ENS is an abbreviation for Ethereum Name Service. In its simplest terms, ENS is a decentralized, open-source, and permissioned naming system built on the Ethereum network.
The primary role of ENS is to map easy-to-remember domain names like Josiah.eth to machine-readable identifiers like 0xGk3…w84KQ. Because ENS supports the reverse resolution mechanism (mapping a cryptographic address to an ENS name), you can link metadata such as your Twitter profile to your ENS domain. Additionally, you can buy or sell ENS domains as NFTs on marketplaces like OpenSea.
Read more: What is the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and how does it work?
Let’s take a look at the top 5 ENS categories and 3 most expensive ENS domains out there.
Top 5 ENS categories
There are different categories of ENS domains, mainly based on the number of characters. Apparently names of four characters or less are the most popular due to their rarity. Domain owners form communities based on shared ownership, such as the 10k Club for people who own 0000-9999 domains. Below are the five most popular ENS categories.
The 10k club includes members with a four-character ENS name ranging from 0000 to 9999. In other words, this club is made up of domain owners interested in trading the first 10,000 characters on ENS.
Ethmoji 99 Club
The Ethmoji 99 Club is the third most popular ENS category. It consists of members with a two-character ENS name ranging from 0 to 99.
The Club 999 is for three-character (000-999) ENS domain owners. This is the only category that presents visual depth to characters in the domain.
Ethmojis are ENS domains composed of emoji characters and are the most popular ENS category. Generally, they are easy to remember, simple, iconic and fun. You can create them from bodies and Ethmoji parts like eyes, ears, etc.
As such, Ethmojis presents a unique way of linking crypto addresses to emojis. When you create a single Ethmoji domainall former owners of Ethmoji gain loyalty.
This Category consists of holders of three-letter domains. As Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin stated on Twitter, three- and four-letter domains are fixed-supply assets with utility, hence high demand.
Three and four letter ENS names: it’s a fixed asset *and* you can do things with it!
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) August 7, 2020
Bonus: 3 most expensive ENS domains
The most expensive ENS domain sold to date is paradigm.eth, which was auctioned for 420 ETH in October 2021! It grossed around $1.5 million. Although the name is closely associated with crypto venture capital firm Paradigm, the company denied making the purchase.
On 03.07.2022, 000.eth The domain was auctioned off for 300 ETH, or around $315,000, making it the second most expensive ENS domain in history. On-chain data from OpenSea shows that the domain was auctioned off by a user named EtherOS who acquired it in June 2020. The 000.eth domain was originally listed for 100 ETH in September 2021 ($300,000). The owner relisted it in January 2022 for 500 ETH. Generally, the bid took three months before being accepted.
So far, the third most expensive domain name is abc.eth, which was sold for 90 ETH or around $255,000. Based on the paradigm.eth and abc.eth auctions, we can assume that the main reason they fetched large amounts is that multinational companies like Alphabet and Paradigm might get interested in them in the future.
The future of the ENS
The crypto community believes that the popularity of ENS will continue to eat away at global blockchain identities for brands and businesses. ENS domains in other languagessuch as Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, French, etc. will become more dominant.
ENS streamlines the payment process for businesses. For example, AMC theaters can leverage ENS for purchasing event tickets. The company can replace its long crypto addresses with ENS domains such as gamestop.eth. These domains are easy to remember, so customers won’t have to copy and paste addresses every time they make payments.
If you liked this article, discover the 9 steps to buy your own ENS domain name!
Josiah is a technology evangelist passionate about helping the world understand Blockchain, Crypto, NFT, DeFi, Tokenization, Fintech, and Web3 concepts. His hobbies are listening to music and playing football. Follow the author on Twitter @TechWriting001
Read more about Josiah Makori