NamesCon-logo

Well NamesCon is getting closer by the day, my flights are booked and based on the buzz I’m hearing I think it’s safe to say that this is likely to break last year’s attendance record. Like any conference, you’ll get out what you put in and I always recommend that people take the time to plan our what sessions they want to attend.

There are a wide range of talks at NamesCon so there really is something for everyone. I got an email from one of my blog readers last week who is attending NamesCon for her first time, she’s just getting started in the Domaining world and wanted to know what talks I recommended.

So I went through the session list and sent her three talks that I thought would be good for her to go to and thought I’d share that list with all of you as well.

Domain Auctions and Brokerage: A Path to Monetizing Your Domains

The perfect primer to the live NamesCon Domain Auction on Tuesday afternoon! Join our auction partners to learn the ins and outs of how to select your best names for submission, how to appraise names, and insider tips on how to take part during the live auction event. (Sunday, January 28th – 3:00PM – 3:45PM)

Navigating the World of geoTLDs

Geographic TLDs in the form of city, region or country-specific codes are well established, but often misunderstood. Our panel discusses the benefits and downsides of investing in geoTLDs, and assesses the market and viability of these types of domain names. (Monday, January 29th – 3:00PM – 3:45PM)

Mastering Aftermarket Appraisals

Join some of the domain industry’s top brokers for insight on how to appraise and evaluate domain names to sell or purchase. Stay for an interactive Q&A, where we’ll put the panel to the test and have them assess your very own domain names! (Tuesday, January 30th) – 3:00PM – 3:45PM)

Of course there are plenty of other great sessions for new Domainers but I wanted to keep it simple here and recommend three. Feel free to share some of the sessions you’re planning on going to in the comment section below!

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The last 48-hours have been some of the most tumultuous in the cryptocurrency world since, well, a few weeks ago. Despite the fact that for four years in a row crypto goes down in Jan, with just about every crypto deep in the red panic is taking place followed by a healthy dose of “I told you so!” from people standing on the sidelines.

It would absolutely suck to be a crypto day trader right now. At the same time, everyone in crypto should be realistic – no matter how much of a trading genius you think you are, the reality is that right now it’s about as close to gambling as you can get. Sure, point to fancy charts or talk about what you learned from your favorite You Tuber or heard on CNBC but the reality is nobody knows what’s actually going on in crypto.

That being said, what I said above is true – every January for four years crypto has dropped so I’m not sure it’s time to start panicking. I personally am a long-term speculator and have told myself I’m going to wait until 2023 to exit any of my core positions, which means I could end up with nothing five years from now, and I’m okay with that. Of course that doesn’t stop me from staying plugged-into the market daily and the Twitterverse has been alive with commentary, here are my three favorite tweets about the last 48-hours in the crypto world:

crypto-crash-tweet

palmer-luckey-crypto-crash

crypt-crash-jan-2018

 

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BIN Prices Domain Names

One of my favorite ongoing debates in the Domaining world surrounds a topic that might sound simple but ends up being surprisingly complex, should you price your domains or leave them open to offers? It’s a topic that I personally have gone back and forth on for years but over time I’ve landed in the BIN camp.

Of course this answer is different for different people so take anything I say here with a grain of salt but here’s the advantage I see to putting a BIN price on your names. When someone is looking for a domain name, and they don’t have one specific name in mind, they’re often driven by a name that they can easily find is available for sale, and is in their budget.

In most cases I think it’s pretty darn likely that when you sell a name at its BIN price, you probably did leave some money on the table. Just because someone bought your name for $3,500 doesn’t mean they didn’t have a $4,500 or even $7,500 budget. What it does mean is that the combination of domain and price made them pull the trigger right then and there.

If the same name was listed as “Make Offer” you could sell it for more but that same buyer could also easily overlook it. The question you have to ask yourself is how much profit are you happy with? Years ago I set my goal at 10x and told myself, if I can sell a domain for 10x what I’ve paid for it, I should be happy. This doesn’t mean that I price every domain at 10x my buy price, I have names at 20x, 30x or more in some cases, but I’m never going to be upset about a good return.

Let’s be honest – it’s easy to be obsessed with dollar values, you see a similar two-word .COM to one that you bought for $500 sell for $25,000 and suddenly that becomes your new price expectation. Sure you can turn down that $10,000 offer, but if you stop to think about making 20x what you paid and re-investing that money, it’s not hard to understand why making that $10k sale sooner could be a better long-term move.

So like most rules, there are exceptions. Let’s suppose you got a killer one-word .COM for $10,000 – you did your researched, negotiated like crazy, and landed yourself a solid six-figure domain. I’m definitely not saying that you should price your domain at $100,000 and be happy if you get it. Maybe you want a $500,000, maybe it’s a million or a bust. You’re willing to wait 5 – 10 years (or longer) for the right buyer to come by who will pay top dollar.

