The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is undergoing a major upgrade that will introduce a new permanent domain name registrar. This means that ENS’s modestly-sized userbase must migrate their .eth addresses. However, it also means that ENS is getting a number of new features that could attract new users to the service.
This upgrade will primarily make .eth registration easier than it is right now. ENS notes that the old name registrar was focused on managing high demand and “land grabs,” and that it had to handle multiple users bidding on single names. The registration process can finally be relaxed now that ENS is maturing and moving beyond its initial hype.
Lead ENS developer Nick Johnson explains that, now that things are slowing down, most auctions are resolved with a single bidder. This means that ENS is currently “asking people to jump through [unnecessary] hoops,” Johnson says. He also adds that the permanent registrar will “simplify and accelerate” the registration process.
This upgrade will also make .eth addresses less expensive for speculative buyers who intend to resell their address. Furthermore, the new system will treat .eth addresses as non-fungible tokens, which will make it easier to transfer a name. Registration will also become “nearly instant,” and yearly rent will be set to $5.
These qualities only apply to .eth addresses that are more than seven characters long. Following the upgrade, ENS will open registration for short addresses. This is being carried out separately to ensure that short names are distributed to those who have a reasonable claim to them—a major step toward usefulness in general.
Why Use ENS?
At the moment, most people use ENS to attach a custom, human-readable .eth address to their Ethereum wallet. ENS addresses are easy to remember, just like an email address, which makes receiving funds much easier. Additionally, developers can use ENS addresses as an app location, which can be accessed via add-ons like Metamask.
About 270,000 custom ENS addresses have been created, which is just a fraction of Ethereum’s 62 million addresses. But although ENS hasn’t achieved universal adoption, it is earning the support of applications like MyEtherWallet, Opera, and Metamask. Its contribution to the Ethereum ecosystem should not be overlooked.
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