Watch: Is .eth the new .com? — The Crypto Mile
Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon, Anthony Hopkins and Shaquille O’Neal are all celebrities who have embraced the rising tide of web3’s latest “gold rush” for .eth domains.
On the fringes of the crypto-ecosystem, a frenzy is brewing to grab .eth domain names before they go mainstream.
But are we witnessing a re-reading of the .com bubble, and if they are the most undervalued crypto asset class, what should be considered when registering an ENS domain? Find out in this week’s The Crypto Mile.
The Ethereum name service (ENS) is a distributed naming system with the suffix .eth and concerns web3 applications based on the Ethereum blockchain.
Read more: Crypto: how to set up an .eth domain
In this week’s The Crypto Mile, leading developer in the ENS domain space, Sasha Dordevic, discusses .eth domains, which have been dubbed the .com replacement for Web3.
Dordevic is bullish on ENS domains and said, “My prediction for the next five to 10 years is that .eth will be more valuable than .com names.
“As .com names were primarily used by businesses, whereas a .eth name is a private identifier, a personal domain name that most people will need to use to browse the web3. It will last longer than .com and will stay with us much longer.”
How to Choose a Valuable .eth Domain Name
BC Bloom, Founder of DomainPlug.iotold Yahoo Finance UK: “It’s not much different from old school (.com) domain practices.
“Shorter, wider and more niche names can have a lot of potential and be desirable for companies and businesses, such as words like NFT, Loan, Poker, Wine.
“Another way to check if you might have a grail name is to google the word. Anything over 800,000,000+ search results could hint that you’re sitting on something valuable.”
There is a growing market for ENS domain names and the total number of registered names reached 2 million in August, up from 1 million the previous month.
There are over half a million unique wallets connected to the ENS Domain Registry.
One of the main developers of the ENS, Makoto Inouetold Yahoo Finance UK: “This current pattern of adoption of ENS domains is really strong. It’s still not progressive with these sectors.
Read more: Web3: Is .eth the new .com?
“Monthly registration for May was 365,000, in June it dropped to 100,000. It depends on the hype around the ENS domain name trend.”
Dordevic said, “If you can’t find an available domain, you can search for it on secondary marketplaces, such as ENS Vision, which is a tool for bulk searching for available ENS domains.”
ENSVision is a page that shows which .eth names are trending and which are selling for high prices. This can help people make more informed speculations about what will become more valuable in the future.
The difference between .eth and .com
The developer of ENSVision describes the difference between a .com domain name and a .eth domain name: “A web2 .com domain name only points to a certain web page. But, with a .eth, you can upload your website and store it in a decentralized way.
“So it’s decentralized across the entire Ethereum network and not located on a single server. This makes it more immune to attacks, such as malware.”
ENS domain names also lock down and secure a user’s identity.
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ENS domains can provide more than just a website link or email address, which was the hallmark of the original Domain Name Service (DNS).
Proponents say ENS domains with the .eth suffix can give users a tool that can bring their entire online presence together under one umbrella to take advantage of the booming Web3 domain.
If blockchain technology achieves mass adoption, a .eth domain name could contain a person’s medical history, insurance details, driver’s license, bank ID and credit score, educational credentials, and even passport, all under one name.
Dordevic said: “Having an ENS name allows you to have a readable web3 ID, you can login to your email, website, Twitter (TWTR), Instagram and so on. You can even attach an NFT avatar. There are many options and many more are still in development.
“In the future, you may be able to use your ENS for driver’s license, medical insurance, social insurance, travel ID card, any type of ID could be associated with your ENS name in the future.”
One of the benefits of a .eth domain name is that a person can create a much friendlier crypto wallet address, according to Dordevic.
So instead of a cryptocurrency wallet address being identified by a long string of letters and numbers that could only be memorized by machines or scientists, an ENS domain links that address to a longer domain name. user-friendly via a smart contract.
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Is Brand.eth the new brand.com?
Brands could assign subdomains to loyal customers which they could then use to show they are the owner of a luxury item, according to Dordevic.
For example, if a person buys a new Ferrari (RACE), then instead of using “name.eth”, they could be given the “name.Ferarri.eth” subdomain.
This is if Ferarri has become convinced that the Ethereum and web3 subdomains will go mainstream, and to date the company has yet to show any sign of interest in ENS leadership.
Dordevic added, “In the future, we will see brands paying significant amounts for their .eth domain. The potential is huge and some companies have started taking it into consideration.
Bloom said creating subdomains will be important for web3 companies, allowing them to offer subdomains when purchasing a product or subscription for a football team, for example.
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“You can create concert and game tickets, employee verification, security, payments, hotel check-in cards with subdomains,” he said.
“There are endless utilities that can be achieved with ENS domains.
“Once a domain is purchased, the registrant can create an infinite number of subdomains that can be assigned to a specialized task.”
However, a .eth domain name might be more important for individuals browsing the Web3 than for businesses.
Some proponents say a more appropriate term to use for .eth is “address”, rather than “domain”.
Such “Addresses” would be the unique location of a person’s digital personality, with everything in it – imagine an amalgamation of your social media footprint, LinkedIn (MSFT) CV and bank account.
This could be one of the reasons why celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon, Anthony Hopkins and Shaquille O’Neal have secured the rights to their names as .eth.
But how safe will these .eth names be, and is the current rush to buy just a repeat of the rise and fall of the .com bubble?
Bloom predicts that the market for .eth and ENS will not explode dramatically, but will eclipse the legacy of DNS from the .com era.
Bloom said: “At some point, there’s definitely the potential for global adoption.
“Over time, we find more and more use cases and applications that can be applied with web2.
“It’s only a matter of time before we see major players using these names as part of their day-to-day work processes.
“However, I don’t think this is a situation to hide web2 domains. As web3 grows, there will naturally be a need to browse and use blockchain. Those solutions are ENS and web3 domains.”
Competition from unstoppable domains and .sol
Unstoppable Domains also allows web3 users to create a memorable, human-readable domain name. They call their system the Crypto Names Service (CNS) and like the ENS alternative, they operate as “smart contracts” on the Ethereum blockchain.
Unstoppable domains also provide users with the ability to create decentralized websites that can be uploaded to the Interplanetary File System (IPFS).
IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file storage and sharing system and works with existing blockchain protocols like Ethereum.
There is also competition from other blockchains, such as the Solana protocol, where web3 users can purchase a .sol domain name.
Dordevic said he doesn’t think .eth would be threatened by .sol: “You can check the number of Ethereum wallets and the entire Ethereum blockchain market capital.
“You will see that Ethereum is the second largest blockchain in the cryptocurrency world. If millions of people are using Ethereum, then they will tend to value the .eth domain rather than, say, .sol. .eth domains represent over 90% of the web3 domain market.”