Interviewing Brantly Millegan From Ethereum Name Service | EP#206

Hey everyone, I’m Scott Cunningham aka
@scottcbusiness and today we’re here with Brantley Millegan who is the
director of operations at ENS can you just start off by telling us a little
bit about yourself go ducks I’m married with five children Wow I’m proud of that
congratulations and ens is taking over the world
Lise that’s the pit absolutely yeah so so how busy is your day now on an
average day doing everything you’re doing for free nests yeah it’s busy I
mean our whole team is busy you know our our ambitions are huge so yeah we think
you know eNOS is is naming infrastructure that uses blockchain
technology it’s not a name space I can explain this more more later it’s
infrastructure that could actually support any names and our long-term goal
you know is is is you know we’ll well first you know complement and support
and expand the usefulness of the domain name system but we want to eventually up
group upgrade and replace the infrastructure of the whole domain name
system so there’s lots to do and so we’re very busy yeah yeah absolutely so
I you you kind of touched on a little bit but my next question is can you give
my audience a brief introduction to what ENS actually is and it’s a theory of
naming service if people didn’t know what the acronym was exactly so
aetherium name service we’re actually considering possibly rebranding away
from that but we’ll see but so so what does this name mean well first we’ll
start with name service so what is the name service people don’t think about
name services on the internet there’s the domain name system they just kind of
works in the background and what would a naming system or service does is it just
Maps human readable names to computer identifiers so what works makes sense
what computers doesn’t make sense to humans it’s just a bridge it’s all it is
it’s very simple and it’s just a lookup system so you have you have a name and
you have records attached to it people tend to overcomplicate it yeah so
for example like when you go to your browser what your
computer is doing is it connects to the domain name system which tells it where
to find the Google website and then it connects to the Google Website in our
case let’s say you’re sending Bitcoin to somebody it connects to your wallet
connects to ENS grabs the Bitcoin address but then your wallet sends the
the transaction along some people think that we send the transaction we don’t
we’re just we’re just the information system
yeah so that’s when a service is and a name service that can name one thing can
actually name anything so we not only do cryptocurrency wallet address naming and
we’re the leaders in that buy it by a longshot but we also do decentralized
websites we have we have a partnership with protocol labs which run ipfs we
also do Tortoni in a dress naming and we’re actually even working on doing
traditional dns records we have some experimental projects coming up okay
that’s that’s a name service so why are we called the etherium name service
because we are named service that runs on aetherium so some people think that
it means that we’re named service like that own is only for the etherium
community not true we can we serve everything you know but the logic of it
runs on the etherion blockchain but but really that’s just like a back-end thing
that the user doesn’t even have to know hmm that’s what we is is that is that
part of why you’re thinking of rebranding because people are thinking
that it’s like restricted to a theorem because I actually kind of thought that
to originally that it might have only worked for aetherium wallets and that’s
why I was kind of like oh like I don’t know if unstoppable might be better in
the future but like clearly it seems like you guys are are taking over the
whole market for this yeah good question you know so when Yunus launched and
launched two and a half years ago and I don’t know how long you’ve been in the
space or what were you in the space three you know two and a half years ago
yeah like like right around the crash it’s when I kind of got in unfortunately
but um but yeah I’ve been around for a little over two years now okay great so
so you know two and a half years ago this was early 2017 it was a different
world let me tell you this is kind of at the beginning of the ico world
and we were not firmly in the multi coin world that we are in today and so when a
theorem started it did sort of mostly focus on the etherium community but
that’s because it was a different landscape but now of course we’ve
expanded and we support everything and yeah yeah and I think that’s that’s so
important because like like one of the things that I went over in my video I
thought was really interesting was so many people will send to a wrong address
if they you know miss type it or something like that but when you have
the human readable address it will always send to the correct address
and if you type in the wrong human readable address it’ll say this isn’t
the right address so then you avoid issues like that and I thought that was
huge can you name some of the other benefit or share some of the other
benefits of a human readable address oh absolutely well one you could say to
your friend hey send me a hundred dollars in cryptocurrency and just with
that names they hate incentive Brantley eath or whatever and they can send to
any cryptocurrency that you have in your records so like I have at Brantley
Dottie I have not only know three Madras but I also have a theorem classic
Bitcoin Bitcoin cache BnB dogecoin whatever and with that one piece of
