Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a secure, decentralized address routing system on the Ethereum blockchain. The system is created with the basic intent of mapping easy-to-read Ethereum addresses with their more familiar numeric versions.
The launch of ENS took place in May 2017. Since then it has garnered widespread popularity with numerous domains that are being traded among the community.
To put it simply, the process to buy, sell, and use a .eth domain is akin to the process adopted to buy and use the domain of a regular website. The only difference is that you use the domain to send or receive ETH and not to host a website.
What is ENS?
In essence, ENS is also a DApp that qualifies users to truncate long, easily forgettable Ethereum addresses into readable, easy-to-remember formats.
In particular, an ENS is a domain name founded on the basis of the Ethereum network and its intrinsic smart contracts. Even ENS can be conjured up as an identical blockchain adaptation of Domain Name Service (DNS). The differences lie in the fact that the former is more affordable and backed by more advantages.
The greatness of ENS is also evident from the fact that it is not just confined to be availed as an address to send and receive on Ethereum blockchain, it can also function as a domain name. Rather than using .com or .org, we can alternatively resort to .eth, which is seemingly more cool and attractive, and self-explanatory as well.
So ENS is a kind of fancy name attributed to the .eth domain. You will come across many .eth websites nowadays. Even the Twitter account of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has it.
What are DApps?
They are decentralized digital apps or applications that operate via blockchain networks. Occasionally, you may also find them running on several different P2P networks not controlled by any single authority or third-party.
This implies the sole owner of all DApps funds, transactions, and activities is a specific user. It is beyond the scope of any third party to stand in the way of their operations. The system is not like any centralized jurisdictions, such as banks, that are authorized to remove your funds or put a stop to your activities.
There are plenty of DApps available in the market. The various uses of DApps are classified below:
Even DeFi and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are currently recognized as DApps. As a matter of fact, Trust Wallet, to a certain extent is also a decentralized app.
So, by now, you have got a basic idea about the identity of DApps. Now is the time to get your own Ethereum domain.
How to register a .eth domain name?
Here, through step-by-step instructions, you will become familiar with the process of instantly getting a new .eth domain name registered for yourself via the ENS Manager DApp.
1. Open your web browser enabled with Ethereum
When it comes to a desktop computer, it can be Google Chrome with a MetaMask extension. Alternatively, you can use the Brave browser. As far as mobile devices are concerned, you can use the following wallets:
- Trust Wallet
- Coinbase Wallet
- MetaMask Mobile
Also, other Ethereum-enabled browsers on mobile can be put into use. This .eth registration guide will have a basic initial assumption that you have resorted to the MetaMask wallet on your desktop browser. Note that other Ethereum compliant web browsers work in a similar fashion.
While signing in to the browser, make sure you use the same wallet whose name you would like to have the ownership of. You can arrange for the browser to settle to a different wallet. You can transfer its ownership later as well.
Your wallet should contain a reasonable amount of ETH coins. These will be needed to make payment for the transaction costs. Plus, you are required to pay the annual fee in your name for the first year.
2. Navigate and reach the ENS Manager
You need to access manager.ens.domains in your Ethereum-enable browser. Keep in mind to bookmark this page. By doing so, you can from now on be effortlessly in charge of your Ethereum names.
3. Look for the .eth name you are keen to use
In the “Search Names” field, you need to type the desired .eth name. This is the same name that you would like to get migrated to. The name must contain a proper .eth ending as well. Next, click on the “search” option.
If someone has already done a registration using the same name, you will come across a page that puts forward the following information with respect to the ENS records of the name:
At times, you may find the desired name available. In such a scenario you will bump into a page that asks you the exact time frame you would like that particular name to be registered. The page looks like this:
4. Choose the time interval
With the help of the “+” and “-” buttons, you can at first decide and select the number of years you are likely to make payment for the annual fee. When a certain name is registered with the ENS Manager, you need to keep it registered for one year at least.
You are always welcome to give extra payment to keep the registration valid for more than a year. The Manager allows you to extend the registration period at any time in the future during the initial one year. Bear in mind, your crypto wallet must contain sufficient ETH coins to fully pay the registration charge.
5. Begin the process of registration
Click on the button “Request to Register” on the bottom right side. Once done, you will find a box popping out from MetaMask. It will ask you whether to confirm your transaction. Now click on the “Confirm” button to commit the action.
6. Do wait for a while
Make sure your browser is open and active all through this process. Firstly, there must be a confirmation that your transaction is successful. Ideally, this takes no more than a minute.
