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The Lowdown
February 2022 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.

Drive.us Sold for $99,999 in Biggest Verified .US Sale Ever Reported

Since the current domain sales boom began (soon after the start of the global pandemic that forced countless businesses to create or strengthen their online presence) we've gotten used to seeing big sales in an increasingly wide variety of TLDs. While .coms continued to command the most money, TLDS like .io, .co, .xyz and and a few others have flirted with, or even surpassed the six-figure mark. 

Now, in the biggest .US sale we have ever been able to verify, the ccTLD for the United States of America (and the first ccTLD created on internet in 1985) has thrown its hat into the ring. Veteran domain investor Keith Trost just sold Drive.us for $99,999 in a Buy It Now transaction on the Afternic platform (we've seen the documentation).

Keith, who had the year's 4th highest reported domain sale in 2020 with NAS.com at $720,000, doesn't yet know who the Drive.us buyer is. As of this writing, the domain is resolving to a GoDaddy parking page, however the public WhoIs record now shows a registrant email address tied to Mark Monitor, a firm well known for managing domain asserts for some of the biggest companies in the world. So, odds are good the new owner's name, when it is revealed, will be one that is already familiar to a lot people.

The $99,999 paid for Drive.us is a big jump from what the highest publicly reported .US sales fetched last year when Yellow.us and PPE.us went for $20,000 each and Task.us attracted $18,000. With the bull market sending prices for one-word and short acronym domains in .com into the stratosphere, short domains in some other TLDs will likely continue to attract buyers who either can't  afford the term they want in .com or can't get it at any price due to it being in use and off the market. The rising tide may not be lifting all boats, but it is certainly lifting a lot more than it used to

(Posted February 21, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Finally! 31 Months After Their Last In-Person Event NamesCon Global Set to Return This Summer

The domain industry got some great news today when organizers of its biggest event, NamesCon Global, announced they will return to staging the show in person this summer. The event will run Wednesday, August 31, 2022 through Saturday, September 3 at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas.  That is the same venue where the last face-to-face NamesCon event was held in January 2020. When we all headed home from that show we never could have dreamed it would be over two and a half years before we would have an opportunity to meet in person again.

Just a few weeks after it ended, the Covid 19 virus reared its ugly head and began wreaking worldwide havoc, forcing NamesCon to make a quick switch to virtual conferences, the last of whish was held in September 2021. While those were well-produced and widely appreciated replacements for the temporarily sidelined traditional format, there is no way to duplicate the benefits of spending time together in person. That made this some of the best news we have gotten in a long time. 

The decision was made possible by current trends showing the pandemic is finally receding in most locations around the U.S.  It is certainly not over yet but, barring the appearance of  any especially virulent new strain, looks to be controlled enough to to allow most people, following sensible precautions, to safely travel and get back to a lot of the things we used to take for granted. That being the case, NamesCon has opened registration for the show with $349 early bird tickets available for those who register within the next 30 days. We most definitely plan to be there and are excited to see as many of you as possible in person again this summer! 

(Posted February 17, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Paul Nicks Moves Up to President, Domains at GoDaddy After Guiding Booming Aftermarket There 

It was great to see news that came out late Friday afternoon about Paul Nicks being promoted to President, Domains at industry giant GoDaddy. Paul has been with the company since 2007 and for the past six years has served as Vice President of Aftermarket. In that role he has been instrumental in the dramatic growth GoDaddy has seen in their aftermarket domain sales efforts - a category that has become one of the company's most  important revenue sources. Along the way, Paul has always been an advocate for the domain investment community and has fostered a more professional environment in the sector that has helped it achieve a considerably higher level of credibility in the business and regulatory worlds. 

Nicks has never been one for personal fanfare and his appointment to GoDaddy's top level of management seems to have followed form as I've seen no formal press release about it (Elliot Silver at DomainInvesting.com posted the first report I saw, followed soon after by additional reporting at DomainNameWire.com). When your work is consistently that good it speaks for itself. We have always appreciated it and this smart move by GoDaddy shows they have as well. 

Paul Nicks
President, Domains

(Posted February 14, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Stable.com Sells for Over $1 Million in One of the 3 Biggest Sales Reported Year-to-Date

We are less than six weeks into the new year and we've just had the third 7-figure sale reported in 2022 come to light. If they continue at that rate all year, 25 sales would end up being reported at that level compared to 14 in 2021 and only 2 in 2020

The latest to ring the seven-figure bell is seller's  Broker Maxwell Cashman at NewReach.com who just closed a $1,008,925 deal for Stable.com through Escrow.com. As of this writing, we don't know who the buyer is as the name is under WhoIs Privacy at NetworkSolutions and the nameservers have not yet been changed.

Whoever it is, unless a bigger sale comes in before our next bi-weekly domain sales report Wednesday evening (Feb. 16), Stable.com will rank as the 3rd biggest sale reported so far in 2022, trailing only Galaxy.com at $1,800,000 and Unlock.com at $1,228,200

(Posted February 10, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


How Ulvi Kasimov's Team at the .ART Registry is Attempting to Create a New gTLD Masterpiece 

A lot has happened since ICANN launched their new gTLD program with just four new extensions (all IDNs) in October 2013. Fast forward to today and more than 1,000 new TLDs of all kinds are operating with varying degrees of success. Breaking out of a pack that big is not easy but the best operators have managed to do it by selecting TLDs with natural appeal and supporting them with  strong management, marketing and funding for what can be a long haul on the road to widespread recognition. While it is great to have any one of those things going for you, in the new TLD space it has almost always required all three to reach the top tier of new global domain name extensions.