information Brantley da teeth they can send me to any any any of those so
that’s way simpler kind of manages it all for you but there there’s a lot
beyond us so we do decentralized websites with ipfs and then we all we
even have text records we can put personal information your Twitter handle
or something or an avatar so there there’s many possibilities here kind of
kind of a vision we have of the future so our plan to our next kind of big
thing is to expand the namespace on ENS by integrating the DNS namespace and
we’ve already done this with X Y Z dot cred art dot Lux and some others but we
actually plan on rolling that out to the rest of the DNS namespace in the next
few months okay what this means is like let’s say there’s a theorem gorg
aetherium gorg can use ENS for its websites that’s what
everybody you know uses but it could use receive cryptocurrency with a theorem
gorg using NS from a user perspective that means means I can go to a theorem
gorg and get a website and I can send cryptocurrency to a theorem gorg and it
just works all for the same name that’s awesome
yeah and emit layer for the web yeah yeah that’s awesome and so so how many
wallets currently does this support because I know that was a big issue that
I had with unstoppable domains was when I originally like before I learned about
ENS I was like okay this is awesome but then I realized like nothing really
worked with it there was just a few wallets that I never even heard of so I
was like okay well I guess this isn’t really gonna solve this problem for me
and then I found ENS and I was like okay well this works with like meta masks and
a lot of like major wallets so could you just share some of the wallets that it
does work with like well no one’s cuz I’m probably sure there’s a lot to to
list off oh yeah no I mean we have 40 wallets now that either haven’t
integrated or who have committed publicly to integrating it very soon so
like ones that currently have it integrated are like trust wallets meta
masks you know my crypto you know my ether wallets status I mean and we have
a whole list on our website we’re actually adding to it all the time you
know burner wallet lot lots of projects do that and then we have a number of
wallets that have committed to to integrating and so like coin based
wallets they plan on having that by the end of the year so the next couple weeks
okay I am token already has it oh the Bitcoin calm wallet is integrating ants
that was a huge coup for us cuz they actually don’t even support aetherium as
a as a cryptocurrency but they’re gonna use us for their naming for Bitcoin and
Bitcoin cash because remember just register in the background you know we
actually have lists of this on our blog it’s about 40 have either integrated or
signed up doing a great very soon yeah wow that is that is awesome so what are
some of the next big updates coming out for us I know you talked a little bit
about what’s coming out but what are some of the next big update
for people to look out for yeah so so like I said the big next big update is
integration of the DNS namespace and this is I this is really important to
our whole strategy for what I already mentioned right but also because what a
lot of people don’t understand is the value so names on a naming system right
are socially contingent right so if you own Scott comm what does that mean you
only own Scott comm because the rest of the world agrees that you do that’s it
there’s no technological you know think preventing somebody else from runs you
know spinning up a DNS server that says stay oh and Scott comm and now there’s a
debate about you know which one you should what you should use when you go
to Scott comm you know which record is the correct one it’s a social contract
so this is unlike computer identifiers so like a computer identifier like a
cryptocurrency trust you can just generate these and doesn’t really matter
who has which one right because there’s there’s no other social value to it but
by human readable names there is so where I’m going with this is it’s very
important that the whole internet the whole world agrees on the the same
canonical namespace now there is an organization that some some of your
listeners may have heard of that is dedicated to that process
it’s called ICANN the Internet Corporation for the assignment of
numbers names it’s a massive nonprofit they have three conferences a year plus
smaller ones anybody can go I actually just got back from one in Montreal okay
it was huge they do that all this is and then they
it’s so like if we wanted to create a new top-level domain like dot wallets or
dot ICO they have a process by which you can do that where I’m going with this is
that we could just create tons of new top-level domains and start selling
names on them but we think that’s bad for two reasons one if we do that it’s
gonna piss off the rest of the Internet and they’re gonna be very unlikely to
ever work with us because like hey you are a bad actor you’re not respecting
our process and we’re not gonna respect your names
– it’s bad for users because so we’ve just let’s say we create with dot
wallets and we start selling with people well and I can somebody else might claim
dot wall and start selling them now you have what’s called a name collision
where two different people claimed aim to own the same name on the internet
that’s bad right it defeats the whole point so so for
example within ours in our case we did create DTH wasn’t it which is not in the
I can route however we consider this to be sort of experimental testing testing
zone also it’s actually in a special case when it comes I can dot e th is
