Ethereum Name Service open to building own layer 2: ENS director

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Ethereum Name Service is “heavily” focused on researching ways to build its protocol on Ethereum layer-2 networks and may even consider launching an in-house layer 2 of its own, revealed ENS executive director Khori Whittaker. 

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Whittaker remained tight-lipped on the specific details of its research and development process, but said the ENS team is currently debating if it should build its integration on a pre-existing Ethereum layer-2 network or release an in-house L2 it dubs “the identity layer.”

“We’re heavy in research and development on the path of layer 2 applications, so I think this year you’re going to see some tangible outcomes of that research.”

Whittaker revealed that the bulk of the conversations between ENS developers were focused largely on pursuing development on Optimism.

He added future L2 development may also account for the use of zero-knowledge proofs, which are a crucial component in protecting user information on public blockchains.

The biggest challenges for ENS currently arise from its structure as a protocol and from awareness within the Ethereum ecosystem, Whittaker explained.

The Ethereum Name Service allows crypto users to purchase a “.eth” domain name. This can replace the complex string of letters and numbers that typically comprise a user’s wallet address, making it easier to transfer and receive funds between parties on the Ethereum network.

Whittaker was speaking to Cointelegraph only days after ENS partnered with domain name provider GoDaddy to allow crypto users to link their .eth names (domains) to traditional Web2 domains — such as those ending in .com — at no extra cost.

“We are sort of dependent on builders and developers to build with ENS and then push it out there. There’s this awareness challenge we have to overcome, which we’re definitely working on — we just have to be able to get into more major institutions like we did with GoDaddy,” said Whittaker.

Related: ENS token surges 70% as Vitalik Buterin lauds platform as ‘super important’

“Crypto is still this weird space for much of the world, and all they hear about are these glimpses of scandals, token prices rising and falling,” Whittaker said. He claimed that its partnership with GoDaddy could help with the wider adoption of blockchain tech as it allows everyday web users to “easily grasp and get it.”

“I would like to see a future where we don’t talk about Web2 versus Web3,” said Whittaker. “It’s just the internet or it’s just on-chain and all these technologies — they fade into the background.”

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