Ethereum Domains vs. Traditional Domain Names
Discover how ENS domains, powered by blockchain technology, are revolutionising online identity and ownership, offering enhanced security and simplified cryptocurrency transactions. We also compare the advantages and considerations of both systems, shedding light on their unique features and applications.
Today, we will delve into the world of naming systems in both Web 2 and Web 3, specifically focusing on ENS and DNS.
During the initial stages of the internet, gaining access to a website required entering its IP address, a series of numbers that proved challenging to recall and virtually impossible to predict. However, the introduction of user-friendly, understandable names revolutionised web browsing, making it more convenient for individuals to explore the vast expanse of the World Wide Web.
Cryptocurrency is currently in the equivalent of the IP address era, where users are required to utilise lengthy and hard-to-recall addresses to access desired content. However, the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) aims to change this by striving to make cryptocurrency usage as effortless as web browsing.
But first, let's understand what each one is starting with DNS.
Paul Mockapetris, a computer scientist from the United States, developed the Domain Name Service (DNS) in 1983. This innovation built upon the research of another American scientist named Elizabeth Feinler. DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is the current domain naming system utilised for everyday websites such as Facebook or Google. Whether you are aware of it or not, everything on the internet possesses an IP address, ranging from your laptop to the servers that host information for your favourite websites.
For instance, your laptop might have an IP address like 126.96.36.199, while Netflix's servers could be identified by the IP address 188.8.131.52. To communicate and exchange information, your laptop and Netflix's servers need to know each other's IP addresses. This seamless interaction allows you to enjoy a myriad of shows and movies right from your laptop!
To access Netflix's website, you would traditionally have to type its IP address into your web browser's search bar. Just imagine having to Google "184.108.40.206" every time you wanted to watch Netflix! It is both challenging to remember and tedious to type. This is where DNS comes into play. DNS assists in translating easily readable domain names into IP addresses.
What does this mean for internet users? Instead of typing or remembering 220.127.116.11, you can simply type www.netflix.com to indulge in your favourite shows and movies.
DNS brings forth two key benefits derived from the use of user-friendly domain names rather than IP addresses:
Security: User-friendly domains reduce the likelihood of typos that might redirect you to the wrong website.
Speed: Remembering user-friendly domains enables faster typing and quicker access to websites.
DNS remains the system we employ today and has significantly improved the experience of early internet users.
Crypto faces a similar challenge and proposes a comparable solution to enhance the experience of early cryptocurrency users, much like DNS did for Web 2.
In the world of crypto, everyone possesses a wallet address. These addresses can belong to individual users like you and me or to companies. Wallet addresses typically resemble complex strings such as "e32fre43f584bnf2784b3," making them arduous to enter into laptops or phones, let alone remember. Whether you want to send cryptocurrency to a friend or transfer your holdings from an exchange to your wallet, you must input these lengthy alphanumeric strings. This proves to be a terrible experience since the difficulty of remembering these strings increases the chances of mistakes, which could potentially lead to the loss of all your cryptocurrency.
This is where ENS comes into the picture as the Web3 equivalent of DNS. ENS, short for Ethereum Naming Service, aims to simplify Ethereum blockchain addresses by making them more memorable and easier to enter. Rather than remembering that your crypto address is "fn438fb4873bf," you can instead acquire an ENS domain like "john.eth" and use that as your address.
ENS offers the same advantages as DNS. By having a .eth domain that is simpler to remember, you can benefit from:
Security: Reduced risk of errors when entering addresses, thus safeguarding your cryptocurrency.
Speed: Faster input of your address, improving the speed of Web 3 transactions.
Marketing: Companies demonstrate their embrace of Web 3. Similarly to how early internet adopters displayed their bullish sentiment by acquiring internet domain names, having a .eth address signals your enthusiasm for the crypto space.
ENS for business
There are various ways in which businesses can leverage ENS domains, some of which are quite innovative. For instance, a business can utilise an ENS domain as a more user-friendly and distinctive method to share their Ethereum address with customers and partners. This simplifies the process for customers to send payments or engage with the business' smart contracts.
Furthermore, ENS domains can be utilised to establish branded and decentralised websites that are hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. This empowers businesses to create a distinct and secure online presence that remains independent of any single entity.
On the whole, ENS domains offer a range of potential advantages for businesses, including enhanced usability, security, and control. By adopting ENS domains, businesses can harness the potential of the Ethereum blockchain and cultivate more immersive and secure experiences for their customers and partners.
Both ENS and DNS simplify complex online addresses, be it IP addresses or crypto wallet addresses, into simple and readable names.
ENS simplifies crypto addresses, transforming something like "ox014875y31r4189f678954q718rfrw9574813f" into "yourname.eth."
DNS simplifies website URLs, replacing something like "198.06.218.21" with "www.yourwebsite.com."
ENS is decentralised, while DNS services are often centralised.
With ENS, multiple computers verify the association of an ENS domain, ensuring that "rippleventures.eth" corresponds to "fn4u9317bu239f4389fn51u93581n9."
In contrast, a centralised DNS service like godaddy.com is more vulnerable to hacking due to its centralised servers.
Comparing DNS and ENS is crucial as it highlights the importance of naming services in adopting new technologies. Nobody wants to remember an IP address or a complex alphanumeric crypto wallet address.
DNS and ENS allow us to simplify these elements into more memorable names. This, in turn, enhances security, improves speed, and enhances the user experience. Considering that global crypto adoption is still below 10%, ENS and other user experience enhancements will play a vital role in onboarding the next billion users into the crypto ecosystem.