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ENSv2: The Next Generation of ENS

May 28th 20243 min read
ENSv2: The Next Generation of ENS

ENS Labs is proposing that the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) expand to Layer 2 (L2)! We'll be calling this effort "ENSv2" henceforth. But we're not just migrating core parts of the ENS protocol, we're taking our knowledge from the last 7 years at the frontier of web3 naming to re-envision the architecture from the ground up.

By re-evaluating the core components of ENS from first principles, we're positioning the protocol to become more deeply decentralized while embracing new use cases, integrations, and possibilities that were once limited by the constraints of Ethereum mainnet. If you want to skip ahead to the technical specification being proposed, you can read the design doc here.

ENS' Evolution: Bridging the Internet and Ethereum

Since its launch in 2017, ENS has evolved from a simple onchain naming tool into a critical component of the internet's framework. With millions of .eth names registered and thousands of integrations including dapps, wallets, TLDs, and browsers - It has seamlessly connected users as a vital bridge to web3. The power and flexibility of ENS has been on full display through integrations with pioneers like Coinbase, XGoDaddy, XUniswap, XFarcaster and X.box.

As Ethereum continues to advance, so too do the technologies built upon it. L2 solutions, emerging as enhancements to the network, are generally designed to provide faster transaction times and significantly reduced gas costs. The progress of these L2s has naturally steered users and applications towards these more efficient platforms, and through our internal innovations like CCIP-Read and the EVM Gateway, ENS has been at the forefront of this change.

Big News: We're Proposing ENS Expands to L2

Today, ENS Labs is excited to announce our proposal to migrate some of the core ENS functionalities from Ethereum mainnet to an L2 network. By utilizing L2s, we're excited to make ENS more accessible to a wider range of users. The ENS Labs team is actively researching and evaluating potential options to ensure the best fit for the needs of ENS and its community. Follow along in the governance forum to stay up to date on the research process.

Reimagining ENS: What's Changing with ENSv2?

Here are some of the big wins we're excited about bringing to life with ENSv2!

  1. Lower Gas Costs:
    By transitioning .eth registrations and renewals to a Layer 2 network, we'll dramatically reduce gas fees, making it more economical to manage your .eth names. This upgrade not only makes ENS more affordable but also faster.

  2. Enhanced Control and Customization:
    From our experience building the Name Wrapper, we realized that ENSv2 would be more flexible if it employs a hierarchical registry system. This means that every .eth name will have its own personal registry, providing users more control over the ownership of their names.

  3. Improved Multi-Chain Interoperability:
    With ENS on Layer 2, your .eth names will more smoothly integrate across various blockchains. Thanks to the combination of a CCIP-Read Gateway and a compatible resolver, your .eth name connects trustlessly across networks.

Join Us on This Journey

As we begin this exciting next chapter, we invite the ENS community to actively participate in shaping this future. In the coming weeks to months, we will be sharing more details about the proposed migration plan including additional technical specifications, timelines, and provide numerous opportunities for community feedback and involvement. In the meantime:

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ENS Labs Ltd is a Singapore-based non-profit organisation and is responsible for the core software development of the Ethereum Name Service (ENS)
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