What Is Ethereum Name Service (ENS)?
Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a distributed, open, and extensible naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain. ENS converts human-readable Ethereum addresses like john.eth into the machine-readable alphanumeric codes you know from wallets like Metamask. The reverse conversion -- associating metadata and machine-readable addresses with human-readable Ethereum addresses -- is also possible.

The goal of Ethereum Name Service is to make the Ethereum-based web easier to access and comprehend for humans - similar to how the Internet’s Domain Name Service makes the internet more accessible. Like DNS, ENS also uses a system of dot-separated hierarchical names called domains with domain owners fully controlling their subdomains.

ENS launched with a highly successful retroactive airdrop in November 2021 that rewarded users who had registered addresses before the project launched its token. However, in February 2022, it faced criticism over apparently homophobic tweets by its director of operations.

Who Are the Founders of Ethereum Name Service?
ENS was initially a part of the Ethereum Foundation, but spun off as a separate organization in 2018. Its Lead Developer is Nick Johnson, a software engineer from New Zealand that previously worked at Google and the Ethereum Foundation. The ENS team is nine people strong and its treasury is governed by a 4-7 multi-signature root with the following members:

Nick Johnson - ENS
Sergey Nazarov - Chainlink
Dan Finlay - Metamask
Taylor Monahan - MyCrypto
Aron Fischer - Colony
Jason Carver - Ethereum Foundation
Martin Swende - Ethereum Foundation
Although ENS has no investors, it is supported by the Ethereum Foundation, Binance_X, Chainlink, Ethereum Classic Labs, and Protocol Labs.

What Makes Ethereum Name Service Unique?
Ethereum Name Service has a one-of-a-kind value proposition due to being the first service that transfers the Domain Name Service to the decentralized Web3.

ENS is not a company but an open-source project that calls itself “an open public utility that belongs to the company.” Essentially, it aims to become a piece of infrastructure as vital to Web3 as the DNS is to the internet. Moreover, ENS does not have a single point of failure thanks to blockchain technology and is, by design, more censorship-resistant and secure.

One of the main obstacles to the mass adoption of blockchain technologies has been their accessibility and ease of use, which ENS aims to remedy. Instead of using machine-readable albeit inconvenient alphanumeric codes, users can receive any crypto or NFT to a short and easy-to-remember link. This simplifies the user experience and makes blockchain technology less technical.

Under the hood, ENS is built on two smart contracts. The first is an ENS registry recording domains registered on ENS and stores the following information about each of them:

The domain owner
The domain resolver
The caching time for all records under the domain
The second smart contract is the resolver. Its purpose is to translate the machine-readable addresses to domain names and vice versa and match each domain to its corresponding user, website, or address.

Related Pages:
Check out Chainlink (LINK) — an oracle solution used by many protocols.

Check out Terra (LUNA) — a popular layer-one blockchain.

Learn more about Ethereum Name Service in our deep dive into ENS.

Get the latest crypto news and latest trading insights with the CoinMarketCap blog.

How Many Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Coins Are There in Circulation?
ENS is the governance token of Ethereum Name Service and is used to govern the protocol and influence decisions on pricing its .eth addresses and the price oracle. Token holders can also delegate their tokens to the DAO for voting. The total supply of ENS is 100 million, and the circulating supply is just over 20 million at the time of writing. ENS is distributed as follows:

DAO Community Treasury (50%): 10% at launch, linear vesting over four years.
Airdrop to .ETH holders (25%)
Contributors (25%), with four-year linear vesting including:
Core Contributors: 18.96%
Select Integrations: 2.5%
Future Contributors: 1.25%
External Contributors: 1.29%
Launch Advisors: 0.58%
Keyholders: 0.25%
Active Discord Users: 0.125%
Translators: 0.05%
How Is the Ethereum Name Service Network Secured?
ENS runs on Ethereum, which is secured by a proof-of-work consensus mechanism that requires miners to mine new Ether. A set of decentralized nodes validates transactions and secures the Ethereum blockchain. Thanks to the decentralized nature of Ethereum, and over 10,000 nodes securing the network, ENS does not have a single point of failure and cannot be hacked as such.

Ethereum Name Service has also partnered with different wallets like Coinbase Wallet, Trust Wallet, My Crypto and others.

Where Can You Buy Ethereum Name Service (ENS)?
ENS is available on Binance, OKX, Bitget, Mandala Exchange, and FTX.

If you want to learn more about how to start buying cryptocurrencies, you can read more in our guide.