actually reserved as a three letter country code for Ethiopia that’s unused
right now so so I can’t reserve all three-letter country codes but didn’t
give them to the country so it’s in this weird limbo state and we’ve actually had
some communication with the with the country of Ethiopia and we’re in
communication with people and I can – – you know if that ever became a problem
we could work it out but but part of their willingness to work with us as we
say hey we are not making any other top-level domains and we want to follow
the rules and so we just want to support the current name-space that’s the big
thing mmm III say all this because other other
blockchain naming projects are taking the exact opposite approach and and they
are free to do that we think it’s a mistake so for example unstoppable
domains you know they did create dil which you know maybe you could say make
an argument well they need to get started or something like this or there
was a different place experiment they’re launching dart crypto we think this is
this is very irresponsible because one they don’t have the rights to that in
the traditional namespace which means that somebody else could come along and
get that in in the traditional DNS now you have a name collision problem and
that I could actually make the names useless for all their customers I mean
who knows we can’t predict the future but this is likely going to be a problem
for them going forward and – like I said I think it unnecessarily antagonize –iz
the rest of the Internet FIO I I think is taking a similar
approach they use a different separator of having dot something they use : I
personally I mean I could be wrong here I think that is a distinction without a
difference I think that they are just kind of creating this massive namespace
not in collaboration with the rest of the internet I think they may run into
problems there and then of course handshake which I like the people you
know I’ve met them like the technology there they’re explicitly trying to
replace I can and maybe they’ll be successful and congratulations if they
are and they’re doing that by just creating tons of new top-level domains
and hope that they become the new canonical thing I personally think it’s
highly unlikely that will happen and again we think this is unnecessarily
antagonistic all this to say is we’ve decided to take a very different
approach we we think the technology the blockchain technology can improve the
current name-space so we don’t need to challenge the namespace but we could
upgrade the tech stack and bring all the benefits of blockchain technology to
that we think that’s the most effective that was a long answer but yeah that’s
what we I know that makes sense like you’re you’re working with them rather
than like working against them or creating that friction and it’s also
gonna speed up the process rather than and you’re avoiding any issues in the
future so that makes a lot of sense so you know you know like a long term what
is it gonna look like in a year from now like ideally and what would it look like
in like five years from now what would what are the hopes for what it might
look like because obviously a lots going on so it’s hard to predict exactly what
it would look like but ideally yeah I mean ideally in a year we’ll be
operating out of our headquarters on Mars and I will be a billionaire and I’m
joking yeah so obviously this DNS name full DNS namespace integration will be
completely I mean I should be done in like two or three months but hopefully
that will be completely do you know we can run into problems holy that will be
completely done and we also within a year we’d love to have our DNS records
experiments done and successful and maybe even rolling that out to to
further use in a year love to have more integration in the
traditional DNS world so we’re in discussion with a number of registrar’s
basically for them to make it as easy as possible that if you own a traditional
DNS name that you can claim the e NS record for it you know and use that for
your cryptocurrency like a one-click solution you have many registrar’s
interested in this hopefully that will be rolled out we we have some other
partnerships major partnerships that will hopefully you know have had
fruition in that time so I I think the the future is very bright yeah yeah no
doubt so you you talked about before how you
guys have the the most people signed up what does that look like right now like
what’s the user base currently good question so in terms of da teeth names
registered we have about three hundred and ten thousand second-level domains
registered how many people that represents that really goes hard to tell
obviously but I would you know tens of thousands and I would estimate and then
we also that doesn’t count like subdomain owners so so there’s a lot of
people who just get subdomains for free cuz they’re much easier and cheaper to
have so like I know Eric Conner from Etha he he got eath mo G’s Gatti’s and
then he gives out for like $10 you can buy like an emoji subdomain so you can
get like an emoji dot eath mo G’s da teeth and that can be fun as so there’s
tons of those that that’s not counting so you know thousands more of those and
then we’d also have the some of the DNS namespace integration already so I don’t
have a number off the top my head for that but we have that no but I would say
but it’s growing fast it’s it’s a fast growing industry yeah absolutely
um and like what are other potential future use cases for e NS like other
than what we talked about is there anything else that we might see sometime
in the future maybe in the far future what would that maybe look like
