According to data from ENS Domains, from 301,000 the previous month, registrations increased by 57% in September. Since May, the number of registered ENS domains has more than doubled to 2.6 million. Whereas before, it took 5 years for this protocol to reach 1 million.
OpenSea NFT marketplace accounts for 97% of ENS domain volume, generating $5.5 million in revenue for the protocol. Revenue was up 17% from a month earlier.
So, what is an ENS domain?
Simply put, ENS domain takes the exact same concept as the Domain Name Service (DNS) but adjusts it for the needs of Ethereum users. It is a unique, permanent, and decentralized identifier for a blockchain address. Domains are stored on the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which is a decentralized system that allows for the registration, resolution, and transfer of ENS domains.
ENS domains can also be used for website addresses, applications and can be sold as NFTs. The root name suffix for ENS domains is .eth. Users can register a domain name on the Ethereum Name Service website for a fee ranging from $5 to $640 in ETH, based on the number of characters in the domain name.
5 most expensive ENS domains
According to data from Nonfungible.com, the most expensive ENS domain by far is “paradigm.eth”. In October 2021, a buyer paid 420 ETH, equivalent to $2 million, for ownership of this domain. Paradigm, a leading crypto venture capital firm, has denied being the buyer.
The 2nd place is pjfi.eth, which is sold for 350 ETH, worth $463,200 (at the time) on September 22. The seller bought this domain on OpenSea just a few days earlier for just 0.12 ETH, or $161.
The 3rd most valuable ENS domain is 000.eth, which sold for around 300 ETH on July 3 this year, equivalent to about $317,000. The seller, nicknamed EtherOS on OpenSea, originally purchased the domain on June 10, 2020, for 2.6 ETH ($638). This domain has passed through 6 owners in its lifetime. The first sale was recorded for just $52 on November 9, 2019.
To date, the 4th most expensive domain name is abc.eth, which sold for 90 ETH (~$254,000). The domain had 4 previous owners. It first sold for 4 ETH ($763) on October 31, 2019.
There is a mysterious ENS domain, or we can call it an “unknown” domain, recorded by NFT tracking website, that costs 127 ETH or about $249,000 on May 21, 2022. If its name is unveiled, we can put it in 5th place.
This makes 09jul.eth the 5th largest ENS domain name, which sold for 95 ETH (~$240,000) on May 8, 2022. The seller bought NFT ten hours earlier for only $10.
What makes ENS domains suddenly so attractive?
Nick Johnson, founder and lead developer of Ethereum Name Service, told that the spike in new registrations and secondary ENS sales “have been driven by the interest in the 999 Club or the 10k Club.”
This is an online social club for owners of three or four-digit ENS domains. They are the most popular, scarce, and expensive domains. Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, said the same thing in 2020 on Twitter, pointing to scarcity as a major factor:
Cryptocurrency research firm Delphi Digital noted that interest grew when the domain 000.eth was sold for a record 300 ETH in July.
Parsa Abbasi, co-founder of blockchain innovation platform LivelyVerse, told Be[In]Crypto that there is speculation going on here.
“Ethereum has been updated, and this update will make it more scalable. This means that web3 businesses are going to be developed on ETH blockchain,” he said.
“So having a domain with a good and easy name is something that people would need in the very near future to promote their businesses. It’s like the 90’s and .com domains. Buyers just invested in domain names so that in future a business could buy it at a higher price.”
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