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A generation ago, few could imagine how important it would be for a brand to have a funny-looking “.com” suffix. Fast forward to about two decades ago, thousands of dollars are paid by businesses to gobble up the most popular names.

As blockchain and crypto spheres are becoming more widespread and familiar parts of everybody’s lexicon, it’s no wonder that the outlines of Web 3.0 have started to take shape and form a groundswell. From Bitcoin to Ethereum, NFTs, and other blockchain-related terms, they have all become common knowledge. So, one can only wonder, “What’s next?”

Well, one potentially valuable beginning of Web 3.0 could be an Ethereum Name Service domain. More precisely, similarly to the manner in which Web 2.0 requires you to input long IP addresses, the Web 3.0 and crypto space requires the use of complex wallet addresses and transition hashes.

That’s exactly the issue ENS, short for Ethereum Name Service, aims to address. It aims to simplify the crypto and decentralized finance space for even non-tech-savvy individuals to create a universal nickname for all their public addresses and decentralized websites. In other words, crypto enthusiasts can say “Goodbye” to unreadable strings of keys for each of their crypto addresses and say “Hello” to a single ENS domain.

This article explains all the ins and outs of ENS, from what it is to how it works and how to get one. Keep reading below to find out more!

What is an ENS, and what do they do?

First things first, before we move forward to getting an ENS domain, let’s make sure that we’re on the same page with that an ENS domain is in the first place.

ENS stands for Ethereum Name Service, and it is a name and lookup service built on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to translate their machine-readable addresses to human-readable addresses. You can think of it as a generator of nicknames for public Ethereum addresses. This service was designed to make crypto more accessible, even for first-time crypto users and non-tech-savvy individuals.

Here’s how it goes: you go for dinner with a friend, and they want to pay you back in cryptocurrency. To do so, they must share their Ethereum public address that consists of 42 hexadecimal characters that look like complete gibberish acting as an equivalent of the IBAN and allowing other crypto users to send digital money to your wallet.

With an ENS, things will be a lot easier as you can create a “nickname” for your public addresses that allows you to share a link like “XYZ.eth” instead of a complex string of characters. This link is automatically connected to all your public addresses.

Besides that, an ENS also provides you with a human-readable domain for other crypto wallets, websites, content hashes, and metadata, aiming to be the username you can use on Web 3.0 to connect all your addresses and websites under a single nickname and receive any sort of digital money or NFTs via your ENS domain.

Ok, but how does ENS work? Ethereum Name Service is built on two Ethereum smart contracts: the ENS registry and a second contract that matches each domain to the corresponding user, website, and address.

Why would I want one?

Now you know what ENS is and does. But you’re likely wondering why you would want one. Well, there are a few reasons for that.

First of all, an ENS name eliminates the need to copy or, even worse, type long hexadecimal addresses, allowing you to send crypto money to your peers using a much simpler link. Having an ENS domain will make it a lot easier for you to interact with your crypto friends.

ENS also offers a decentralized alternative to the internet’s traditional DNS, removing the risks that are associated with its single point of failure. Since ENS is a blockchain-based protocol, it is significantly more secure and censorship-resistant as it is built on Ethereum.

Similar services that allow more understandable and accessible crypto transactions may appear in the future. Yet, as for now, ENS is the only player in the crypto sphere that can do all that.

How do I get one?

Let’s get to the exciting part of this article: getting your own ENS domain.

Before you buy one, you should know that there are many wallets available that you can use, including Coinbase Wallet, MetaMask , and Opensea. No matter which crypto wallet you choose to use, make sure to have some ETH in your wallet to pay for the transaction and ENS registration fees associated with getting your own “.eth” domain. Next, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Open an Ethereum-enabled browser to access your crypto wallet. Make sure that you’re signed in to your Ethereum browser with the same wallet you want to have the ENS name registered to. 
  2. Go to: https://ens.domains/
  3. Search for your desired “.eth” name and choose one that is available. 
  4. Use your crypto wallet to pay for the registration fee associated with the name you choose and wait for the confirmation of your registration. 
  5. You are now a registered ENS owner. 

How do they work with Coinbase, Metamask & Opensea?

With ENS becoming more popular recently, ENS names are now native ERC721 assets that can be bought and sold using crypto wallets like Coinbase, Metamask or Opensea.

You can reserve, buy, and sell “.eth” domains like it is with traditional Internet domain names. What’s different with trading ENS domains is that it all happens on a decentralized web, compared to the traditional internet sphere, and “.eth” domains can be traded as NFTs.

ENS and Coinbase

Coinbase has integrated the ENS, allowing users to send crypto to .eth addresses. ENS supports all digital currencies supported by the Coinbase Wallet.

ENS and Metamask

  1. Open the extension and click on the three vertical dots. 
  2. Go to the “View on Etherscan” option.
  3. Choose the “Token” dropdown menu and select “Ethereum Name Service (ENS). 
  4. Copy the contact address that appears in the “Profile Summary” section. 
  5. Without pasting or copying anything else, open Metamask again and scroll down to the default view, and click on the “Add Token” button. 
  6. Next, go to the “Custom Token” tab and add your token contact address, token symbol (ENS), Token decimal (0). 

ENS and Opensea

To sell .eth on Opensea you don’t need any special operation. All you have to do is to log in to Opensea with your Metamask little fox wallet. Once you do that, you’ll see that your ENS domain name will automatically appear on your Opensea, and you can sell it. Note that you will have to pay a little gas fee.

ENS’s boom of popularity will not stop anytime soon, especially since ENS plans to integrate the full DNS namespace, allowing owners of any internet domains to claim them on ENS.

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