Just a few days after the ethereum name service (ENS) launched, we are starting to see some competitive bids as names become available, with the latest being the auction of weather.eth, won by a bid of 250 eth.
Weather.com is a top 50 website in US operated by IBM which strongly contributes to the private open source blockchain project called Hyperledger. It may well be the case they decided to reserve the name, but unless the bidder reveals himself we do not quite know.
What we know is that the bid was competitive. There was a bid for Ξ99 eth, Ξ101, as well as smaller amounts ranging from ethcents to Ξ17 or Ξ20 eth.
The winning bidder now has to lock the eth in the contract, with it stored in a “dedicated Deed contract,” according to Nick Johnson, a developer of ENS. At any point they like, the bidder can get back the eth by releasing the name. None of it is therefore spent, it’s only stored for reservation.
According to CodeTract, some 7,500 ENS auctions have started, with 2,500 bids, depositing an amount of Ξ12,500, currently valued at $1,125,000, which is fairly incredible considering that the service is only four days old.
Many more names will be gradually released with a twitter bot letting everyone know of what becomes available. Once you reserve a name, you can just ask people to send you eth to the name, rather than to the long random strings of letters and numbers.
That’s because, like the domain name service which translates IPs into things humans can more easily read such as words, the ENS translates public eth addresses into more memorable words such as trustnodes.eth.
Johnson says “Metamask and MEW [MyEtherWallet] should have support immediately, with other wallets following soon behind,” for the send eth to name service.
So maybe eventually we’ll leave those long random strings of numbers and letters to machines, just like we have for IPs, while we deal with far more familiar and rememberable actual words.
So perhaps it isn’t so surprising that .eth names are already going for $25,000, but it seems fairly impressive that the project has attracted more than $1 million in combined bids after four days of launch.
As such, hopefully the deed contract is very secure and able to hold it safely because at this rate it might be holding a lot of eth.