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The Lowdown
December 2021 Archive
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Welcome to the The Lowdown from 
DN Journal
- your source for notable news 
and information from all corners of the global domain name industry! 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal 
Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Here Are a Couple of Hints for Your Holiday Reading and Listening Enjoyment 

As we near the end of another year we're already starting to get reports from various companies breaking down how they fared in 2021. An interesting one from Namecheap, the second world's second biggest domain registrars is out and their 2021 Domain Insights & Trends Report is full of easy to absorb information,  thanks to its graphics-rich format.

Among the things the report provides is a list of the Top 20 TLDs (in terms of total registration numbers) at

Namecheap in 2021. It's not surprising to see .com at the top but seeing .xyz at #2 with over three times more registrations than #3 .net is an interesting sign of the times. Another, new gTLD, .club is #4 with a ccTLD, .me, rounding out the top five.  Overall 45% of all Namecheap registration were .coms (down from 48% last year) with all other TLDs combined taking 55% (up from 52% last year).

Another interesting breakout shows which TLDS have the highest percentage of renewals. The leaders in that category are completely different TLDs with Canada's .ca #1 (with over 72% of .ca domains renewed), followed by new gTLD .dev, .io, .org and another new G, .media. Two of the TLDs that are in the top five in total registrations (.xyz and .club) are in the bottom five when it comes to renewal rates (the lowest by that metric are .icu and .site). You can check out the full report here.

I can also recommend some insightful listening if podcasts are more your cup of tea - though I have to admit this tip comes with some built-in bias on my part. Most of you are already familiar with Alvin Brown's excellent Kickstart Commerce podcast series. In the latest episode I am Alvin's guest on a 78-minute ride that recounts my journey through radio, music retail and TV reporting before finally discovering the domain industry 20 years ago (yikes!) - as well as why I have been in love with this business ever since! You can check that out here and if you don't enjoy it Alvin will give you your money back! (I know it's already free, but it's the thought that counts)! 

Host Alvin Brown (left) interviews DNJournal's Ron Jackson at Kickstart Commerce 

In the meantime, I want to wish all of your who are celebrating the season the merriest of Christmases, the happiest of all the holidays and a record breaking new year in 2022!

(Posted December 24, 2021) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


(Posted December 25, 2021)  

George Kirikos Uncovers $2.2 Million Sale of Forge.com - One of 5 Biggest Domain Sales Reported Year to Date

If it is a weekend George Kirikos is likely looking through SEC filings to see if he can uncover yet another previously unreported blockbuster domain sale. That proved true again this morning when George reported his latest major find. As reported on his FreeSpeech.com blog, Kirikos uncovered a  $2,202,000 sale of Forge.com that was completed in the 3rd quarter of 2021. George found the proof in this SEC filing submitted by the buyer, private securities marketplace Forge Global. As Kirikos also noted, Forge announced plans to go public in a $2 billion SPAC deal they announced in September.

We will be charting this sale in our next bi-weekly Domain Sales Report that will be published Wednesday evening (December 22). Assuming no larger sale is reported before then, this will rank as the 5th biggest publicly reported domain sale of the year to date. It is the eight domain sale of $2 million or more reported thus far in 2021 (many others reached or surpassed that level that were not reported due to non-disclosure agreements). 

Image from Bigstock

(Posted December 18, 2021) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Idea to .Store Contest Winners Ready to  Open Online Businesses with Cash and Mentoring Earned in Radix Event

In late October we told you about a new contest from Radix's .store domain registry, sponsored by Shopify, that gave entrepreneurs who dreamed of operating their own business online a chance to get the cash and professional advice they needed to make their dreams come true. Entrants in the Idea to .Store contest were invited to share their ideas for an online store, and nearly 5,000 people signed up. That contest has now closed with the winners walking away with cash prizes of up to $30,000 along with exclusive Q&A and mentoring from the judges. The grand prize winner will also be featured on David Meltzer’s 2 Minute Drill; aired on Bloomberg TV and Amazon Prime.

The winner and runner-up, Indira Andrewin and Erika Warner respectively, were both given the chance to pitch their ideas to a highly accomplished panel of judges along with four other finalists. Judges for the contest included Seth Godin, Entrepreneur, Best-selling Author, & Speaker; Natalie Ellis, CEO & Co-founder, BossBabe; Danielle Canty, President & Co-founder, BossBabe; John Lee Dumas (JLD), Founder & Host, Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast; and Neha Naik, Senior Director of Channel Partnerships at Radix.

Judge Danielle Canty said, “I absolutely loved the contest. I think it's really allowed so many people to take that first step in their business."  Finalist Luanettee Colebrooke said, “There were so many women (and aspiring entrepreneurs in general) that .Store Domains encouraged. I just want to thank .Store Domains so much for being a place where our voices can be heard and validated.”

It was good to see the contest turned out to be a model of gender and race diversity across participants, just as you would hope given that women are responsible for more than half of online microbusinesses started in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic. According to the 2021 Microbusiness National Survey by GoDaddy, women-owned microbusinesses comprised 57% of new micro-businesses, up from 48% before March 2020. The help the winners and finalists received also went where it was needed most. The statistics shows microbusiness owners struggle the most with digital marketing (63%), access to capital (36%) and technical help in getting online (28%).

