What is Ethereum Name Service?
Ethereum Name Service is a distributed naming system that allows anyone to name a wallet with an easier name to remember than generated public addresses. In this guide I’ll show you how I registered EndoftheChain.eth for this website’s tipper and show you the steps so you can do the same.
Why do I need a custom domain via the Ethereum Name Service?
One of the more difficult and nerve wracking aspects of transacting with Ethereum is the public wallet addresses. These addresses are generated from taking a Keccak-256 hash of public key and looks like this
It’s really easy to mess up entering an address. If one digit is wrong or mixed up, then either the transaction will fail or be sent to a wallet where the funds will be unrecoverable. While copy pasting typically ensures the digits are written correctly, hackers have developed viruses that switch out the real address for a fake one.
QR codes are a great solution for mobile, but can’t typically be used by desktop.
Using ENS instead, you can choose a short name that you can share anywhere. In this guide I’m going to walk you through the steps of how I registered a .eth address for the End of the Chain tipjar. At the end of this article you will know of the steps I took to acquire EndoftheChain.eth and will be able to replicate it for yourself.
Step 1: Open Ethereum Enabled Browser
In order to interact with any of these protocols and services, you will first need to install a wallet built for integration with decentralized applications (dApps). The most popular option is Metamask, which is what I use. Either you can install Metamask as a Chrome extension or Brave browser which has Metamask natively integrated.
If you are using a mobile device Coinbase Wallet, Status or another mobile ETH browser are also good options. Mobile wallets can be limited in the services they can access, but at the least they can access a few of the most important services listed in the Defi Portal.
I used Metamask and will demonstrate the steps using it for the rest of this guide.
After installing Metamask, create a wallet or sign into your account. Then select the wallet that you want to name. You must have at least $5-10 USD of Ethereum in your wallet to register your address. Check out the exchange guide if you need to purchase some first.
Step 2 - Navigate to ENS Manager
In your browser go to the Ethereum Name Service website. It’s probably a good idea to bookmark the page so you can come back easily.
Step 3 - Search for your desired .eth name
I searched for endofthechain.eth as its the name of this blog and easiest to share out. Thankfully, no one had reserved it before me.
For your own name that you are trying to register you will see one of two screens.
If the domain you are trying to register has already been claimed, you will see a page with information about the owner’s wallet, how long they reserved the domain for and how much they paid for the name.
If the name is available, you will see a page querying how long you would like to reserve the name for.
Next select a time interval for how long you want reserve the name. Domains with 3 or less characters pay $490 a year, 5 or less pay $160 and 6 or more pay $5. My domain is 13 characters and so I paid for the cheapest option.
Step 4: Register your domain
After you select a time period, start the registration process. You will have to commit two transactions ot the Ethereum blockchain. The first transaction reserves the domain, however, anyone can come and make a bid during this waiting period.
After a few minutes, if no one has bid an option for a second transaction will appear. Commit the second transaction and wait until it is included into the next block.
Congrats! At this point the domain is now registered to you. Update your social media and other links to display your new ENS name.
Step 5: Trade ENS domains on OpenSea
When registering your domain, you may have noticed that all domains with less than 6 letters were not available. Because of the demand for these rare domains, ENS is auctioning them off at first before they become freely available.
For example, Sam.eth is a domain that I wouldn’t mind having. It sold to another person for 3.25 Eth in September. If I wanted to acquire it I would need to make a new bid on OpenSea. I’m guessing I would need to pay around 4-5 ETH or $1000 to acquire the name.
After sending the owner of the Sam.eth domain an offer. If they accept, my ETH is immediately transferred to them and I receive the domain.
Or I could list endofthechain.eth and see if anyone actually wanted to buy it (probably not yet). In demand names attract 100s of ETH. Huobi.eth is currently listed for 22 ETH and I’m almost 100% the company is purchasing their own domain.
These domains are vanity items, they aren’t necessary for Ethereum to continue operating and they only make it easier for others to send you assets. But like a custom license plate, owning one displays your care and knowledge about the system. Using a custom domain instead of a normal public address instills a sense of pride. No one else can use that string of letters and the ENS token is held in your own wallet. It’s a cool feeling.
I hope this guide helps you out and explains why you should look into getting your own ENS address.