Ethereum Name Service- Everything You Need to Know About the Latest Trends & Milestones
2022 was an incredible year for ENS, with record amounts of new users, name registrations and revenue. New trends in web3 brought together communities to rally around different categories of ENS names, and marketplaces evolved to provide support including new categories, analytics capabilities, and tools to improve the user experience. Major companies, influencers and celebrities began to adopt ENS names as they explored the metaverse and built their web3 identities. This article spotlights recent trends, metrics, builders & adopters in the space, and all of the latest from ENS Labs including an interview with ENS Labs’ Executive Director, Khori Whittaker.
Core ENS Updates
ENS by the numbers:
2.8m ENS domains created
70k ENS have set an avatar
$72m spent on registrations
$13m spent on renewal
74% of eligible addresses have claimed the ENS token airdrop from fall 2021
These stats were provided from ENS Labs developer Makoto’s expansive Dune analytics dashboard for ENS, which contains numerous charts, data points and other analytics resources. There are also useful public financial reports by ENS Labs founder Nick.eth on Google, including DAO token holdings and adjustable charts to view their current revenue.
Back in the fall, the company behind ENS Domains changed their name from True Names Limited to ENS Labs. The normalization process led by ENS Labs developer Raffy.eth, which will further standardize which ENS names are acceptable for registration, is ongoing. He said recently that the registration of invalid names has decreased, which will lead to less impact on users once normalization goes live. Some of the more speculative activity around ENS trading revolves around predicting which currently invalid names will be valid once normalization is completed.
Community members are strongly encouraged to participate in the DAO, which hosts several categories of content rich discussions that anyone can join. For a one stop shop of the main issues being discussed at any given time, the DAO has a useful dashboard on their discussion forum which contains a calendar, proposal drafts, and information on their 3 working groups including budget requests, public DAO calls, and names of the current stewards of each group. One recent notable discussion includes the sale of 10,000 ETH for USDC, which represents 25% of the DAO’s Ethereum holdings.
A Conversation With ENS Director, Khori Whittaker
ONE37pm recently sat down with Khori Whittaker, Executive Director of ENS Labs, for an interview about the past, present and future of the highly successful Ethereum blockchain based domain service. Khori joined ENS Labs just before the surge of interest in ENS in early 2022. His prior experiences in business development, recruiting, and education have helped him scale the company, which has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings in 2017. In the interview, Khori highlighted how the DAO functions similarly to the board of a traditional company. Due to the elevated level of scrutiny and input going into each decision, ENS Labs is uniquely positioned to grow in a transparent, ethical and sustainable way.
Khori sees ENS expanding into an “every day, everyone” name service. The NFT and blockchain space can be cumbersome at times, and the new, in-house educational materials being created by ENS Labs will become an essential first step for new users entering web3. Gamifying the experience and earning achievements, POAPs or badges for setting your primary ENS, adding an avatar & contact information, and utilizing other features will help new users begin to make their web3 imprint in a fun and exciting way.
On the topic of TLDs, Khori doesn’t anticipate ENS following the path of some competitors and issuing additional TLDs for sale, though he mentioned private businesses or government entities may opt to use personalized TLDs for application of blockchain based domain technology, similar to the Coinbase integration of .id domains. There are potential Government use cases being actively explored such as permits, identification, registration for various services, and even taxes. For that reason, he mentioned place names as one of the more interesting categories in ENS right now.
One exciting recent integration of ENS is by the .ART domain extension, which was the first TLD to receive permission from ICANN to extend the WHOIS (Registration Data) field for the purpose of identifying assets, a patented technology they call the .ART Digital Twin. They seek to use web3 technology to help creators create certificates of authenticity for their artwork. Another new use case for ENS involves Mailchain, an open source protocol dedicated to helping web3 users communicate via email.
ENS integrations are so popular with web3 users to the point that without them, the user experience becomes more complicated. Many users who played Yuga Lab’s recent Dookey Dash game remarked that the leaderboard hadn’t integrated their primary ENS names, making it difficult for players to flex their scores.
Soon: Name Wrapper
On January 16th, jefflau.eth posted an update on the ENS DAO forum announcing that the highly anticipated name wrapper for ENS domains was redeployed on Goerli testnet after a thorough audit. The contracts are being tested for at least two weeks before consideration for deployment on mainnet, which is also contingent upon the release of the highly anticipated ENS V3 contract. ENS Labs developer domico.eth recently posted a thread on Twitter explaining some of the technical aspects of how subdomains work and how it ties into V3. Based on the information provided, it doesn’t appear the name wrapper will be released until after Q1 2023.
What's New with ENS Vision?
In May of 2022, the Ethereum Name Service hit a milestone that took over five years to achieve since its launch – one million name registrations. With the release of ENS Vision’s bulk registration tool at the end of May, ENS registrations saw explosive growth in numbers. In a matter of a few months, the number of ENS registrations quickly doubled and surpassed over two million names created at a record pace. Impressively, ENS Vision’s bulk registration contract continues to facilitate over 30% of all monthly ENS registrations since its release.