Image from Bigstock

Ulvi Kasimov
.ART Founder 

The .ART registry is one those that have put it all together and are now, five years after launch, reaping the rewards from their hard work and financial investment. .ART is obviously a great keyword to begin with, representing a massive market that has only gotten bigger on the Internet over the past couple of years with the emergence of NFT art. It has such great natural appeal that it became one of the three most highly contested TLDs when ICANN opened the rights up for auction.

The auction winner was Ulvi Kasimov, a venture investor and patron of the arts, whose company UK Creative Ideas Limited (UKCI) became the operator of .ART and launched the TLD in December 2016.  By the the time .ART went into General Availability in May 2017 it already had a user base filled with some of the world's biggest names in art, entertainment and business. They included The Louvre, Sotheby’s, TATE, Centre Pompidou, MAXXI Museum, Beyoncé, Banksy, Rolex, BMW, Apple, Google and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to name just a few. You can see a fascinating list of .ART's top adopters here (.pdf file).

With so many celebrated supporters and the built-in credibility of the name itself, .ART has now attracted over 177,000 registrants, which puts them among the top 3% of all new gTLD registries. They are also ranked among

the 10 fastest growing registries, in part because the TLD is much more affordable than it was in its early years when $50 a year general registrations were common. As of this writing, at popular registrar Dynadot, .ART registrations have a base rate of $12.99 and are just $5.99 for the first year. 

In another sign of good health, .ART, who is headquartered in London with additional offices in Los Angeles, Moscow and Beijing, has an overall renewal rate of 63%. That soars to 85% for the more than 13,000 premium domains they have sold. While premium domains are a key source of revenue, accounting for 69% of the registry's income, only 5% of their domains have carried a premium price, insuring that the vast majority of domains are available to registrants around the world at standard rates.

I mentioned NFTs opening up a whole new world for .ART but that is just part of the ground-breaking path the registry is on. .ART is now a patent holder for its Digital Twin solution. The .art Digital Twin is a digital certificate of authenticity that can be applied to any art or cultural object. It provides an easy to understand, easy to use solution for storing valuable artwork information, including any kind of media that could confirm its value and illustrate the creativity behind it. Using the international Object IDTM standard developed by the Getty Trust, the DNS & blockchain acts as an expansive, distributed, secure data holder.   

.ART has also launched its own crypto wallet solution, allowing you to send crypto directly to registered domains using .ART domains. Instead of typing out an incredibly long crypto address, you have the option to simply type in an easy-to-remember domain like annieswallet.art – with a synergetic security of ENS and DNS used in parallel.       

.ART also provides a free, easy to use website builder to help artists establish a memorable web address and establish a website for displaying their work. Anyone with a .ART domain can build their online presence in a few clicks. The relatively simple web pages can serve as a sort of digital business card, or as a communication hub that is used as an entry point for all platforms used by the owner, from Medium to TikTok. 

Mr. Kasimov said, “This has truly been a remarkable period. Since its launch, .ART has grown into a fully-fledged brand acknowledged by the artistic community, thanks to every single one of our adopters. Our latest partnerships with CADAF and Ars Electronica and the added context of the pandemic have shown new horizons, so we will keep up the innovatory spirit. We are already looking for new tools and novel ways to act as an activation agent to connect tech, art and finance – digitally, but on a human scale.” 

For an illuminating complete account of Mr. Kasimov's personal quest for the .ART TLD, you will want to read his comments in this  exclusive interview published on the Art.art blog in 2019.  In another interesting read, check out the history of the .ART registry here.

(Posted February 8, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Winners Announced in Radix's #SiteIt Contest - Shark Tank Judge Helped Attract 6,000 Entrants

Radix continues to burnish their image as one of the most creative marketers in the new gTLD space. The registry operator administers 11 TLDs and is continually coming up with new ways to build recognition for their top level domains. This week Radix's .Site Domains announced the winners of the ambitious #SiteIt contest they created in partnership with giant registrar Namecheap. The partners were able to enlist Kevin Harrington, one of the original judges on ABC-TV's hit series Shark Tank to judge their competition, giving it instant credibility and awareness in the creative community.

The contest invited participants to share their idea along with a unique .Site domain name that could be used for their concept. Over 6,000 people wound up registering and presenting ideas. From those entries, the Radix team short-listed the finalists with the winner and runner-up then chosen by veteran entrepreneur, business executive and network celebrity Harrington. The winner, Teodor Rupi, earned a 1-on-1 brainstorming session with Harrington, $2,500 in cash, a MacBook Air and a hoverboard. The runner-up, Jaydev Sachdeva, took home $1,000 in cash and both also received a Website Starter Kit from Namecheap. 

Harrington said, “As an entrepreneur, it was especially exciting for me to judge the #SiteIt Contest. I feel deeply passionate about bringing ideas to life and truly believe that after the initial spark, all it takes is a nudge in the right direction. This contest by .Site Domains and Namecheap was just the kind of motivation needed to urge people to share their ideas on the web.”   


Kevin Harrington
One of the original judges on 
ABC-TV's hit series Shark Tank.

Winner, Teodor Rupi said  “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won the #SiteIt contest! I’m very grateful to .Site Domains and Namecheap for the experience, and their initiative to motivate people to share ideas and get a jump start in making their ideas a reality. The .Site Domains team's support, prizes and overall experience reinforced, for me, the value a simple idea could have once it’s shared.”

Namecheap Global Marketing Manager Elpida Moutsiou added, “At Namecheap, we’re always happy to join initiatives to help talented entrepreneurs and innovators thrive. Through our partnership with .Site Domains, we reaffirm our purpose of helping people take their ideas to the web. We can’t wait to see how the winner and runner-up utilize our full startup kit to bring their ideas to fruition on their new .Site domain.” 

The specific business idea and domain each prize winner came up with were not released, which is prudent so no one will capitalize on their ideas before they get a chance to put them in motion.

(Posted February 4, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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