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Ethereum Name Service Founder Reveals Vitalik Buterin’s Timely Grant Intervention

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) founder Nick Johnson reveals how Vitalik Buterin's timely grant intervention was instrumental in the development of ENS, which has seen over two million registrations since its launch.

Nick Johnson, the founder of Ethereum Name Service (ENS), shared an exclusive insight into the pivotal role Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin played in the development of ENS. Johnson revealed that when he submitted figures to the Ethereum Foundation for a grant to build ENS, Buterin doubled the amount he had requested.

ENS, a project that allows users to create human-readable Web3 addresses, which can serve as a Web3 wallet for cryptocurrencies and NFTs, as well as a domain for decentralized websites, has been a significant development in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Johnson, who previously worked for Google, was drawn to Ethereum due to its programmability, which he found lacking in Bitcoin. His strong background in infrastructure, tooling, and libraries enabled him to write his own Ethereum strings library, a critical component in Ethereum development.

The Ethereum Foundation hired Johnson, and one of his first projects was to start work on the Ethereum Naming Service. Initially working for the EthSwarm team, Johnson eventually moved to the Go Ethereum team but kept ENS as his side project.

The Foundation encouraged Johnson to work full-time on ENS by creating a separate organization funded by a grant. Buterin intervened in the grant amount, doubling it to support a two-year roadmap with a small team, ensuring the success of ENS.

Since its launch, users have registered over two million ENS addresses. Johnson, however, believes that metrics like the number of users entering crypto addresses into their wallets instead of DNS names are more crucial but challenging to measure directly.

Looking ahead, ENS plans to roll out Ethereum layer-2 infrastructure in the next couple of years and aims to make the service more user-friendly and accessible to networks that could benefit from Web3 utility.