You’ve heard about buying an .eth domain for yourself but don't know where to start? We've got you covered.
By Roni Rose
Life before your ENS domain
SCENE: Selling your xbox on Facebook marketplace.
BUYER: Cool, I’ll take it. Can I pay you in ether?
YOU: Yeah sure, one sec, let me get my MEW address.
YOU: *Unlocks safe*...*pulls out hard wallet*...*connects hard wallet to laptop*...*enters pin*...*opens MEW*
YOU: Here it is! I’ll send it to you
YOU: *copies and pastes address into FB message to buyer* *squints to read all the characters carefully, checking that it pasted correctly*
BUYER: Sweet, got it.
BUYER: *Pastes address into transaction form*
YOU: Wait — check that all the characters are correct.
BUYER: *squints to focus on each character and make sure it’s all there*
BUYER: Ok, sent!
Should I get an ENS domain?
That was a pain in the neck for me to write out. This process is not fun, it’s not user friendly, and it’s holding us back from mass adoption.
The fear that a virus in our computer will change the characters of our address when we copy and paste it is very real - which is why it’s essential that we read each character and check that our address is alright.
A smaller — yet similar — issue has happened to me in the past, and I’m sure it’s happened to you as well: You copy and paste an address into the “To” field for a transaction, and at the last minute you realize you didn’t copy the final character. Whoops.
Enter: Ethereum Name Service.
When you want to go to Facebook, you don’t type in 18.104.22.168. Instead, you type facebook.com and it takes you right there. That’s called a domain name. When you type in facebook.com, your browser and ISP work with the Domain Name System (DNS) to find the actual address, and they take you there. Just like when you click “home” on your GPS, it converts it to the latitude and longitude coordinates, so the device can understand.
When you set up an ENS, you can tell your friends to send eth to myname.eth instead of 0x0D4937f26…
And when you want to send flowers to your mom on Mother’s Day, and 1-800-flowers begins accepting crypto, they can make it easy by setting up flowers.eth. As companies begin to discover this, we’re likely to see a meaningful rise in mass adoption.
Sweet, I’m in. How Do I Get One?
The process works like a Vickrey auction: You bid on a domain name without knowing the other bidders’ bidding amounts, and they don’t know yours.
There are three steps to securing your domain:
You can do this on MyEtherWallet. If you’re the first person to bid on a name, you’re opening the auction. You’ll write in 2 offers for your bid: a real offer, and a mask offer — which is greater than or equal to your real offer — and is what the public will see. If you win the auction, you’ll pay for the name with your real offer.
After placing your bid, you’ll get some random code words. Save those — you’ll need them soon.
Pace back and forth, eat some comfort food, maybe pray a bit — if you’re into that.
In these three days, anyone else in the world can place a bid for that domain.
After those three grueling days are up, bids are no longer accepted, and it’s time for you to reveal your bid to the world.
You’ll go back to MyEtherWallet, type in your ENS, and complete the process to reveal your bid (this is where you’ll need your code words!).
You have two days to do this! Get! It! Done! Don’t slack, you’ll regret it. I slacked. I had to start the process all over again. Luckily, no one bid on my name for their ENS.
But if your bid was the highest and you don’t reveal it, you lose the name.
After the two days are up, the highest revealed bid is the winner!
Fun experience, huh? A little impatience, potentially mixed with a twinge of anxiety for those of you with common AF names, and 5 long days for one purchase — you can now go home with a beautiful new ENS domain. Mazel tov!
Roni Rose is the founder of Blockchain Bea, a podcast that teaches non-technical people about the basics of crypto and blockchain tech in a fun and casual way, and introduces them to ventures using blockchain to make a positive impact.
NEW MONEY DISCLAIMER: Our content is to help educate and get women excited about blockchain investing and crypto. However, we are not financial experts. Always talk to an expert and do your own research. All content is for informational and entertainment purposes only.