Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain names have surpassed Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) as the most traded asset on NFT marketplace OpenSea over the last seven days — seemingly ahead of the Ethereum Merge.

According to OpenSea data, the weekly volume of the Ethereum domain NFTs eclipsed 2,249 ETH at the time of writing, beating out RTFKT Clone X (1,992 ETH) and Bored Ape Yacht Club (1,777 ETH).

ENS domains are a distributed, open and expandable naming system on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to turn a long string of keys for a crypto address into a single ENS domain such as “vitalik.eth.”

This simplifies the complexity of copying and pasting a lengthy wallet address to send and receive crypto, as users only need to share their domain name like any other ordinary address or identification details.

These domain names can be bought, sold and traded between users in the form of NFTs.

The recent spike in ENS trading volume has seen the average price of ENS items increase 167% from 0.1454 ETH to 0.3895 ETH ($641), while daily volume has risen from 120.7 ETH to 1044.6 ETH.

There are now over 2 million ENS items on OpenSea, spread amongst more than 508,000 owners, with total sales now sitting at 2,682 ENS domains sold.

Ethereum Domain Names Top Bored Apes On Opensea'S Weekly Chart - Coin Microscope
60-Day Average Price Change For ENS on OpenSea. Source: OpenSea.

According to OpenSea, some of the most expensive ENS domain names are 000.eth, which was bought for 300 ETH and is on sale for 5,000 ETH, along with opensea.eth, crypto.eth, google.eth, and nike.eth.

The strong start in September follows an impressive ENS sales month in August, which saw more than 300,000 new “.eth” registrations, and monthly revenue of 2,744 ETH, the third-highest month since ENS was founded in 2018.

The spike in ENS domain name demand comes around a week before the scheduled date of the Ethereum Merge, which is set for Sept. 15.

On Sept. 4, Vitalik Buterin tweeted asked his 4.2 million followers what price tag a five-letter ENS domain name should hold over a 100-year period:

The poll found that 49.8% of the 91,130 voters went with “Under $100”, while 18.9% of voters thought “$10,000 or more” could be considered a fair price over a 100-year period.

According to OpenSea, the average price of an ENS domain is 0.3207 ETH.

This article was originally published on cointelegraph.com