This week, the number of ENS Domain names catapulted to two million. As the Ethereum merge date approaches, the Ethereum Name Service, or ENS, celebrated the new milestone on Twitter by tweeting:
“2m ENS names created! It took 5 years to get to 1m names, then 3.5 months to get to 2m names, and we’re just getting started.’
Let’s take a look at what ENS Domain names are and why they are suddenly skyrocketing.
Why are ENS Domains pumping?
Earlier in August, ENS Domains surpassed 1.8 million. At that time, Khori Whittaker – executive of True Names Limited (the company behind ENS Domains) spoke to Decrypt about their growing success. Whittaker explains that the sudden surge is a result of ‘organic growth in the community’.
“There is an extremely active and passionate ecosystem of ENS advocates, and they are independently and organically creating sub-communities and spreading the word about what’s possible with ENS domains,”.
Other occasions which may factor in to this growth include the highly-anticipated Ethereum Merge. Also, it has been speculated that the drop in gas fees for Ethereum transactions urges more people to by, as reduced gas fees often result in increased domain registration.
Another factor could be that many more influential individuals have added .eth to their social media handles. Those who use the .eth extension include Jimmy Fallon, Snoop Dogg, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. More people are using their ENS domain names to showcase their Web3 identities, and so driving the popularity for a .eth name.
How many ENS Domain names are there?
Dune Analytics reports that there are currently 2,061,360 names created at time of writing. August alone has seen 194,548 names registered, and July saw a staggering 378,804 names registered. The amount of names registered has doubled in only 3.5 months.
What is an ENS Domain name?
You have likely seen ENS Domain names in use, and they are a word/phrase/number followed by .eth. These domain names can be used as NFTs, website addresses, or cryptographic hashes.
So why would you use an ENS Domain name? In short, the ENS replaces the long-form wallet address used to send and receive funds. Ethereum Name Service describes itself as ‘a web3-friendly, decentralized protocol that links complex strings of alphanumeric machine-generated characters to human-friendly names.’
Additionally, these domain names are NFTs thus you must mint them on the Ethereum blockchain as such. Accordingly, you can also trade them on secondary NFT marketplaces.
Are Unstoppable Domains Competitors to ENS?
ENS Domains are having huge success, and they are not the only players in the game. Unstoppable Domains is another naming service making waves, having registered more than 2.5 million crypto domain names. Unstoppable Domains extensions include .crypto, .bitcoin, .nft, .blockchain and .dao, with registration starting from as little as $5 per domain. To getthese alternative domain names, you must mint the NFTs on Polygon.
However, despite the competing nature of their products, Matthew Gould – founder of Unstoppable Domains – does not see ENS as a rival. Speaking to Decrypt, Gould explains that he sees all naming services as working together to improve crypto accessibility, saying:
“We’re supportive of anything that is helping to get to a world where people own their digital identity and own their digital property online,”.
As more people move into Web3, the market for domain names can only grow, and we are so excited to watch ENS grow.