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We analyze ENS, a service that allows you to assign names to Ethereum addresses

ENS is the name service of Ethereum, which allows users to perform transactions without the need to directly have the address of the recipient or the public key, since it associates it with a readable name similar to that on the website.

This is the Ethereum address: 0xFEFf40BAE240bd24d4A4AB2Ad9F86A57A73AA468. As you can see, it is a set of alphanumeric characters that are case sensitive. Trying to remember a whole string of characters is another thing, because if you don’t have a great memory it becomes impossible to remember. It’s because of that When sending transactions, this is usually the case copy and paste the address or scan its QR code abstraction. But in comparison, if you wanted to send a transaction to “miguel.eth”, it would be as easy to remember as if it were an email.

ENS service uses Ethereum smart contracts to connect human readable names, such as hector.ethto machine-readable cryptographic identifiers such as hashes, cryptocurrency addresses or metadata. All this through a decentralized network like the Ethereum network.

ENS arrives to make our lives easier

This service allows owners of ether buy a unique domain and assign it a portfolio address. The service allows you to acquire your .eth domain name, such as miguel.eth, making it so that by simply sharing it as if it were your email, you can send payments in ETH or any other token on the Ethereum network. of wallets compatible with this system.

Renting domains in ENS is going from 1 year onwards, and allows you to purchase names of three characters or more. These domains can also be transferred from owner to owner, as allowed by the owner.

Likewise, ENS allows you to create subdomains, in which You can manage different wallet addresses or any other type of information that the system allowsaccording to user requirements, such as: having the domain cryptonoticias.eth and with it having subdomains such as payments.cryptnoticias.eth, help.cryptnoticias.eth, or those defined by the user.

How the ENS works

DNS and ENS are connected

Perhaps DNS (Domain Name System) is little known, but since the Internet is used as it is known today, this service is used.

Visiting a website is a simple task, you simply enter the address you want to access, for example www.cryptonoticias.com and that’s it. But at the network architecture level, things are not so simple.

First of all, the web portal is hosted on a server that can be accessed via an IP address like this 200.84.168.218, but obviously Memorizing an IP address is much more complicated than a website name. This is where DNS comes into play. They have a record of all web addresses along with their associated IP addresses. So, when a web portal is accessed, DNS will be in charge of resolving the IP address where the said web page is located and redirecting the user to it.

The above is obviously a very general view of how DNS works on a network. However, it serves as a reference point to determine the similarities between the two services. First of all, both services are responsible for resolving addresses, but ENS has a much wider application, as it also allows different types of information to be indexed in the same domain. such as: plain texts, e-mails, cryptocurrency addresses and even web addresses. This latest proposal is in full development.

ENS architecture

ENS is a system that works directly on the Ethereum network through smart contracts that enable the execution of its protocol, which is divided into 2 parts: the ENS registry and solvers.

The ENS registry is a smart contract that stores individual records with the following data:

  • The public address that owns the domain. Which is not the same as the domain it redirects to.
  • Domain resolver address.
  • Domain lifetime.

As for the solver, it is the one that takes care of much of the work, since the ENS registry is for storage only. Its function is to “translate” a domain name into a destination public address., since the resolver is where the address or information associated with a particular domain is recorded. This is because, when you buy a domain, the owner’s address is not necessarily associated with the domain. The connection was made after its acquisition.

Likewise, resolvers are smart contracts developed by third parties with ENS system standards. You can use public solversproposed at the time of domain registration, or private ones developed by third parties.

The function of the solver is as follows:

In the first step, the wallet (customer code) asks the ENS registry what is the public diluter address for the foo.eth domain and returns the request. Next step, the wallet asks the resolver for the address indexed on the foo.eth domain and returns the destination address.

This way the resolver can find the public address associated with the domain. However, the information directly associated with a domain can be very extensive, be it domain names, plaintexts, other wallet addresses including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and web addresses, where the resolver is responsible for finding the required information by the user.

The next step for ENS: EthDNS

Decentralized solutions similar to DNS abound, among which we can find names like Namecoin, Handshake Fr Blockstackwhich instead of improving it, seeks to replace the domain name system, improving encryption in data transmission via TLS technology who would become the heir SSL encryption.

Because of that, the team Protocol Labsnetwork protocol developers IPFS (an English acronym for the Interplanetary Archive System) and was launched by those in charge of the ENS EthDNS. This system is an integration of IPFS and ENS to obtain a DNS that works in a fully decentralized environment both in domain registration by ENS and in Internet browsing thanks to IPFS.

This model is, of course, in full development and still works in a very rudimentary way. However, it offers good expectations of a future where dependence on centralized entities, which could censor the content we can access, is almost zero.

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