Nick Johnson and Alex Van de Sande of the Ethereum Foundation began experimenting with a solution to replacing the hex addresses employed in the Ethereum blockchain with human-readable addresses. Following burgeoning interest from the market for the solution, the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) was launched in 2017. And this past October, the ENS added multi-coin support, which means you can use one ENS address to accept and receive different cryptocurrencies. But the development does not stop here.
This article will introduce you to the Ethereum Name Service, highlight the implications it may have on a global level, and discuss the response from the market.
What is ENS?
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is defined as a “distributed, open and extensible naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain.” Ethereum is a smart contract platform that boasts a large number of decentralized applications (dapps), a vibrant developer community, and a vocal user community.
However, smart contracts are unable to interact directly with human-readable names in an efficient way due to resource constraints in their architecture. As a result, Johnson and De Sande devised a system through which the fixed-length 256-bit cryptographic hashes employed within the Ethereum blockchain can be generated from human-readable names in an efficient and effective manner.
To achieve this, the ENS leverages a process called Namehash. Namehash derives a hash from a human-readable name while simultaneously preserving its hierarchal properties. Through leveraging Namehash, the ENS is able to derive the hash of any subdomain so long as it knows the hash of the parent domain. By leveraging this property, the ENS is able to support the hierarchal architecture, which is essential to its use as a domain naming system.
Within the ENS, names are represented as hex addresses while, to the user, a human-readable name is presented. ENS developers shed light on how it works stating:…