ENS Vision launched its ENS exclusive aggregated marketplace in late July of 2022 and has since quickly grown from 0% of all ENS volume to now over 70% of all ENS daily volume over time in a short 6-month period. The exchange is set to surpass 20k ETH in total volume, 100k total sales, and 10k total users in Q1 2023. With over 17.5 million page views and over 700,000 unique users, ENS Vision has rapidly become the one-stop shop for everything ENS.
New features include a sweep feature, bulk renewal, bulk listings, and bulk transfer. One of the most interesting new features includes a “renewal sync,” allowing you to renew multiple names at different intervals to sync their expiration on the same day. Using usewinter’s new service, domains can now be purchased via credit card. More tools, features and verified collections are planned for 2023.
Image credit: reservoir0x
Thanks to work by Reservoir0x, ENS Vision is now integrated with Dune Analytics. Some of the stats include:
Total ENS Names fill volume over time for all marketplaces (measured in ETH)
Percentage of sales filled by ENS Vision
Percentage of volume by ENS Vision
Meetups, Builders & Advocates
In November, the ENS Labs team represented at the ETHGlobal hackathon in San Francisco with a booth, stickers, swag and printable ENS nametags. They also offered 5 bounty tiers for the best integration, giving away over $10k USD. They plan to attend ETHDenver in February and ETHDubai coming up later in March. Keep an eye out for exclusive POAPs for attending ENS related events, including this one for DEVCON BOGATA by @theaxents.
Image credit: ENS Bogata POAP
Back in July, Gregskril.eth created a website to assist ENS advocates in onboarding new users. The ENS Fairy UI allows you to register and gift an ENS name, saving the user 3 transactions. The ENS Ecosystem Working Group recently announced an expansion of the ENS Fairy concept with a proposed allocation of 174 ETH for ENS DAO to purchase domains off of premium expiration, to help the adoption of ENS and compete with speculators. Join the discussion in this thread and if you hold ENS tokens, make sure to vote.
Sadaf.eth, who has been featured in ONE37pm’s prior ENS articles and previously served as Community Manager for ENS Vision, has taken a role at the Ethereum Name Service as a community advocate.
Bishara.eth, an Arabic speaker and ENS domain researcher, recently made a channel dedicated to ENS with daily analysis, instructional videos, and resources in both English and Arabic. I recently used his video guide and a guide on the official ENS support site to make a decentralized website which links to my primary ENS. Bishara’s ENS DAO proposal for an Arabic educational channel recently passed, receiving 540k votes in the second round.
Author of The Network State Balaji Srinivasan recently made a thread about ENS which garnered attention, saying “Email lists are good, ENS lists will be better.” He lamented the centralized nature of email and possibility of censorship, saying “email has become largely centralized by things like sender reputation.” He recently discussed use cases for ENS domains on Lex Fridman’s podcast.
Decashed, an organization run by ENS advocate Sean Murray, had their first 10k club meetup in NYC during the 2022 Thanksgiving break.
Image credit: Decashed
Top Recent Sales & Notable Milestones
Pokemon Gen1 and trainers are trending, and other collectible related ENS names are gaining interest.
333.eth for 100Ξ, 021.eth for 38Ξ and American.eth for 31Ξ
In the past 30 days, the 10k club had ~1200Ξ volume and 999 had ~600Ξ.
Arabic 999 club recently passed 3000Ξ total volume. Matt Higgins recently joined the community, purchasing ٤٣٣ (433) in Arabic. His recent thread calling for users to share their reasonable single word domains went viral. Fine art & documentary photographer Princess Reem alFaisal, the granddaughter of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, has recently been sporting digit ٧٩١ (791) in Arabic.
Image credit: ENS Vision
Las Vegas based Unstoppable Domains Inc. recently received a patent for Resolving Blockchain Domains on January 17th, 2023. Unstoppable Domains was one of the first domain services on Ethereum, founded in 2018. They released 7 new TLDs in late 2022, adding to their existing Ethereum TLD .crypto and Zilliqa TLD .zil, partnering with Gemini (crypto exchange), Opera (Browser), Circle (USDC) to attempt to onboard more users into web3.
A few NFT projects sprung up recently with intentions to become domain services on Ethereum. EPBTO uses IPTokenRenderer to place all of their .IP extension metadata on-chain, and has special protections against special character registrations that have traditionally resulted in attempts at fraudulent domain sales. Linagee domains, one of the earliest Ethereum contracts, saw a spike of interest in October after its “rediscovery” and release of a new wrapper, but has seen only a few Ethereum in .OG purchase volume over the past 30 days. With no integrations, projects like these should be considered aspirational domain projects, and users are encouraged to scrutinize any new blockchain based protocols closely before getting involved.
ENS in 2023
The Ethereum Name Service continues to expand its global reach and adoption in 2023, and according to Executive Director Khori Whittaker, “ENS has a solid, bright future ahead.” The release of the name wrapper this year will open new doors with integration possibilities, and change marketplace dynamics, with some trading volume likely moving into grail subdomains. ENS trading volume saw record highs in 2022 despite a bearish macro market in the crypto sector, and that trend is likely to continue as developers continue to expand the marketplaces, tools, and data available to the community. To create the best customer experience, integrating of ENS is a must for web3 projects, and the ENS Labs footprint is sure to expand exponentially as ENS Labs developers explore the possibility of deployment on Layer 2 solutions built on Ethereum.