This exception is important because if you do have some (or many) truly premium domains then you probably will benefit from having a longer time horizon and waiting for that perfect buyer. I’ll tell you that Rick Schwartz probably wouldn’t have sold Porno.com for over $8M if he wasn’t willing to turn down plenty of amazing offers and take the time to wait for that perfect buyer that would pay what he knew it was worth.

That being said, businesses need liquidity and if you’re holding out for the perfect buyer for that $10 two-word .COM hand reg, think a bit more about what a $1,500 or $2,500 sale would actually mean when it comes to ROI. I’m not telling you not to be greedy, but I am saying to balance that with practicality and put yourself in the mind of the buyer and make it easy to buy a domain from you.

Of course, if you have a portfolio full of junk you can set BINs all you want and nobody’s going to buy. Too often I’ve seen people with garbage hand registrations complaining that they keep lowering their BINs but nobody’s buying. If you do have domains that could actually spark the interest of someone other than you, then setting a BIN is, in my opinion the best way to improve your liquidity.

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

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Altcoin dip January 2015

Almost every crypto is down today, and as usual we can all do our best to guess why but let’s be honest – you can do all the technical analysis you want and you’re still just throwing darts.  A number of altcoins saw their price drop massively over the last 24-hours with SmartCash holding the loss leader down almost 40%. Below is a list of the top ten cryptos that go hit the hardest today:

  1. SmartCash (-39.19%)
  2. Dentacoin (-36.49%)
  3. Dent (-28.05%)
  4. MediBloc (-27.49%)
  5. Bytom (-26.95%)
  6. ReddCoin (-24.76%)
  7. Loopring (-22.98%)
  8. Dodgecoin (-22.83%)
  9. Kin (-22.23%)
  10. Verge (-21.87%)

I’ll be honest, I’ve only heard of three cryptos on this list. While it can be easy to see a bunch of red and hear that some cryptos are down in the 25%+ range and start yelling – crash! But if you take a look at most of the cryptos we all know like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin it really doesn’t look like the sky is falling. Here’s a look at how the top ten cryptos faired today:

  1. Bitcoin (-4.21%)
  2. Ethereum (-8.2%)
  3. Ripple (-14.41%)
  4. Bitcoin Cash (-10.41%)
  5. Cardano (-10.55%)
  6. Litecoin (-6.42%)
  7. NEM (-7.45%)
  8. NEO (+8.105)
  9. Stellar (-13.07%)
  10. IOTA (-10.05%)

Also let’s remember that most of the cryptos listed above are up 1,000% or more in 2017, heck some are over 10,000% so going down 10% in a day shouldn’t be that scary, in fact it probably should happen. This is one of those times where veteran crypto investors will be chanting HODL and new investors will get scared and panic sell. Everyone will look for an answer and come up with some creative explanation, and whoever gets it right most-likely did it by accident.

Welcome to the wild west of crypto. As many of you know I have been speculating in the crypto space but I’m not a day, week or month trader. I’m in this for years to come so I say, bring the bumps along the way! What do you think – is this the beginning of a huge crypto crash or is this one of those famous dips where everyone kicks themselves for not buying in?

I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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Blogging

As those of you have been reading my blog for a long time know, my life has changed a lot since I started blogging back in 2007. Five years ago I co-founded a startup, Bold Metrics, and that meant spending a lot less time on Domaining. I think before starting our company Domaining was a real hobby for me, something that I spent a few hours a day on, but once you start a company, that really does take just about every waking minute.

Now, all that being said, domain names have changed my life and I still actively invest in domain names and plan to continue to as long as domain names exist…which hopefully is at least another 50 years right? I still put more of my investment dollars into domain names than anything else and don’t plan to change that anytime soon. Last year I started to get interested in crypto, and yes like everyone else, I got the bug. I have put some money in crypto and have been really enjoying learning more about the space, it reminds me a bit of when I first got into Domaining and was just having a blast reading and learning.

Which brings me to my personal blog – MorganLinton.com. Prior to December, my blog readership was pretty split between domain people and startup people. Then I wrote a few blog posts about crypto in December they ended-up being some of the most-read posts I’ve had all year and brought on some new readers specifically interested in crypto.

Now I’m in a weird place. I have startup founders and crypto people complaining that I write too much about domains…and I have domain people telling me that they don’t want to read about crypto and startups on my blog. At the same time it seems like both sides are reading but it’s feeling too fragmented.

