What is .eth on Twitter and LinkedIn profiles?

Recently, a lot of people started adding .eth/.sol to their Twitter username. What are these, and what are they meant for?

Let’s break it down.

What is this?

The internet has a naming system called DNS (Domain Name System). It acts like a phonebook for the internet. It’s hard to remember IP addresses like this “163.53.78.110”, so DNS attaches them to a URL like “flipkart.com”.

In the same way, for the Ethereum blockchain, we have a protocol named ENS (Ethereum Naming System) which allows users to display a long Ethereum public address that looks like this “0x6Ea742fbe9130A58299eD59187982ad42b8455a7” into something like this “yourname.eth” which is human readable.

ENS is not only used to represent wallet addresses. It can convert machine-readable information into human-readable information. This means it can also represent transaction IDs and other things that are commonly seen in the crypto world.

Why ENS?

If you want to send crypto to someone, you would first have to know their 64-character long wallet address, which looks like this “0x6Ea742fbe9130A58299eD59187982ad42b8455a7” and send it to them.

Before moving ahead, let’s understand what this address is. There are two types of keys for a crypto wallet:

  • Public — used to receive the money
  • Private — used to send the money

The one mentioned above is a public key. Entering long addresses like this is tiresome and risky. If you commit a single mistake, you will lose your money forever.

For example, a shop in Cannaught Place, Delhi, sells motorbikes and accepts Ethereum as payment. You decided to buy the bike, and now you need to pay 1.5 Eth (₹2,44,000 as of now) to the shop owner. You ask for the wallet address of the owner. He starts narrating 64 character long address, and you misheard a single letter. Now, ₹2,44,000 is lost forever. Imagine if you had to send money to “bikes.eth” how easy that would have been?

That’s ENS for you!

How are you going to use it?

The blockchain space is multi-coin, and ENS domains like “yourname.eth” will allow you to receive any cryptocurrency or NFT.
It’s like your on-chain identity. You can use any decentralized app with only one wallet address, i.e., “yourname.eth”. This will be your web3 username.

What this means is, in centralized apps, if you use different apps, you have different usernames like “your_name” on Twitter, “yourName03” on Instagram, and “yournamedev” on Github.

But if you are using decentralized apps, then “yourname.eth” will be one username across every app you use.

There are around 500 decentralized apps that support $ENS today, and many are added every day. It is integrated with more than 200 services.

How does it work?

ENS is built on two Ethereum smart contracts.

  • The first smart contract is the ENS registry which records all the domains registered on ENS.
  • The second smart contract is the resolver, which translates the domain names to the machine-readable addresses and vice versa.

Imagine a warehouse. The first smart contract acts like an employee who puts every item on the shelf, and the second smart contract is like an employee who helps every customer find out on which shelf which item is present.

How to get an ENS domain

  1. Go to ens.domains and connect your wallet.
  2. Search for whatever you want to call your wallet address
  3. Choose the registration period (minimum one year) and click “Request” if the address is available. The transaction will cost depending on the length of your name.

Congratulations, now you have an eth domain 🎉. You can confirm this by typing it on etherscan and checking if it matches your wallet address.

Domain flipping with ENS

ENS domains are limited, and that’s why many crypto enthusiasts are impatient to secure their nicknames. This also happened in the early days of DNS names.

Many individuals try ENS domain flipping, which can be a lucrative side hustle. For example, a wallet address is the owner of gpay.eth, freshworks.eth, zerodha.eth, razorpay.eth, bharatpe.eth, and many more valuable domains like these.

This goes to the extent where these domains are being sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, exchange.eth was sold for 6,660 ETH (₹4,57,84,620) while weather.eth was sold for 300 ETH (₹20,29,860) at the time of the auction.

Currently, only 65 3-letter domains have bidding prices. Out of these, one of the highest is eth.eth.

ENS doesn’t just support .eth, but also the most popular DNS names including .com, .org, .io, .app, and more. More than 50k accounts on Twitter have .eth in their username.

You can find Twitter accounts with .eth username here

Closing thoughts

In the world of crypto and decentralized apps, ENS can be a giant leap to make crypto easily accessible. Just like we no longer use IP addresses to navigate the web, we may see an increase in ENS names due to its utility and increasing popularity.

Let us know if you are excited to use ENS domains for yourself in the future.

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