yeah well you know the cool thing about naming is that a name system that can
name one thing can actually name anything so it just comes down to making
a standardized record type and then getting adoption for it that’s all it is
I mean even right now ENS we could do phone numbers your mailing address your
you know your PGP key we could do you know what do you have requests you know
for some of these things it just comes down to somebody making a standard for
you know what should this record look like how should it work you know maybe
writing an EIP or something for is having comments and then just
implementing it in our system which is not hard to do and then getting you know
the relevant clients you know and players to use it so yeah I mean like a
PGP key I think that would be awesome like you know put the put your public
key I actually just had a meeting earlier today with the CEO of three-box
they want to have a special record for the 3-3 ID and but you know a cool thing
about ENS is it’s open source so I work for an organization called true names
Limited which is just a non-profit that’s received a grant from the
etherium foundation and we’re just sort of like the de facto managers of it but
we receive lots of contributions from other people and anybody if they have an
idea they can offer that or even just you know write the code submit a pull
request and then you can go down in history as the guy who added PGP public
key support to us and we’ve had people do this so for example we support toward
out onion addresses now that came out of a nice New York hackathon project they
figured out how it would work they submit it now it works in meta mask in
ENS so if you have the tor browser you have meta masks enabled you can go to it
you can type in a da teeth name and if there’s a tour done in an address there
it will go to that yeah wow that’s that’s awesome you guys are really just
integrating tons of different things and I think it’s really key that it’s it’s
open source to encourage more more development and more people to
contribute so are we gonna see any anyone from the team at any events
coming up soon what is that gonna look like over the next eight year so yeah it
actually on the last point as a nonprofit this is
a differentiator so so some of our competitors you know I’m not against
for-profit models but they are for-profit companies which gives them a
different incentive structure our opinion is that naming infrastructure is
more of a public good and shouldn’t be like owned or proprietary yeah and so
that’s why we think it’s it’s open source it’s public domain we’re
nonprofit anybody can contribute we that’s we think that’s that’s the right
path term in terms of events you know we were actually at a lot of events this
year so we were at almost all the youth global events we had representatives we
were at lots of conferences around the world and in multiple continents we
haven’t put together our travel schedule for next year yet but I’m sure that
people will see us at events yeah absolutely everyone makes sure to look
out for these guys so did you go to Def Con or anything like that yourself ah no
I didn’t unfortunately but I’ll try to go next year can you share with everyone
then where they can go to learn more about this and where they can go and get
signed up with their own dot eat the dress yeah so if you go to app dot ENS
stop domains that is our manager and you can register a dot eath name there and
you can set the records do everything there and you can do that in any
aetherium compatible browser so meta mask on desktop or in the meta mask
mobile app or status you know or anything else that’s aetherium you know
the coin based wallets all these will of course work and if you if you want to
claim like a dot XYZ name we have a we have a guide for that if if you if you
already own it on DNS just type it into our manager and it will explain the
process that you have to go through it’s a little tricky right now we’re trying
to simplify it but it is possible to do okay and if you don’t follow us on
Twitter oh and if you get a DA Teeth name or you know put it in your Twitter
handle and you will be cool like Vitalik yeah I guess I’ll have to update my
twitter handle then so but before we leave this off is there anything else
that you’d like to share with every yeah um I would say you know join the
revolution this is a you know I think an inspiring thing about blockchain
technology in general is that it has potential to massively transform our
world in many domains so that’s why it kind of inspires people right it’s it’s
a people get really into block G technology and you know ENS I think it
has the potential to becoming the new and naming infrastructure of the whole
internet I mean who knows if that’ll happen but it has that potential and
we’re here for it so you know join in you know get a get a name start using it
or you know or if you’re a developer contribute code to it and and join the
revolution yeah absolutely I’ve been I’ve been signed up and I have had my
eighth address for about a month or two now and I can definitely say it’s it’s
the best solution I’ve seen so far so and I don’t and I don’t expect there to
be anything better so you know join the revolution absolutely thanks again so
much for coming on I’m sure people learned a lot and I’ll probably end up
doing another walkthrough through ENS on my channel for people to go and check
out again I’ve also done one previously and I’ll link that in the description as
well but yeah thanks so much for for coming on and sharing perfect thanks for
having me awesome, Cheers

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