Days before the highly-anticipated Ethereum Merge, Ethereum Name Service or ENS domains have overtaken the Bored Ape Yacht Club as the most traded asset on OpenSea.
With only a few days left before the much-anticipated Ethereum Merge, which is happening sometime in mid-September, Ethereum Name Service or ENS domains are making noise. Over the last seven days, a spike in sales has catapulted ENS domains to the top of OpenSea’s seven-day chart.
In fact, ENS domains have overtaken the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs as the most traded asset on the world’s largest NFT marketplace. Per OpenSea data, the weekly volume of ENS domains has reached Ξ 2,512 at this time of writing, surpassing BAYC (Ξ 2,126), RTFKT Clone X Forging SZN 1 (Ξ 2,019), Otherdeed for Otherside (Ξ 1,885), Moonbirds (Ξ 1,531), and Clone X—X Takashi Murakami (Ξ 1,518).
OpenSea’s data shows that almost 9,000 ENS domains changed hands in the last seven days, compared to 16 for BAYC. What is worth noting is that the floor price for ENS—the lowest price for an item in a particular collection—is less than Ξ 0.01 (less than $16), whereas BAYC NFT’s lowest price is Ξ 76 (about $124,000).
Why Are ENS Domains Gaining Traction?
ENS domains are a distributed, open, and expandable naming system on the Ethereum blockchain. These allow users to turn a long string of characters for a cryptocurrency address into one ENS domain, such as RTFKT’s dotswoosh.eth.
Having just one ENS domain simplifies the complexity of copying and pasting a lengthy wallet address when sending and receiving cryptocurrency. By linking ENS domains to a cryptocurrency wallet, users only need to share their .eth domain name to receive a transaction. ENS domains are also usually bought, sold, and traded among users as NFTs.
The recent spike in ENS domains trading volume has seen the average price of ENS items go up 167% to Ξ 0.3895 ($641), while daily volume has risen from Ξ 120.7 to Ξ 1044.6. According to OpenSea, more than two million ENS domains are now on the marketplace, spread across 508,000 owners.
Total sales now sit at 2,682 ENS domains sold. It translates to a total trading volume of Ξ 56.3k, or about $86.2 million. Last month, ENS reported the third highest month of revenue, with 2.17 million domain names on the service. These domain names accounted for 99% of OpenSea’s domain name sales volume. Incidentally, it was also the third highest month since ENS was founded in 2018.
“With the upcoming merge and recent market downturn, gas prices on Ethereum have dropped, making it more affordable to register an ENS,” Khori Whittaker, ENS executive director, said in an interview.
Whittaker believes that people are preparing for a post-Ethereum merge world, with more attention drawn to Ethereum because of the upcoming merge. “[Users] registering their personal ENS is a staple for every Web3 user heading into this new chapter of Ethereum’s life,” he said.
The Ethereum merge is scheduled for September 15. The highly-anticipated merge will see the Ethereum blockchain transitioning from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. According to the Ethereum Foundation, the move to a PoS consensus is expected to lower the blockchain’s energy consumption for dapps, DAOs, and NFTs by 99.95%.
“ENS is the only place where users can register a .eth domain,” Whittaker said. “Since our launch, we’ve steadily grown in tandem with Ethereum.”
ENS Domains’ Two-Month Run
ENS domains’ strong September start follows a spectacular ENS sales month in August, which recorded over 300,000 new “.eth” registrations. Some of the most expensive ENS domains, per OpenSea, are 000.eth (bought for Ξ 300 and is currently on sale for Ξ 5,000), opensea.eth, crypto.eth, google.eth, and nike.eth.
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