If you were lucky enough to grab some $ENS, the token from the Ethereum Name Service project, congrats! (If you haven’t but think you may be entitled to some, there’s still time. Go here: ens.mirror.xyz and take a look.) The token dropped into wallets on November 8 and it’s been nearly a month to watch it unfold, so we thought we’d examine a little further.
The price chart has been a thing to behold: if the average user got a couple hundred $ENS tokens, and those are now trading in the low $40 range, an $8000 or $9000 payday is nothing to sneeze at. Pick out your Christmas gifts — so long as they’re not negatively impacted by the supply chain — and rock on!
But, long term, is $ENS all it’s cracked up to be?
First, the Background
We actually talked about this in our post from June 2019 called “Playing the Long Game.” Back then, we didn’t really see the prospect of an airdrop coming, we were just looking for a combination of Ethereum Cybersquatting and Finding A Cool Domain Name.
You can register a bunch and they only cost about $5 a year; we registered several and use one of them as our principal registry.
In theory, we could use one of the ones in our stable, like “jamiedimon.eth,” and set it up to give and receive tokens. (Or you could try to sell it to JP Morgan Chase, which the owner of the above coin appears to be doing.) (Note that it doesn’t take an internet super sleuth to figure out that the author of this post owns jamiedimon.eth.)
If you think of these dot-eth domains as your portal to Web3, the metaverse, AND your crypto holdings…that’s a pretty good way to look at it. Now, let’s do a little analysis.
‘I Promise, It’s Perfect.’
That was the tagline from a golf club that was sold in the early 2000s. Called “The Perfect Club,” it could get you out of trouble, like tight lies, and suggested that mere mortals like me (with my handicap of…well, let’s say it’s not pretty) could use it on shots from about 190 yards out and drop the ball on the green with minimal effort.
I don’t remember seeing an asterisk — * — like the one in the headline of this blog post, but it should have come with one. Especially when the announcer himself said “I Promise, It’s Perfect.”
But the question at hand, and where the asterisk leads us, is whether or not $ENS *may* be the Perfect* Web3 token.
Here are a couple reasons — and yes, this is not financial advice and you should DYOR (Do Your Own Research) and we’re not responsible for your gains or losses — why $ENS could be the on-ramp to Web3.
The Analysts Are Taking Note
Van Eck is kindof a big deal. One of their analysts did a pretty solid analysis of what’s going on with Ethereum domain names, the bread-and-butter of the ENS entry point to the rest of the investment world.
We’ll link to Matthew Sigel’s post here, and we found it more than a little interesting (in a good way) that Sigel compares the ENS domain business to Verisign. (We also didn’t realize Verisign was such a stud.)
Van Eck’s Sigel summarizes the dot-eth trend better than we could right here:
Plus the Airdrop Means Fewer People “Heading for the Exits”
Here’s another aspect to look at: when you have projects that make people rich very early — not just crypto or Web3, but IPOs, too — you always run the risk of a “cut and run.” For instance, a Junior Software Developer signs up for a gig at a startup, is given some options, and the startup IPOs. Whenever the lockup expires, the developer gets bored, has high-six or low-seven figures in cash, and heads straight for the exit.
Because of an airdrop that didn’t end up with tons of rich people, and with no VCs taking part, the result is that nobody (aside from the founders, who are in this for the long haul) got super rich. The lack of “F*** You Money” makes this a potential winner.
AND…It’s a DAO
This would be the third reason this is so huge: governance.
DAOs are Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. Simply put, they’re designed to run with limited involvement from management, delegating votes on a variety of governance issues to a team. To collect your $ENS tokens you had to vote on a series of proposals and select a delegate to vote on your behalf.
They’ve built a black box and the management of that black box is in the hands of the team of delegates, but proposals to change the way the black box functions take a majority. And some of it is immutable — like the DAO can’t really go out of business — so they’re definitely looking at this with a decades-long time horizon.
Should You Buy at This Price?
Again, this is not financial recommendation, and do your own research.
But the token itself is right around the top 100 in market cap and it’s just north of $1B. Compare and contrast that with tokens like $SHIB (~$19B market cap as of this writing) and take a look at the functionality of $ENS in comparison with other tokens ($SHIB has a cult-like following and has rocketed upwards, but is it really THAT valuable?).
$ENS might not be a bad bet in the grand scheme.