organizing, and building on Web 3.

@Jay_Albert_ on twitter

EDITOR: Kristina Flynn (she/her) is an entrepreneur, content creator, and community expert making web3 more diverse + inclusive. Her writing focuses on destigmatizing mental illness and inspiring underrepresented creators through stories, education, and advice.

@flynnkristina on twitter, Instagram, and tiktok

If you want to read more in depth content on Web 3, subscribe and feel free to support the community at Mix3d.Eth.

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