Let’s be honest, this is my personal blog, that’s why it’s called MorganLinton.com so for me, it makes sense to write about the things that I’m personally interested in which is – startups, domains, and crypto right now. Six months from now I could get really into rare gems and start writing about that – who knows? I can’t imagine just writing about startups or just writing about domains on my blog since that wouldn’t really be reflective of what’s going through my mind and would instead just provide a myopic view into one thing that I’m interested in.

So I’m thinking about starting a second blog, focused entirely on Domaining. I have a really solid core group of readers that have been with me for 5 – 10 years that definitely like reading about Domaining. I don’t want to let them down by having only one in three posts be relevant to them. There’s a lot going on in the Domaining world, definitely more than enough for me to write a daily post just about Domaining, but then I could still write about startups and crypto and other things that me, Morgan, feels is interesting and wants to write about on MorganLinton.com.

What do you think? Are you getting sick of me writing about startups and VC, and then about domains, and then about Crypto? Would you rather just have one place for me to write about Domaining? Or do you like these three topics like I do and enjoy reading about them all? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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NamesCon-logo

In a few weeks domain name investors from around the world will converge in Las Vegas for NamesCon, the largest event in the domain industry. One of the highlights of the conference is the live domain auction hosted by ROTD and pre-bidding has already started on NameJet, and like the title says, there are already six-figure bids.

namescon-rotd-auction

If you’ve never been to a live domain auction I can tell you – it’s a rush that’s hard to explain, at least for a domain geek like me. Monte Cahn, one of the most respected domain industry veterans will be running the auction again this year and from what I’ve seen over the years, when Monte’s involved, a lot of the truly premium domains come out.

So I’m not incredibly surprised that we’re already starting to see six-figure bids come out in pre-bidding more than two weeks before the auction. The two domains with six-figure bids are:

Lucky.com – $501,000
Super.com – $127,000

Other notable domains with strong interest in the pre-bidding phase are: pen.com, profile.com, shock.com, price.com, stop.com, cork.com, and the list goes on. I think it’s safe to say that some of the best one-word .COMs out there are going to hit the open market during the live auction at NamesCon this year.

Given that last year even two-word .COMs like MyWorld.com broke the $1M mark I think it’s safe to say this is likely going to be one of the most exciting live auctions yet. As usual I’ve submitted a handful of names to the auction and I’ll be interested to see which ones make the cut.

One strange thing I’ve learned about myself is that for some reason, when I’m in a live auction I end up with a rum and coke in my hand. Honestly I pretty much never drink rum and coke, it’s one of my least favorite drinks, but years ago I started drinking them during live auctions and now it’s become a bit of a tradition. If any of my readers are going to be at NamesCon, feel free to join me for one, maybe you can start a new tradition yourself!

You can see the full list of domains in pre-bidding for the NamesCon auction here.

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binance-logo

Binance, one of the most popular global cryptocurrency exchanges is currently having some technical difficulty with their two-factor authentication system (specifically via SMS). This means that a ton of people are now locked out of their accounts, at a time when just about every cryptocurrency is down. People are going nuts on Twitter but so far Binance has been radio silent about the bug.

binance-sms-down

Of course, given that the #1 mantra in the cryptocurrency world is HODL, it seems Binance has inadvertently created the next generation of HODLers for the time being. Given the incredible volume that exchanges like CoinBase, Binance, Bitrex and others have seen it’s not too surprising that there’s a technical glitch.

Binance saw so many new user registrations in December that they had to temporarily disable new registrations. The service now boats over five million users and once they open registrations back up again I’m guessing they’ll be at ten million in no time. Given that I already have an account on Binance I also haven’t checked so maybe they switched it back on and that’s somehow related to the issue they’re seeing now, who knows?

This is also why so many people are staying out of the crypto game for now. Companies like Fidelity and Charles Schwab have ironclad policies that protect your money and make sure you can easily access and trade with your account. The cryptocurrency world is still the wild west and many speculators (notice I didn’t say investors? I thought you’d like that) are taking on multiple layers of risk with both incredible market volatility and buggy exchanges with questionable security measures.

coin-market-cap-1-11-2018

(Source – CoinMarketCap.com)

As you can see from the chart above just about every cryptocurrency is down today which likely means there’s a lot of people trying to login to their Binance account, and likely for different reasons. As we’ve seen over the last few months, at times like this those who put their life savings into crypto begin panic selling, and those who have been in it for a while now start buying…but for now, both sides are going to just have to sit it out until Binance can get this fixed.

I’ll be honest in saying that I am a bit disappointed that Binance hasn’t mentioned anything about this bug on their Twitter account or blog. Given that a huge portion of their user base (likely millions of people) can’t login, this seems like a pretty big deal. Still, like I said above, this is still the wild west and it will be for the foreseeable future, and in the wild west…things like this do happen.

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DotIO Domains

Well 2018 is already off to a pretty amazing start for .IO as Matrix.io took the cake as the top sale of the day on Monday selling for $30,000 on popular domain marketplace Park.io.