Secondly, you need to hold back for some more time to make certain no attempt is simultaneously being made by anyone else to register with your desired name. A green bar will show up on the screen. It will gradually move across the screen to notify the passage of time.
7. Complete the registration
Once the waiting period gets over, you will notice an orange text reading “Click register to move to the 3rd step.” Click on the blue “Register” button in the bottom right corner. This will prompt a MetaMask popping up.
It will ask you to give confirmation to one more transaction to finalize the name and pay the registration fee. Now, you have the only option left to click on the “Confirm” button and finish the registration process successfully.
Next, you need to shift focus to the Manager page that has the “Register” button. You will run across a message that says “TX PENDING”. After the transaction gets confirmed, your .eth name registration is complete. So, now you are in proud possession of a brand new .eth name.
How can you register a .eth domain?
It is not like a regular registration of a website domain. There are extra steps involved to register the .eth domain. The process is however not very complicated. Following are the steps you need to pursue to quickly and easily registering a .eth domain:
1. Create a Wallet in MyEtherWallet
Any domain needs an assignment of a unique public key. Therefore, a cryptocurrency wallet is the first component you need. If you are already in possession of a wallet, this step can be skipped. In that case, you can make use of your existing wallet. But, make sure you gain access to the wallet via MyEtherWallet.
You need to reach MyEtherWallet. Click on the link “New Wallet” option on the top left. Adhere to the instructions. Download the Keystore file once prompted to do so. By the end of the process, you will grab hold of a private key to gain admittance to your wallet.
Maintain the utmost security of your private key. At this point, you can unzip your wallet too. This can be done by uploading your Keystore file or entering your private key.
2. Do your bidding on the .eth domain
So, by now, you already own a wallet. Next, you need to obtain your .eth domain. The process gets going in MyEtherWallet’s “ENS section“. This is exactly the place where you can look for .eth domains and ascertain whether they are available.
As of August 2018, bidding can be executed on domains that have a length of no less than 7 characters. Plans are in place to take shorter domain names into account in the long-term.
In case, the domain you choose is available, there will be a message informing the same. Otherwise, it will let you know that the domain name already has an owner. For bidding on the domain, go ahead by inputting your Keystore file or private key or any other authorized method.
This will help gain entry into your wallet. You will be taken to the bidding screen in connection with .eth domains. It is shown in the image below:
You are required to fill in the relevant information in the following 3 fields:
3. Actual bid amount
It refers to the maximum ETH amount you have the capacity of paying for owning the domain. On the off chance, you win, a payment equal to just above the second-highest bid will be remitted from your wallet. The balance amount will be refunded to you.
4. Bid mask
It is the ETH amount that the smart contract receives. This amount is visible publicly as you do bidding. The amount should usually be equal to or more than your actual bid. This indicates it may apparently look like you have made a bid whose amount is significantly higher than what you have in your wallet.
5. Secret phrase
It is actually a password that helps add absolute security to the transaction. Make sure you write it somewhere within your reach and do not lose it.
Once you are done filling up these 3 fields you can proceed to press the “Start the Auction” button. You will receive a message that contains all the important details of your bid. The message will also give you instructions on how to copy and save the information.
This is an important step. Make sure you abide by it. You can take a screenshot and safely store it somewhere. Now it is time to click on the button “Yes, I am sure! Make transaction.”
This leads to the start of the auction process. Your bid is also included. The auction continues for 3 days in the course of which other users may also carry out bidding on the domain. Once 3 days have elapsed, the bids put forward by everyone are revealed.
6. Ensure proper processing of the transaction
You need to check thoroughly whether your bid was processed. You can do the same at Etherscan.io. It allows you to look for the .eth address. Below is a typical example of a bureau.eth domain:
Each minute detail of the auction will be shown at the bottom. All the transactions will be listed. It will include your bid as well with a notification revealing “startAuctionandBid” which in turn will indicate as “action is taken.” Keep in mind the details may take close to 5-10 minutes to be displayed.
7. Make your bid known
Once the 3-day auction comes to a close, all bids are mandated to be revealed within 48 hours. On the off chance, you do not reveal your bid, you stand to lose the auction as well as the funds you had put in at the time of bidding.
For revealing your bid, you need to access MyEtherWallet’s ENS section again. Look for the domain you zeroed in on just the way you did at the time of initially placing the bid. A message will pop up to inform you it is time that you show your bid.
To do so, log in to MyEtherWallet by inputting your login details. Next, you will be asked to input your bid details. This is the same information that you had once copied or taken a screenshot of while you were placing the bid. After you enter the details, click on “Reveal your Bid” to divulge it to the public.
