Comparative Study Differences and Similarities between ANS and ENS

Comparative study on differences and similarities of ANS and ENS.

Author: Spike @ Contributor of PermaDAO

Reviewed by: Kyle @ Contributor of PermaDAO

Comparative Study: Differences and Similarities between ANS and ENS

ENS, short for Ethereum Name Service, is a domain name service running on the Ethereum network. The main domain can serve as a cross-platform Web3 username and profile for users, and also allows direct access to decentralized websites.

ANS, short for Arweave Name Service, is a domain name service running on Arweave. After the success of the ENS model, a public chain should have at least a wallet, a DEX, and a domain name service to form the basic ecosystem of the public chain.

However, ANS is not just a mere imitation of ENS. With the help of Arweave’s permanent storage feature, it has unique characteristics, especially in terms of permanent domain ownership, which can be called everlasting domains.

Vitalik once praised ENS as the most successful non-financial Ethereum application to date, comparable to a decentralized address book. Meanwhile, ANS is gaining momentum. After the listing of the $ANS token on everLianGuaiy and Permaswap two months ago, we hope to summarize some aspects of it to share with Arweavers.

Introduction to ENS

On May 4, 2017, Alex Van de Sande and Nick Johnson of the Ethereum Foundation launched the ENS project with the aim of building a user-friendly domain name service. The relationship between ENS and Ethereum addresses can be compared to the relationship between traditional IP addresses and DNS (Domain Name System) domains:

  IP Address DNS Ethereum Address ENS
Google 142.250.181.46 https://google.com/ / /
Vitalik 66.172.12.251 https://vitalik.ca/ 0xd8da6bf26964af9d7eed9e03e53415d37aa96045 vitalik.eth

ENS relies entirely on smart contracts and is not subject to any centralized entity or third-party interference. The Registrar contract is mainly responsible for recording key information such as domain ownership, expiration, and resolver. It is controlled by users in the form of NFTs to ensure ownership. The Resolver contract mainly implements the resolution of domain names to addresses, and the Controller contract is responsible for domain name sales, updates, and other business logic. The payment and acquisition of domain names are completed through interaction between users and the contract, with the help of an oracle for pricing.

It can be seen that ENS transforms addresses composed of letters and numbers, which are not easy for humans to adapt to, into meaningful English words, greatly improving human recognition. This is also the main purpose why many users are willing to spend a lot of money to purchase ENS domain names.

In addition to regular letters and numbers, ENS also supports complex text formats. For example, 🚀🚀🚀.eth was sold for 42 ETH.

At the same time, each ENS domain name is also an NFT, which operates entirely on the blockchain. The protocol currently used is ERC-721. It can not only be minted but also resold on NFT markets such as OpenSea. Currently, the highest selling price on OpenSea is the domain name of the investment institution LianGuairadigm.eth, which sold for a whopping 420 ETH.

Once purchased, no one can have access to the domain name except the owner. In the most extreme case, even the ENS service provider cannot regain control of the domain name. For example, eth.link belongs to the imprisoned Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith, and even ENS DAO cannot obtain account access. In the end, alternative solutions must be used to ensure the network operates.

ENS charges an annual fixed fee based on the length of the registered domain name. Currently, ENS charges based on the number of characters in the domain name: 3 characters for $640/year, 4 characters for $160/year, and 5 characters or more for $5/year.

Account owners can renew their domain names at the original cost. If a domain name is not renewed for more than 90 days, it will enter auction mode, and the price will automatically decrease in the auction. In terms of registrable domain names, ENS only supports domain names with 3 or more characters.

A Brief Introduction to ANS

ANS, developed by Decent.Land (DL), can map and bind Arweave addresses to human-readable combinations of numbers, letters, and emojis in the xxx.ar format. It can be used for on-chain transfers, transactions, and identity information identification.

After its operation began in early 2023, it subsequently conducted token airdrops for early holders through everLianGuaiy. After the project is fully launched, ANS DAO will be responsible for subsequent operations, adhering to the spirit of decentralization from the very beginning.

In terms of mechanism design, the biggest difference between ANS and ENS is that ANS is a one-time purchase and lifelong ownership, without the need to consider expiration, renewal, or squatting. This is a micro-innovation in the domain name field, but it also represents greater possibilities.

It is also internally bound to everLianGuaiy, which allows for direct transfers and transactions from the everLianGuaiy product. Afterwards, the relevant transaction details can be viewed directly from the blockchain browser, such as viewblock, reducing the complexity of address records and queries.