The top sale of the day was Matrix.io which sold for $30,000 at Park.io. NameBio recorded 187 sales for a total of $131,750 with an average sale price of $705. (Source – NameBio)

On a day where the average sale price is $705 it’s pretty incredible to see a .IO domain take the top spot at 42x the average sales price. That being said it’s no secret that .IO has become a top alternative to .COM. This doesn’t mean that companies are now preferring .IO to .COM, I think it’s still very safe to say that whoever bought Matrix.io probably picked Matrix.com as their first choice but likely didn’t have the budget.

It’s a process that startups go through all the time, go with their second choice .COM or their first choice non-.COM. A domain like Matrix.com is easily worth $500,000+ and likely would sell for over $1M IMHO which prices out a ton of companies that would want to brand around the name.

Rewind years ago and if the .COM was taken most people would immediately look to .NET. Today there are more options than ever before but it’s pretty clear that .IO is one of the top options when considering a non .COM. What do you think? Does the Matrix.io sale show that .IO is growing in value or is this more of an outlier? Comment and let your voice be heard!

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Angry Guy

Well this is a strange one. Someone who claims to be a supporter of Paul Soglin, a Democratic Madison Mayor candidate, purchased a couple of domains with Soglin’s name in it saying he would donate them to the campaign. Then, it seems he had a change of heart and moved the price from free, to, uh – $30,000 each.

Why would he do this? Because he asked for a job interview in exchange for the domains, and without an interview, these free names suddenly got really expensive.

E-mails obtained by The Associated Press show Matt Dexter initially promised to donate the domain names to Soglin’s campaign. Then he asked for a job interview.

Soglin’s campaign manager Melissa Mulliken told Dexter in an email Monday that he was holding the website addresses “hostage” and she will not interview him as a “quid pro quo to get the domains.” (Source – Seattle Times)

So what are the names here? SoglinForGovernor.com and Soglin2018.com. IMHO these domains are certainly worth more than $0 but $30,000 seems crazy. Also if you want to get a job, trying to exchange domains for an interview is crafty idea…but you look pretty silly if you throw a tantrum if you don’t get your way. Now there’s an 100% chance they’ll never hire him and my guess is they are now a lot less interested in the domains since it means they’ll have to deal with this guy.

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

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A relatively unknown ccTLD, .GG has become a go-to domain name extension in the eSports world. Why you ask? Well in the gaming world “GG” is one of the most used abbreviations and it stands for “Good Game.” As eSports has grown dramatically over the last few years, so has interest in .GG which honestly I hadn’t heard of myself until last year.

I stumbled across .GG as I started to get into eSports and began following a few of the top teams. One of my favorite teams is Evil Geniuses who have competed in 685 tournaments and brought in over $16M. Yes, that’s right, everyone on the team is a millionaire thanks to gaming, and their site – EvilGeniuses.gg.

evil-geniuses-gg

Evil Geniuses has a pretty interesting history, if you’re interested in a good book that does a deeper dive into them and the rise of eSports in general I highly recommend – Good Luck and Have Fun. Along with Evil Geniuses, my second favorite team is Cloud9 and, yes, you guessed it – their site is located on Cloud9.gg.

cloud9-site

And the list goes on, many of the top eSports teams have picked .GG as the primary domain extension to brand around. In some cases, team opt for shorter names since a lot more options are available in the .GG space. One example is Team OG, another awesome DOTA 2 team with a major sponsorship from Red Bull, they’ve decided to put their site on ogs.GG.

101domain

Like many other niche ccTLDs you can’t buy .GG on a mainstream registrar like Go Daddy. When it comes to ccTLDs I have sworn by 101Domain.com, along with the largest selection of ccTLDs out of any registrar (last time I checked at least!) they also tend to have the best pricing and the best security and backend system. Currently .GG domains are priced a $129.99 which might sound expensive for a registration fee but when you compare it to the money any of these teams would have to pay for the .COM of their name, it’s a small fraction of the price.

In the eSports world, branding on a .GG is actually seen as a bit more hip and cool than .COM so many of these teams and tournaments aren’t making a push to get their .COM and likely won’t anytime soon. As many of you know, I still think .COM is without a doubt the best investment grade domain name out there, but in the eSports world at the moment .GG is king.

Now that being said, I wouldn’t want anyone to read this article and assume that I’m suggesting that you go out and buy a bunch of .GG domains. Still it’s hard to ignore a domain name extension that is being adopted by one of the fastest growing industries in the world. I don’t own a single .GG domain yet but I’m interested to know if any of my readers have invested in this extension, and if so, what the experience has been like so far.

I want to hear from you – comment and let your voice be heard!

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