A noteworthy announcement was made on February 17, 2017, during the first day of EDCON, the European Ethereum Development Conference in Paris, France. Nick Johnson, who works for the Ethereum Foundation, released the “ready for deployment” date for ENS, the Ethereum Name Service.
ENS had launched on the Ropsten testnet on November 23, 2016. Now, according to Johnson’s EDCON presentation, ENS will launch on the mainnet on March 14 of this year, which is also unofficially known as Pi Day (the unofficial nickname comes from “pi” (π) being equal to 3.14, which is similar to the date 3/14, and from many developers’ love of math puns).
The Ethereum Name System is a distributed domain name system solution for the blockchain, allowing for human readable addresses. Johnson spoke to ETHNews, sharing:
“ENS is a community effort with support and development work by people from the whole community. The Ethereum Foundation is supporting the development of the ENS software, but the deployment and administration of the new domain will be a community-driven effort.”
Through ENS, users will be able to register domains with a “.eth” top level domain name. Users will be able to acquire a .eth domain name through an auction process. There is an ENS registrar Dapp for bidding on names.
This will be a significant milestone for Ethereum, as it will certainly ease the onboarding of non-developers by turning cryptographic addresses, such as “0x32b724f073ec346edd64b0cc67757e4f6fe42950,” into something much simpler, like “MyNewDapp.eth.” That should help to assuage some of the heart-pounding uncertainty that can hit the average first-time user when faced with the long, hexadecimal string of characters typical of a cryptographic address.
Johnson also mentioned he’d be announcing the list of keyholders for the root ENS record sometime “in the coming days, after EDCON.” Those keyholders, likely developers who worked on or have a deep understanding of the project, will act as managers of the ENS once it’s live. Releasing the list of keyholders is a move to ensure transparency, which will hopefully bring about increased trust from users.