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Post Holiday Round Up: Three Cheers From the Zak Pack, Prognostications, .XYZ & NFTs! 

I hope you all had a great holiday season and that the new year will turn out to be your best yet! Today I want to touch on a few things I didn't have a chance to write about while taking full advantage of the seasonal break to rest and recharge.

First, I wanted to join the loud chorus of cheers you have been hearing for Internet Commerce Association Legal Counsel, veteran domain attorney and all around nice guy Zak Muscovitch. The Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre (CIIDRCappointed Zak to its roster of panelists who decide disputes under ICANN's UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) and under CIRA's .ca CDRP (Canadian Dispute Resolution Policy). Zak is one of the world's leading experts in the field of domain name law. With over 20 years of experience and encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, Zak is a great addition for CIIDRC. 

As most of you know, Zak has been the ICA's Legal Counsel for the past four years and has done such an outstanding job defending domain owner's rights, I think it's past time he have his own fan club, so consider this post the launch of the Zak Pack!

Zak Muscovitch
ICA Legal Counsel

Andrew Allemann
Domain Name Wire Podcast

This being January, it also a time for looking back at what happened in the year just past and what the industry's prospects are for the new year ahead. We'll be examining both in our 18th annual State of the Industry Cover Story that will be out in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, Andrew Allemann has already released the 2022 Predictions episode of his popular DNW Podcast (his is episode #369)! The show features audio predictions from 22 industry experts (I was honored to be among them) that will give you a good idea of how people whose livelihood depends on it think the domain business will fare in 2022

A lot of people looking back on 2021 have been commenting of the increasing depth of the domain aftermarket. Yes, .com is still dominant and the gold standard, but a handful of non .com gTLDs and ccTLDs (re-purposed to serve as generic globally available extensions, a la .io, .co, .ai and .me - to name a few) have carved out a growing piece of the aftermarket for themselves.

The strength of .xyz, especially in the crypto space, may have been the biggest surprise (though certainly not to Founder Daniel Negari, who has believed in it from day one). After Google picked Alphabet.xyz as their corporate address and fintech giant Square changed their name to Block and their URL to block.xyz, the TLD is being viewed in a new light. Anita RamaswamyTechCrunch did a good job of explaining what's up with .xyz in an article that came out between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Larry Fischer
Founder, NFT.net

In 2022, it looks like NFTs (non-fungible tokens) will be creating even more buzz than crypto, with our field included because NFT domains have become a thing. As a digital asset, it's not surprising to see a lot of major figures in the domain industry (built on digital assets, of course) taking a big interest in NFTs. One of the most visible of those is veteran domain investor & broker Larry Fischer, who has launched NFT.net, a central place to organize, share and discover NFT art

When someone like Larry, who has made more six and seven figure domain sales than most people could even dream of (including both  Marketing.com at $2.5 million and Near.com at $1.15 million in 2021), goes all in on a new category like this, people in this business are going to pay attention to it. 

As always, the constant in this industry is change. It may be hard to keep up but it sure keeps things interesting!

(Posted January 4, 2022)  


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