The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a distributed, open, and scalable naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain.
There are many new-or-rare terms, which you will want to know when using ENS and Web3. In a nutshell, ENS domain names eliminate the need for people to copy or enter lengthy blockchain addresses. With ENS, you can register a human-readable name that points to your Ethereum address, just like a traditional domain name points to a website’s IP address.
Basic ENS Terms
As you continue on your ENS journey, you will come across many new terms. This article goes over the basic ENS terms you will encounter.
ENS is composed of two smart contracts.
A smart contract is a self-executing contract, a computer program that automatically executes, controls, or documents a transaction between buyer and seller according to the terms of the agreement on the contract. The code and agreements that are in the smart contract exist on a distributed, decentralized blockchain.
The registry is the smart contract that holds all the information regarding ENS names, ENS subdomains, owners for each, and resolver for the ENS domain.
A resolver is a smart contract that translates the ENS name to its resource such as crypto wallet/content hash. If you register your ENS name on the official ENS app your name will automatically have a resolver set, if you use an alternative site your ENS might not have a resolver automatically set.
A resolver is needed if you would like to update records to your ENS name, but it is not necessarily needed. To add a resolver, you can go to “advanced settings” on the ENS official app and select “Use Public Resolver”.
ENS Contract Terms
I will now go over ENS terms that can be found under “Details” tab once you click on an ENS name
The owner of the ENS name is allowed to transfer registration to another wallet and set the controller address.
Controls editing the records of the name. The registrant or controller is allowed to change the controller of a name.
ENS names are paid yearly, and you must renew your ENS name to obtain ownership. Once your name expires your ENS name will be put into a grace period for 90 days allowing you the chance to renew it during that time to retain ownership.
Note that anyone is allowed to extend a registration date.
Here are the current ENS registration costs:
- 3 characters – $640 in ETH per year
- 4 characters – $160 in ETH per year
- 5+ characters – $5 in ETH per year
Gas fees are not included ^
Other ENS Terms You Should Know
Primary ENS Name
The name will be your username across all Ethereum dApps, this is your cross-platform web3 username and profile and you can only have 1 set per wallet.
Allows you to build off your ENS name/ add content. You are allowed to add links to social media platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, and Telegram, add an avatar to your ENS name, add email, URL, and many more.
The owner and controller create and controls them; they are an extension of the parent domain and can also resolve to an address/ IPFS website.
Here are some examples of subdomains, let’s say our parent domain or main ENS name is ‘dr3a.eth’ any addition to the parent domain before the ‘.’ Will be a subdomain.
These basic “Terms To Know” will help you get started with “seeing and using” the current ENS manager.
The terminology and sections reviewed in this beginner’s guide used the original ENS manager, from ENS Labs.
Still, please keep in mind that there will be updates to this in the next release from ENS Labs, which you can get a preview, here: https://alpha.ens.domains/