The time to reveal your bid lasts for 2 days. If you continue to be the highest bidder during the time of winning the auction, the domain permanently belongs to you.
8. Do a proper verification of how the bid reveal is processed
See to it your bid reveal was accurately processed. Anyway, you already have 48 hours, which is sufficient to do a thorough check. Then you can return to etherscan.io and find out your domain.
Now, you will come across the domain changed to “Reveal Stage.” You will also get to know for how long the domain remained in the Reveal Stage. Your transaction will ask you to take the “unsealBid” action.
9. Set the seal on the auction
You need to finalize your bid reveal once the Reveal Stage comes to a close. To pull this off, you need to re-access the ENS section and try to ascertain the location of your .eth domain. You will get a message that enquires “Is that your address? Finalize the auction to claim your new name.” Choose the options given below to make your wallet accessible.
The wallet that was used for making the bid must be used here as well. Once you unlock your wallet, a message “Finalize xyz.eth” will come up. Here xyz refers to your domain name. Click on the button for finalizing the auction. Immediately, a prompt stating “Yes, I am sure! Make Transaction” will appear to confirm the transaction. Click on the prompt.
On etherscan.io you can check how the transaction has gone through. You will be able to find a transaction lying at the bottom tagged along with an action “finalizeAuction.” Roughly, within 5 to 10 minutes, you will find the transaction to appear.
10. Set the resolver
Now that the domain belongs to you, the only action you need to execute is getting your wallet address assigned to the domain. It is a quick process.
Again, go to the ENS section and look for your domain in MyEtherWallet. You will receive a message that asks “Is that your address? It is ready to set up a resolver.” Moreover, you will get additional instructions to establish the resolver. They are displayed at the bottom of the page. These instructions must be kept open in one of your browser’s tabs.
Next, get a new tab opened in your browser. MyEtherWallet has got a section “View Wallet Info.” Go there and log in with the help of your private and public keys. A message “Your Address” will show up. You need to copy that address. Now, return to the previous tab. Get it pasted on the field with the label “Enter the address you would like this name to resolve to:”
MyEtherWallet also has a “Contracts” section. Open the section in one more tab. On the right side of the section, there is a drop-down menu. Here, you will be required to trace the option “ENS- Registry” and select it. You will find the other fields getting automatically populated.
Click on the “Access” button and a new box (as shown below) will appear. There is also a drop-down menu. Choose “Select a function” here and then select “setResolver.” Make sure you fill up the fields “node bytes32” and “resolver address” options.
This information is available in MyEtherWallet’s ENS section. Copy the details. Next, proceed to unlock the wallet with the help of your public key. Now, click the “WRITE” button.
A warning will also pop up now. It will talk about putting an amount. Leave it as zero and press the “Generate Transaction” button.
11. Set the address
You need to wait for several minutes to allow the prior transaction to succeed. Access the Contracts section again. Choose the “ENS – Public Resolver” option from the drop-down menu and press the “Access” button.
Next, go to the “Select a Function” option on the drop-down menu and opt for “setAddr”. Ensure you fill up the fields “node bytes32” and “addr address”. Here, the addr address indicates your public address. Once the fields are populated, open your wallet with the private key.
Once your wallet is opened, press the “WRITE” button. One more warning message will appear. Ignore it and click on the “Generate Transaction” button.
Once 2 to 3 minutes have passed, you can take a look at etherscan.io. You will find the Name Info. Also, you will notice that the addition of a “Reverse Name Lookup” has happened in the system. Now, you can check the system’s functioning by transferring a small ETH amount to your newly-created domain. In case it works fine, you are on the roll.
Going forward, the Ethereum Name Service is striving to build a new dApp to be in charge of all tasks related to the ENS. This will streamline the process of managing .eth domains as currently these tasks are handled by disparate websites and applications.
ENS domains, especially the .eth domain, are very useful to carry out streamlined interactions in the Ethereum blockchain network. It saves you time from typing a long Ethereum address without putting the security of your investments into jeopardy. The .eth domain also empowers you to have the address in your possession.
Plans are put into practice for improving the system’s workability. The ENS library is drawn up with a plan for expansion to facilitate developers to incorporate unique ENS functionalities.
Furthermore, the .eth domain is primarily an NFT with distinctive properties that can be leveraged for selling purposes and earning gainful results.
Even though owning a .eth domain is not definitely a necessity, still, with its presence, working with an Ethereum address becomes much simpler. It ushers in a more logical step towards using the network extensively.