On July 31, an anonymous whale controlling an Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain reemerged, reclaiming 39,712 ETH valued at approximately $74 million. The mysterious whale, only identified through his associated ENS address “darknet.eth,” also moved 63,734 ETH, worth roughly $119 million, to a new wallet address.
ENS Whale Moves Millions Worth Of ETH
This sudden transfer is more than two years after the founder of ENS, Nick Johnson, disclosed that the vast ETH stash had been deposited during the first two years of ENS’ operation. It was launched in May 2017 by two Ethereum Foundation developers, Nick Johnson, and Alex Van de Sande.
The protocol has gained popularity as a domain name service on the Ethereum mainnet. With user-friendly naming systems, it facilitates mapping long public addresses used for receiving cryptocurrencies, including ETH and its tokens.
With the whale activating his address and transferring substantial funds, Nick Johnson directed the anonymous ENS holder to a different domain where he could reclaim assets worth “tens of thousands of dollars.”
Beyond controlling the “darknet.eth” domain, the whale is associated with other domains, such as “payment.eth” and “silkroad.eth.” However, the ENS’s core privacy protection feature ensures that the true identity behind “darknet.eth” remains encrypted and private.
Based on this feature, it means even the ENS service deployers cannot decrypt the whale’s real identity. Consequently, all activities carried out by the whale will remain on-chain and tracked but stay anonymous unless his details are leaked from centralized ramps like exchanges, for example.
The ENS system primarily consists of the ENS registry, responsible for recording domain names, and the Resolver, which translates these names into machine-readable addresses. Apart from offering seamless naming solutions, the ENS platform serves as a launchpad for users to create decentralized and censorship-resistant websites, bolstering the appeal of the service within the crypto community.
ENS Is Popular, Will The Whale Sell ETH?
As of July 31, 2023, the ENS has achieved a significant milestone, creating over 2.7 million unique domain names and integrating with more than 570 platforms. With a notable number of 699,000 domain owners, some individuals, like the whale controlling “darknet.eth,” manage multiple domain names. Depending on demand, these domains can be auctioned for higher prices, presenting ENS holders with profitable opportunities.
Ethereum prices remain under pressure, and the coin is changing hands below $2,000. For now, users can only speculate whether the ENS whale will proceed to sell his coins or engage in other activities, including staking either through a public node or a liquidity staking platform like Rocket Pool.
Increasingly, more holders have moved their ETH to staking addresses, looking at the sharp spike in coins held in the official Beacon Chain deposit address.
Feature image from Canva, chart from TradingView