The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) has now attracted more than $50 million worth of bids for a total of around 30,000 bids, auctioning for one of the nearly 70,000 eth names that have become available.
Names such as linkedin.eth, which went for “only” $230,000 worth of eth. While wallets.eth and payment.eth went for more than $1 million, perhaps because they may have a clear business model because of subnames.
That is, they can sell you your own subspace, such as trustnodes.wallets.eth, for $5 or whatever, and then your friends can send you money at this address rather than to those super long and complicated random strings of numbers and letters made for machines.
According to CodeTract, some prominent names currently being auctioned are elonmusk.eth (although we may have to wait another two years for tesla.eth) as well as names like blackjack.eth (more than a million dollars have bid for that) and contracts.eth (“only” hundreds of thousands for this one).
The current highest bid is for a pretty incredible $17.7 million worth of eth. We don’t really know what name they are bidding for yet, but if more than seven letters are attracting these sort of numbers we can’t quite imagine what bids three letter names like – you know the one – will attract.
Before this, the highest bid was for around $2 million, securing freemarket.eth. Good to see that spirit still lives on, although it’s not hard to see some obvious business use cases for that name, such as an eBay like smart contract which you pay by sending funds to freemarket.eth.
As long as they keep their eth locked in the freemarket.eth name that is, because they can release the eth and the name at any time after a year. So people (and maybe machines) are not actually paying for these names in the common use of that term.
Instead, they are automatically given the name by an eth smart contract based on who is willing to put the highest amount of eth as reserve. Then, that highest bid itself is not the amount locked, but that of the second highest bid. A sum of 0.5% of that second highest bid is burned.
The overall effect is that around 500,000 eth has now been taken out of the market, reducing available supply, at least for one year, a sum which coincidentally amounts to 0.5% of all eth.
For now, because the ethereum name service is growing very fast. It just launched around two weeks ago and now it stores more than $50 million with bids in the millions becoming somewhat common.
That suggests the market trusts it to be secure, or, far more likely, they are taking a calculated risk to reserve limited names which may become assets in and of themselves.
As for who is taking these risks no one knows. It may be just rich squatters, or perhaps it was actually Linkedin. Maybe they’re thinking CVs on smart contracts which somehow connect employers and employees making automatic payments in a freelance ecosystem.
We can hear some shouting petshops.com, but they thought amazon was a stupid idea too because no one is going to buy books online. And who on earth thought selling your granny made socks on e-Bay was ever such a good idea?
Well, many did. That’s why there was that crazy dotcom boom. A boom which might be repeating itself with eth names going for nearly $20 million, ICOs at $1 billion and the total digital currencies market cap now hitting $60 billion.