This week, the number of ENS domain names catapulted to two million. As the Ethereum merger date approaches, the Ethereum Name Service, or ENS, celebrated the new milestone on Twitter by tweeting:
“2 million ENS names created! It took 5 years to get to 1 million names, then 3.5 months to get to 2 million names, and we’re just getting started.
Let’s see what ENS domain names are and why they suddenly skyrocket.
Why do ENS Domains pump?
Earlier in August, ENS domains exceeded 1.8 million. Around this time, Khori Whittaker – executive of True Names Limited (the company behind ENS Domains) spoke to Decipher about their growing success. Whittaker explains that the sudden surge is the result of “organic community growth.”
“There is an extremely active and passionate ecosystem of ENS advocates, and they are independently and organically building sub-communities and spreading the word about what is possible with ENS domains.”
Other opportunities that may contribute to this growth include the highly anticipated Ethereum merger. Also, it has been speculated that lower gas fees for Ethereum transactions incentivize more people to switch, as lower gas fees often lead to higher domain registration.
Another factor could be that many more influential people have added .eth to their social media IDs. Those who use the .eth extension include Jimmy Fallon, Snoop Dogg, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. More and more people are using their ENS domain names to present their Web3 identities, boosting the popularity of an .eth name.
How many ENS domain names are there?
Dune analysis reports that there are currently 2,061,360 names created at the time of writing. August alone saw 194,548 names registered, and July saw an impressive 378,804 names registered. The number of registered names doubled in just 3.5 months.
What is an ENS domain name?
You’ve probably seen ENS domain names in use, and they’re 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-lived wallet address used to send and receive funds. Ethereum Name Service describes itself as “a decentralized Web3-compatible protocol that links complex strings of machine-generated alphanumeric characters into friendly names.”
Also, these domain names are NFTs, so you need to create them on the Ethereum blockchain as such. Accordingly, you can also trade them on secondary NFT marketplaces.
Are the unstoppable domains competitors of the ENS?
The ENS Domains are hugely successful, and they are not the only players in the game. Unstoppable Domains is another naming service making waves, having registered over 2.5 million crypto domain names. Unstoppable domain extensions include .crypto, .bitcoin, .nft, .blockchain, and .dao, with registration starting at just $5 per domain. To get these alternate domain names, you need to create the NFTs on Polygon.
However, despite the competitive nature of their products, Matthew Gould – founder of Unstoppable Domains – does not see ENS as a rival. Talk to DecryptGould explains that he sees all naming services working together to improve crypto accessibility, saying:
“We support anything that helps bring about a world where people own their digital identities and own their digital property online.”
As more and more people switch to Web3, the domain name market can only grow, and we’re excited to see ENS grow.