ANS has already issued tokens, but they are ERC-20 format tokens. Currently, they can be traded on Permaswap and Uniswap. It is important to note that these are not Arweave’s native PST (Profit Sharing Token) format. However, their special mechanism design also provides a convenient gateway for future mapping or binding to Ethereum addresses.

In the current Arweave ecosystem, ANS is a successful non-financial application. In its special mechanism design, holding ANS tokens can continue to receive subsequent economic incentives, which can be seen as not forgetting the original intention of profit sharing.

ANS currently has 832 holders and has minted a total of 1515 domains. In the current Arweave ecosystem, it can be considered as one of the more active projects, and its development team will gradually explore more application scenarios.

Arweave will not be limited to the storage field. The next focus is to create more creator economy projects. ANS is the unique identifier for each member and can be easily integrated into various aspects of Arweave. Currently, it is connected to everVision’s products everLianGuaiy and Permaswap for trading, and to the browser viewblock for viewing functionality. In addition, it is also connected to the plugin wallet Arconnect, basically achieving smooth use within the ecosystem.

In the future, its smart contract development platform will gradually switch to a new platform based on SCP, and further cooperation will be carried out with everVision.

Main Functions of ENS

ENS has many functions, and currently, the most typical use cases are user domains, Web3 business cards, and DID (Decentralized Identifier) three types.

User Domains

Firstly, ENS can not only be displayed as an NFT but also functions as an actual operational Ethereum network domain. By enabling IPFS services, a fully decentralized user experience process can be built, allowing individuals to have control over website domains and data without relying on centralized service providers.

This is also the main reason why ENS has evolved from its initial Ethereum address resolution service to personal business cards in the Web3 world over the past five years.

For example, Vitalik uses vitalik.eth as his personal domain name. When we enter this domain name in a browser that supports IPFS services, it will automatically redirect to https://dweb.link/ipfs/bafybeic3y6oc2dai3uypyyuaggp4xx3krocpgzbwst2z4ha73jdh7y6nea, and the final display is as follows:

Not just IPFS, the ENS domain name resolution service operator ETH.LIMO ENS domain name gateway now supports multiple content types. Users can now use each ENS-compatible storage layer, including IPFS, IPNS, Swarm, Skynet, and Arweave, etc.

In addition, although ENS exists on the Ethereum network, it is essentially a cross-chain domain name system. For example, ENS domain names can also be used for address binding on the Polkadot network.

As the on-chain domain name system becomes popular, ENS will continue to support other blockchain networks, building a unified on-chain user-defined domain name system.

Web3 Business Card

Furthermore, ENS domain names can also be used as personal business cards for display. Individuals and organizations can purchase domain names related to themselves and display them on social platforms such as Twitter to showcase their unique image.

Personal on-chain information mainly includes attributes such as time, amount, currency, NFT ownership, etc., but lacks a unified identity identification system. In other words, we need something that can showcase ourselves.

ENS domain names are readable combinations of numbers, letters, and symbols, and are also associated with personal on-chain addresses. Displaying one’s own image is a basic need, just like business cards in the paper era and domain names in the Internet era. Individuals have the right to showcase and build their own image.

For example, the recent popular digital ENS address represents people’s wishes for beautiful numbers. Nick Tomaino, the founding partner of the venture capital firm 1confirmation, purchased “1492.eth” and stated, “1492 is when Columbus began his first voyage.” At the same time, he referred to ENS as the perfect NFT series, saying, “Some people don’t think ENS is an NFT, but the fact is that it is the most widely held NFT.”

Not only individuals but also companies can use ENS domain names for their own image building. The well-known sports brand PUMA changed its official Twitter account name to “PUMA.eth” in February 2022. According to information on the ENS website, the website and Twitter bound to this domain name have been set as official PUMA information.

DID

ENS domain names serve as personal account nicknames and play a role in identifying individual unique identities. Especially when ENS is bound to personal Web3-Web2 social media, we can uniquely determine someone’s identity without knowing their specific on-chain address.

In the Web3 era social platform RSS3, we can directly use ENS to retrieve address information and verify related results. The experience is highly similar to Google search, but behind it is a completely decentralized user experience.

If the on-chain address is combined with NFT avatars, ENS domain names, Twitter account information, and display links of all platforms, it will create a unified on-chain and off-chain user identity system. Even the NFT marketplace OpenSea already supports direct search for relevant accounts and NFT projects in the form of ENS “.eth”.

Functions of ANS

Compared to the mature ecosystem of ENS, ANS currently focuses on integrating user identities and hopes to become one of the identity layers in the decentralized social era in the future.

