ENS has been, and is continually is one of the largest supporters of Sign-in with Ethereum. ENS provides a way for users to take their username and profile with them, anywhere across the web, and Sign-In with Ethereum (SIWE) helps enable that interaction.
Learning the trends of ENS users helps us identify other services that could benefit from SIWE, and standardize the way in which they authenticate users. This report takes a look at .eth domains, the addresses that own them, and their blockchain transactions. The goal of this initial report is to set the stage with some of the most basic findings we’ve uncovered to date, and work towards uncovering additional patterns that will ultimately lead to more targeted integrations of SIWE.
Basic Core Data
Of the almost 600,000 .eth domains currently active as of February 2022 (check out this dashboard by makoto.eth for the latest stats), names lengths between five to nine letters make up the majority. This trends well with ‘username’ patterns, as they typically fall within that length. More generally, names between 4-19 characters in length make up more than 97% of the current .eth names. There are only nineteen .eth names over one thousand characters in length, and 11,000 (less than 2%) of three-letter names.
The majority (about 75%) of Ethereum addresses owning a .eth domain only holds one, and only three addresses hold more than one thousand .eth domains.
The $ENS launch which began on November 9th of last year marked one of the largest volume token drops of the year. A bit over 40% of the tokens were claimed within 24h, and the majority (almost 60%) of tokens were claimed within the month of November.
A huge increase in ENS registrations was seen around and shortly after the token distribution, jumping from 28k registrations in October to 90k in November, and 109k in December of last year.
ENS owners can choose to renew/ extend their domain ownership anytime before the grace period of 90 days ends after their domain expires. Domains are released and made available for general registration after the grace period, but with a temporary premium that decreases over a 28 days period to prevent drastically driving up gas prices due to people scrambling for newly released names.
This past January, the ENS DAO voted to increase the starting premium price from $2,000 to $100,000 due to the increasing number of names being bought early into their premium periods, and some of these were even flipped for profit in a secondary market.
This price then gradually falls over time to find a more accurate market value for the name. Despite the community’s interest in recently released names, the overall steady increase in renewals points to user retention and increased adoption.
Among the wallets that own .eth domains, the most popular dapp this past February is OpenSea, followed by activity on 0x/Matcha, Uniswap V3, and ENS. This is a clear pointer towards ENS users being quite interested in the NFT space, whether it be for trade or demonstration of holdings.
Typically, these types of platforms feature authentication flows where users can authenticate and edit their profiles. They also tend to resolve ENS names and avatars as display names and profile photos respectively. Additionally, this could also be related to ENS domain trading as well which is available on OpenSea.
Where apps such as OpenSea and x2y2 have a full authentication flow for users to edit and save profile data such as name, social links, and profile picture, which SIWE would be useful for, the exchange protocols mentioned only use wallet connections to work because no data is being retained about those users.
However, even dapps without full authentication flows can still benefit from SIWE for their communities by using the flow on platforms such as Discourse. For example, while the ENS dapp is currently in the process of integrating an authentication flow, users can already Sign-In with Ethereum on the ENS DAO Governance Forum to authenticate and save their profile settings.
What we’ve also found is that ENS users are also engaging with games related to NFT projects. One such example of this is Cool Pets, by the Cool Cats team. The Cool Cats Cooltopia ecosystem uses on-chain events to save different Cool Pet statuses and items, but does use a full authentication flow for game login and establishing sessions that could benefit from integrating with SIWE. This opens the door for our own personal research to start working with and engaging early with these communities to adopt the standard.
Users wishing to engage with these games sometimes have to purchase a required NFT beforehand. Typically they can be purchased from a number of NFT platforms such as OpenSea and LooksRare. Like OpenSea, LooksRare and SuperRare also utilize signing to establish user profile pages and settings.
In contrast, some smaller dedicated marketplaces such as LarvaLabs’ proprietary one for Meebits and CryptoPunks only serve users as a trading system and do not store user profiles or settings.
For a quick breakdown of our initial findings:
- ENS names may be of any length greater than three, but the majority of registered names follow the common trend on the internet for usernames being around 5-9 letters.
- The $ENS launch last year prompted a large spike in ENS registrations.
- An overall steady increase in renewals points to user retention and increased adoption.
- Users are quite interested in the NFT and gaming space according to recent data.
- NFT platforms like OpenSea and x2y2 are good possible integration opportunities for SIWE, as well as the gameverses of NFTs such as Cooltopia for Cool Cats.
- DEX communities popular with ENS users may not have a need for authentication - but could benefit from SIWE integration in other areas such as their Discourse forums.
To dig deeper into the data, click here!
If you're interested in integrating Sign-In with Ethereum into your dapp, app, or service, we are more than happy to help and provide any support we can.
As we continue our work supporting Sign-In with Ethereum, we especially welcome implementers who already have users relying on similar workflows, authors of related EIPs, and wallet vendors who would like to do more to support user-owned identities to join us.
If you are interested in being involved, please join our Discord server:
Data collected from dune analytics