Ethereum Name Service domain ownership surpassed 1.8 million names, with 378,000 new .eth registrations in July alone, according to ENS Domains.
The surge in registrations comes as the Ethereum community prepares for the upcoming merge next month, which will switch the top blockchain for dapps, DAOs, and NFTs from a proof-of-work consensus algorithm to proof of stake.
In the tweet announcing the record number of registrations, ENS Domains said it saw 5,400 ETH (around $8.8 million) in revenue and 48,000 new Ethereum accounts using at least one ENS name, plus more than 99% of the domain sales volume on OpenSea last month.
While the merge may play a role in the increased activity, Khori Whittaker, Executive Director of True Names Limited, the company behind ENS Domains, believes the surge is more organic.
"There is an extremely active and passionate ecosystem of ENS advocates, and they are independently and organically creating sub-communities and spreading the word about what's possible with ENS domains," Whittaker told Decrypt in an email.
Whittaker says we would not see the surge in registrations without the efforts of the independent developers in the ecosystem creating marketplaces and other ENS-related apps and groups like the “999 club," the "10k club," the "TLC" club and the "100k club," among others.
Another factor that Whittaker said added to the surge was the drop in gas fees for Ethereum transactions. “We've noticed that when gas fees drop, domain registration activity spikes,” he said.
According to Whittaker, the company has also started to see an increase in the presence of non-English speaking communities in the ENS ecosystem, including Arabic and Spanish speaking communities.
The Ethereum Name Service or ENS manages the issuance and renewal of .eth domain names built on Ethereum. These domains can be sold as non-fungible tokens, better known as NFTs, cryptographically unique tokens linked to digital (and sometimes physical) content, providing proof of ownership.
ENS domains can also link to one's cryptocurrency wallet. Instead of proving a sender with a long Ethereum address, users can give their .eth domain name and receive a transaction.
Other providers of crypto-related domain names have also come into the market, offering .sol (Solana), .bitcoin, and .zil (Zilliqa) domains, among others. These domain types have also become popular ways to show that you "belong" in Web3.
In June, legendary actor Anthony Hopkins added a .eth domain to his name on his official Twitter account, asking fellow Web3 celebrities Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Fallon, and Reese Witherspoon for recommendations on which NFT Hopkins should buy first.
"People are searching for quality projects and quality protocols with staying power," Whittaker said. "There are many interesting and fun projects out there in Web3, and the Ethereum Name Service certainly is one of the most prominent.”
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