This process can be divided into three categories:

  • Create more usage scenarios, such as ArMoji domain names, which are emoji domain names mentioned earlier. After minting an ANS domain name, each ANS domain name holder has the right to mint a certain number of ArMojis. The principle is still that the fewer characters, the more minting tokens are required;

  • Aggregate user assets and personal information, such as ar.page is a web application where you can display your ANS metadata and aggregate your activity data on the Arweave network and other on-chain assets through the Ark protocol;

  • Create an interconnected new domain field, such as supporting ONSF (Open Name Service Framework), with the goal of making domain name information on various chains interoperable and transferable, connecting all personal identities on the chain, and creating a complete user information service.

With the continuous increase in the usage of Arweave, its value as a creator platform will also be more recognized, such as the launch of UDL (Unified Data Standard), which aims to build a future universal on-chain data market, in which ANS will play an important role.

At the current stage, ANS domain names have already gained full support on everLianGuaiy, meeting the most core needs such as domain name transfer, airdrop distribution, and incentive feedback. In the future, everLianGuaiy will have a higher level of integration with ANS, especially after the maturity of EverID, the on-chain and off-chain identity layers will seamlessly merge. You are yourself, with countless avatars, but the essence remains unchanged.

The Market Status of ENS

The total number of ENS domain name registrations has exceeded 2.55 million, with 570,000 users. In September 2022, the number of new ENS domain name registrations was nearly 400,000, surpassing the 378,800 registrations in July, reaching a historical monthly registration high.

Behind the hot market of ENS lies the revival of the traditional internet domain name business, with the following speculative logic:

  1. Buy domain names of top real-world companies and organizations and wait for them to buy them back at a high price;
  2. Register lucky numbers, such as 666.eth, 888.eth, etc., targeted at specific audiences, and wait for them to be sold;
  3. Buy in bulk, “sweep” low-priced domain names as an investment logic for PFP NFTs, and wait to sell them in the hot ENS domain name market on the secondary market.

Currently, the most popular domain names on the ENS market are the 4-digit domain names of the 10k club, with a 24-hour sales volume of 1445 ETH. For example, 7000.eth was sold for 170 ETH. The next popular ones are the 3-digit domain names provided by the Arabic 999 club, which are also the shortest domain names supported by ENS, with a 24-hour sales volume of 95 ETH. For example, ٠١٠.eth was sold for 30 ETH.

In addition, there are 5-digit domain names of the 100K club, emoji domain names of Triple Ethmoji, and Chinese number-supported domain names of 999 Club ENS Chinese.

Currently, the total market value of ENS is 93 million USD, but its liquidity is only 0.78%. Even the number of sellers is stronger than the number of buyers, and its performance on the secondary market is not excellent, still mainly driven by speculation and speculation.

This is because ENS domain names are different from general DeFi tokens and NFTs. They have a strong personal connection with the users, similar to personal phone numbers. Most people tend to use them for a longer period of time, making it difficult to sell and trade them frequently.

Compared to ENS, the ANS market is currently niche, with a total trading volume of only around 125 AR. However, since its launch in February this year, it has generated more than 5600 AR in treasury revenue and is expected to continue growing in the future.

Conclusion: Those who learn from me will survive, those who imitate me will perish

ENS domains will become more mainstream, just like the rise of Weibo and WeChat in the past. Each generation has its own identity and cultural symbols. The decentralized world will always have new narratives, and ENS will accompany the growth of the Web3 world for a long time.

From the beginning, ANS has benchmarked ENS but not simply imitated it. Ethereum’s dominance in Web3 is self-evident. Repeating the wheel will not gain more market space. As Qi Baishi said, those who learn from me will survive, those who imitate me will perish. ANS must continue to innovate to create new development prospects.

The same is true for the domain name system in the Web2 field. Although it follows the same underlying communication standards, different styles of domain names such as .com, .org, .cn, and .xyz have their own characteristics and are used to meet the needs of different fields. National, international organizations, commercial sites, and even individuals can choose different domain names.

However, in the Web3 field, the current dominance of ENS domains has not changed, and even more importantly, there is almost no space for the use of domain names. It cannot support the readability and writability of the network like traditional domain names. Currently, only a few browsers like Brave support ENS domain name resolution. It will take time to enter the mainstream user and market space.

In this context, ANS’s short-term goal is to stabilize its position within the Arweave ecosystem and then go out to establish connections with different domain names, maintain the original intention and mission of an open and interconnected Internet, and change the fragmented situation of the current ecosystem.

We will continue to update Blocking; if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us!

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