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ENS Update is May 4th: How will it affect me?

ENS Update is May 4th: How will it affect me?

ENS Update
May the fourth be with you. RIP Peter Mayhew.

What is the Ethereum Name Service (ENS)?

In short, the Ethereum Name Service (or ENS) is a service that lets you turn your Ethereum address from something like this: 0xA19FCDaD77C1F0fd1… to something humans understand, like this: PayMe.eth. It’s the Ethereum equivalent of IP addresses and DNS domains. ENS launched its original registry in May 2017. The ENS update to a permanent registry is set to go live at midnight UTC, May 4, 2019.

So what’ll change with this ENS update?

With the new permanent registry, buying existing or registering new ENS domains will be faster than ever. Domain registration is simplified down to 2 transactions. That’s roughly 30 seconds instead of having to wait days for the auction process to play out. However, ENS domains 7 characters or greater will now cost $5 per year, paid in ETH.

Another major benefit of the permanent registry: your ENS domain will now be represented by an NFT. So you’ll be able to buy, sell, or transfer ENS domains using ERC-721 supported wallets or on marketplaces like OpenSea.

What do current ENS domain owners need to do?

The good news is that you don’t need to worry about rushing to save your ENS domain. In fact, you actually have a year (until May 4, 2020) before your precious domain goes up for grabs. Just remember to check in to manager.ens.domains and migrate your domain before then. If you no longer want the domain, you should still visit that site to retrieve your deposit.

Now, you must asking yourself: Do I now have to pay that yearly fee you mentioned? Yes and no. When you decide to migrate your domain, you’ll receive your original deposit back, and your domain’s expiry date will be set to May 4, 2020. This means that your first year will be free! If you decide to extend your registration at any point, you must pay the fee, and you’ll get a new expiry date set at one year from your extension date.

When can I buy ENS domains shorter than 7 characters?

If you’re asking this question, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news: ENS domains shorter than 7 characters in length will eventually be open to public registration. But the bad news is that – as of the time of this update – they’re still locked…

In the meantime, if you own a sub-7 character DNS domain, you can call dibs on the corresponding ENS domain by preregistering. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until after the preregistration period and bid for short names via public auction. Then, if any domains remain unclaimed after the auction, they’ll be available for instant registration.

To learn about the new registrar’s design process and read further details about the ENS update, see Nick Johnson’s post.


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