What do brands like Hublot, Budweiser, and Opensea have in common? They have all signified their interest in Web3 by acquiring an ENS.
Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a decentralized naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain. It is designed to resolve human–readable names like “myname.eth“ to blockchain addresses, like “0x7c4a8b6fb5d9dd8b74013e2a9e434a1b5d9dce24“.
ENS was launched in May 2017 and is currently the most used naming system in the cryptocurrency space. Over 1.5 million domain names have been registered with ENS, making it one of the largest decentralized applications on Ethereum.
As ENS adoption is growing at an unprecedented rate, we are witnessing more and more brands entering the space.
Cracking open a beer.eth
— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) March 26, 2022
Is it just a PR stunt, or does ENS technology have real use-case applications for brands like Hublot, Budweiser, and Opensea?
The History of Web2 Domain Names
Domain Name Registration has been around for decades. Ever since the early days of the internet, developers have been using DNS (Domain Naming Service) to be able to convert lengthy IP addresses into human-readable .coms. This advancement in user experience arguably was one of the key factors that allowed for the worldwide adoption of Web2.
Brands quickly saw the possibilities that domains had to offer and as the number of internet users increased, the value of the domains began to increase as well.
Over time, it became apparent that certain types of domain names may be more likely to convert visitors into customers, such as those that are easy to remember, pronounce, and spell.
A good domain name is more likely to be indexed by search engines and appear in search results and to be clicked on by users when it appears in search results. Additionally, it can help build your brand and improve your click–through rate.
It wasn’t long before brands were choosing their names based on the domain they were able to acquire,
Transitioning to Web3 Infrastructure
Now, years later, a service quite similar to the Domain Naming Service of the 90s is tackling the same issue of identity, while adding a plethora of additional features. The ENS protocol’s most commonly used feature is its ability to translate wallet addresses into human-readable language.
Instead of copying and pasting a long string of letters and numbers, people can easily send their cryptocurrency to an address like cryptoreporter.eth. This process makes it immensely easier to send crypto, token, or NFT to its desired destination.
ENS is designed to be interoperable with other decentralized systems, and it is already being used by a number of projects in the Ethereum ecosystem. For example, the popular wallet MetaMask uses ENS to resolve Ethereum addresses.
As Web3 matures, it is likely that more protocols will be built around ENS. This would allow users to more easily access and interact with decentralized applications and services.
Recent volatility in the crypto markets has done little to slow the adoption and with it the demand for ENS Domains, attracting early adopters and celebrities such as Jay-z (owner of hov.eth) and Jimmy Fallon (Fallon.eth) and Anthony Hopkins (AHopkins.eth).
— AHopkins.eth (@AnthonyHopkins) June 8, 2022
As more people discover digital identities and the benefits that come with them, an increasing number are choosing to adopt ENS. This is evident in the data from Opensea, which shows that ENS is currently the most popular domain on their platform. The organic growth of ENS can be attributed to its many advantages, such as its security, ease of use, and flexibility.
Unlike .com domains which are protected by associations like ICCANN, .eth domains are decentralized, giving anyone with an internet connection the power to claim a word, a digit, or an emoji of their choosing.
Large players in the blockchain ecosystem have already acquired their ENS Names, including Uniswap, Looksrare, and Opensea, and we anticipate that many more will follow in the near future.
Looking Into the Future
The utility behind ENS makes it one of the most popular NFTs in existence. Brands and individuals alike are realizing how important it is to claim their ENS as a way to signify their transition into the next phase of the internet.
ENS is useful for brands because it provides a way for them to securely address resources both on and off the blockchain, allowing them to have more control over their brand identity and reputation.
With blockchain adoption growing at a rapid pace, now more than ever it is important to understand the concept of owning one’s digital identity.