An introduction to BNS
These past few months, web3 domain name services such as the Ethereum Name Service ("ENS"), the leading decentralized domain name registry service, have become extremely popular in crypto news feeds and social media.
DNS (Domain Name System) make the internet easier to use, allowing users to simply remember a human-readable name rather than an IP address. With BNS, users have more functionality than with DNS, as well as full control over their private keys. Data is securely stored and cannot be tampered with, or deleted.
Blockchain Naming Service (BNS), considered use-cases of blockchain technology, are blockchain domains that are secure and open, with decentralization and integrity at their core. They can be used as the user's decentralized identity, to store usernames, fungible and non-fungible tokens, avatars, and allow other profile data to be used across the metaverse, DAOs, and dApps in the crypto and Web3 ecosystem.
What is Ethereum Name Service?
The Ethereum Name Service is a distributed, open and extensible naming system that interacts with the Ethereum blockchain. Nick Johnson and Alex Van de Sande of the Ethereum Foundation led the initial development of the ENS DAO, with the very successful airdrop in November 2021.
ENS have been trending and to date, over 2.6 million total ENS names have been created, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin's "vitalik.eth".
Investors and speculators often purchase domain names in hope of flipping them for a profit at a later time. As an example, the Ethereum address owning "nike.eth" has accumulated over 130 ENS domain names. Right before the Ethereum merge, the ENS volume even surpassed Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) as the most traded asset on OpenSea.
ENS tokens are tradable for USD and other cryptocurrencies on crypto exchanges such as Binance, providing a financial lifeline to the project's developers. All you need is an ETH-compatible cryptowallet.
ETH domain names enable users to register domains issued on the Ethereum blockchain. The role of the ENS is to map human-readable names such as "john.eth" to a machine-readable name such as a wallet address like "8g978dl39ji9xl", content hashes and metadata.
These domains are programmable and interact with other Ethereum-based dApps. ENS domains can also be traded as NFTs, with the vast majority of their trading activity taking place on leading NFT marketplaces OpenSea and LooksRare.
ENS is composed of two Ethereum smart contracts: the ENS registry, which records domain names, and the Resolver, which translates domain names to machine-readable addresses and vice-versa. ENS also allow users to launch censorship-resistant decentralised websites and to upload their website to IPFS and access it with their ENS name.
To register an ENS domain, go to ens.domains and search the name you'd like to purchase. You will need an Ethereum wallet such as Metamask or Coinbase. Once you've completed the steps and paid the gas fees, you can check the status of your transaction on Etherscan. ENS domains can also be bought and sold on secondary markets, so if the .eth domain name you're interested in buying isn't available, all hope is not lost.
What are other popular BNS domains?
There are other Blockchain naming systems, such as .btc domains. .BTC domains are the Stacks blockchain's decentralized web identity and human-readable wallet address system. The domains are registered through a smart contract on Stacks, secured by Bitcoin. This smart contract implements a decentralized name registry. Given Stacks' unique connection to Bitcoin, registering .btc names automatically generates a pair of corresponding Bitcoin and Stacks addresses and ownership of every .btc name is represented in a hash of the Bitcoin blockchain. Stacks is uniquely positioned to unleash Bitcoin's potential, enable Bitcoin DeFi and help grow the web3 ecosystem.
The BTC.us web bridge allows users to use their names as web pages. It turns btc.us into the top level domain and allows users to generate subdomains for their personal use. This means that with your Bitcoin domain registration, you can link to your website's address via your domain name. Let's take example.btc, once linked to your website with a top level domain (TLD) such as .com, typing example.btc in the browser URL bar will lead users to example.com.
For more information on selling, buying and transferring .btc domains, head over to this article.
On Gamma, Stacks' leading NFT marketplace, you can use your blockchain domain (.btc name) to transfer NFTs to someone by typing in their .btc name instead of the longer alphanumeric wallet address, or you can use it to view your own (or someone else's) profile and NFTs on Gamma. Your BNS name is automatically reserved as your unique profile address, like gamma.io/example.btc.