Suman Das
Sr. Director, Brand Operations at Radix

Suman Das, Sr Director, Brand Operations at Radix, said, “Through this contest, .Store Domains intended to make it easier for to-be entrepreneurs to put out their idea; the very first step in building a business. The prizes were planned in such a way that it sets the winners up for a good run with their ventures. The seed money, guidance from the judges around marketing and scaling, and the visibility that the contest has provided to the winners will go a long way in turning their ideas to stores, and hopefully successful ones at that.” This was .Store’s first such campaign but almost certainly not the last. Suman Das noted, “We plan to continue taking more such initiatives to encourage aspiring business owners to embark on their entrepreneurial journey.”  

Since the beginning of 2021, Radix has put out multiple end-customer campaigns that have focused on providing a platform for new ideas to come forth. From .Tech’s StartIn.Tech and  Pitch.Tech, to .Online Business Academy and .Store’s  IdeaTo.Store - all of which were designed to enable the formation of new businesses.

(Posted December 13, 2021) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


When the Domain Sales Boom Ends One Expert Thinks The Culprit May Not Be the One You Expect

As we near the end of 2021, many of us have begun assessing what kind of year we've had and what the prospects for our industry look like as we get ready to head into a new year. On one hand, we had clearly seen a continuing boom in the domain aftermarket. On the other, some wonder if competition from growing digital assets like NFTs and crypto could siphon off some of the revenue that has been fueling the domain surge. Last month, when I was in touch with veteran domain broker Neil Bostick (QEIP.com) about the launch of his new high-end domain marketplace, Graen.com, I got his thoughts on where we've been this year and what he sees ahead in 2022 and saved the notes to share with you once we got into this month - the closing stretch of

Image from Bigstock

2021. Bostick's view echoed the ambivalence about market prospects that I noted above. "In general, the market is obviously red hot and there are a few different things that really excite me and a couple small things that worry me," Bostick said. However, his biggest cause for concern turned out to be a different disruptor (and time frame) than that posed by NFTs and crypto.  

Neil Bostick
Founder, Graen.com

"For some perspective, my sales were relatively the same between 2018 and 2019 but then I did 3 times more sales in 2020 than I did in 2019. I think this was because there was a boom in new startups beginning after so many industries were forced online (with COVID). Then in 2021, I’ve done 3 times more sales (so far) from 2020. I think that this was because the bigger companies that were forced online in 2020, planned their 2021 marketing budget to account for larger domain purchases/upgrades (they couldn’t move as fast as the startups in 2020). With Graen, I expect to do more than 3 times my 2021 sales in 2022 …but I don’t think that will be because of market forces - more so just because of the platform taking market share. There is definitely a lot of funding still going on and that money is going to be spent in the next year or two so I definitely have a lot of confidence that the domain market is going to be hot for the near term."

"That said, it is keen to note that a lot of investor demand for domains right now may also be a side effect of just larger demand for

collectibles in general. This slightly concerns me as a major indicator of a bubble has tended to correlate with high valuations for non-productive assets (non-income generating assets) like collectibles, a category that some domains can fall into. So I worry if the collectibles/NFT market implodes, domains will likely be a casualty. I do have a lot more confidence in domains than I do in NFTs but I’d be remiss if I didn’t note their correlation. The biggest casualty might be Collectibles.com which I am trying to sell."

"As a lifelong ‘Devil’s Advocate’, a constant thing I always think about with domains is its lifecycle - any domain investor would be lying to themselves if they think that domains have an infinite life. They are intrinsically a main asset of one of the biggest technological developments in human history - yet as any technological asset, they are only as good as the system behind them (and all technology becomes obsolete at one point or another). The question in my mind is when is the climax for domains and at what point is the next generation of ‘global online real estate’ going to become available," Bostick wondered.

"With new developments like the focus on the ‘metaverse’ and all of these technology companies (like Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.) having their own small version of an open source internet on their platform, I ask myself when will be the day that someone is crazy enough to invent the new network for the world (one faster, more efficient, safer, etc.). I think the implication that many people might not think about is that with a new ‘metaverse’, or platform to reinvent the internet, comes the new opportunity or threat to have domains be made obsolete (through the use of a new system)."

Bostick continued, "Many people are worried about .COM being made obsolete (or at least, less dominant) by the emergence of new TLDs, but I would argue that the risk of 

Image from Bigstock

domains in general being made obsolete (or going the way of MySpace handles) may be a bigger concern. That said, I ground my work/investments/businesses in domains on the fact that if domains are made obsolete, it would not be a fast process and so many tech companies would simultaneously become obsolete and the return of my domain investments and SP500 index might have similar percentages of loss. With all the faith I have in the domain industry, I remind myself that companies can adapt while digital assets cannot. That's me being a contrarian as a I don’t believe in over-selling anything - just saying it how I think it is. Regardless, I am very confident in the domain industry and hope that Graen.com will be able to weather the storm as a major player for the next 20 years!


(Posted December 3, 2021) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:



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