There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of the The Sandbox. So I’ll give you a quick intro. At a high level, The Sandbox is a play where you have the chance to play, create, own, and govern in a virtual world made up of players.

From the NFT-side, it could represent one of the early metaverse land grands. So what land is being sold? Here’s a map:

As you can see, there are a lot of small, 1×1 properties, and some larger properties like PONG from Atari who announced their partnership last year:

Atari

Atari® — one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands and entertainment producers — has announced a new partnership with Animoca Brands and its subsidiary TSB Gaming Ltd — the creators of the revolutionary blockchain-based gaming metaverse, The Sandbox. Hit Atari properties such as Asteroids®, Centipede®, Pong®, and RollerCoaster Tycoon® will be brought to life within the 3D voxel world of The Sandbox, an interactive virtual world that launches this year on the Ethereum blockchain.

(Source – Atari)

On the map above you can see Atari has some pretty badass property both for PONG and Rollercoaster Tycoon. Other companies in the crypto world like Binance and CoinMarketCap have premium real estate. Which leads to the NFT real-estate I’m looking at, CMC connected 1×1’s.

Translation – 1 tile by 1 tile plots of land, connecting to the CMC (CoinMarketCap) property. Or in other words, land directly connected to Disneyland (or its Metaverse alternative).

Now what CMC puts on their land will impact the price of the land around it, but if The Sandbox does takeoff, this is like buying property alongside the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Or it could be a total waste of money and every penny you invest could turn into zero pennies. Just to be clear, investing in anything I’m talking about would be a massive risk, and you shouldn’t look at this as investment advice. Nobody would think this is a safe or sound investment.

While I’m not going all-in on NFTs or anything close to that. I do want to have solid exposure in projects I’m excited about and believe in. I think The Sandbox looks super interesting and I’m going to dive in, buy some land, maybe another couple in-game NFTs and take it from there.

Oh and if you want to go deeper and really follow me down this rabbit hole, check out this video:

As for where I’m buying land on Sandbox, I’m looking here on OpenSea.io. There are over 77,000 Sandbox NFTs available on OpenSea.io, and yes – I’m more interested in the land right now than the token itself…for now at least 🤷‍♂️

Okay, time for bed, thanks for reading 🙏 🚀

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3 things I’m doing to learn more about NFTs

While NFTs seem to be all the rage in 2021, they really started to get interesting years ago, and by years ago I mean nine years ago. For anyone thinking that NFTs are something totally new, think again, instead this is a market that has had almost a decade to grow and evolve and in 2021, it’s safe to say, it’s hitting a critical mass.

Some people think of CryptoKitties as the first NFTs but it’s probably more accurate to call Colored Coins the true first NFTs. So wait, what are Colored Coins? Here’s a quick primer:

One could argue that Colored Coins are the very first NFTs to exist. Colored Coins are made of small denominations of a bitcoin and can be as small as a single satoshi, the smallest unit of a bitcoin. Colored Coins can be used to represent a multitude of assets and have multiple use cases including:

Property
Coupons
Ability to issue your own Cryptocurrency
Issue shares of a company
Subscriptions
Access tokens
Digital collectibles

Colored Coins exemplified a huge leap in Bitcoin’s capabilities, however, their downside was they could only represent certain values if everyone agrees on their worth. Bitcoin’s scripting language was never meant to enable this type of behavior within its network, thus Colored Coins were only as powerful as their weakest participant. For example, 3 people agree that 100 Colored Coins represent 100 company shares. If even one participant decides they no longer equate Colored Coins to represent company shares, the entire system falls apart.

(Source – Medium)

Back in 2012 I can tell you, I was getting into crypto (and yes I wish I bought a lot more back then!) but I had no idea what NFTs are. I’ve been focused on domain names for so long, I missed the growth of the NFT world.

Now like many of you, I’m playing catchup and trying to learn as much about NFTs as I can, making some of my first investments like this awesome piece from SSX3Lau:

Faces SSX3Lau

I’m a big believer that when you’re learning new things, you should be a sponge and just do everything you can to learn. And right now, it’s safe to say I’m deep in sponge-mode. Since I know my readers are also interested in NFTs I thought I’d share more about three things I’m doing to learn more about NFTs in case you want to learn more yourself.

  1. Clubhouse – there are some great discussions happening on Clubhouse about NFTs, I would look for anything that Farokh Sarmad (@farokhgoodlife) is moderating, he tends to be a part of the most interesting Clubhouse rooms focused on NFTs, IMHO of course. For now I just enjoy being a fly on the wall, I don’t know enough to contribute but I do really enjoy listening and learning.
  2. Buying NFTs – like most things in life, you can learn faster by doing. At the same time, when it comes to investing this probably means wasting some money as you learn. While I’d love to think I’m making great investments out of the gate, I’m probably not, and that’s okay. I’m putting money into NFTs that I am okay losing, I see it as an educational expense at this point. From getting the Kings of Leon Album NFT, art from SSX3Lau or Top Shot cards, I’m diving in and learning from every experience.
  3. Talking with experts – I have been able to connect with people who know a lot about NFTs, and much like when I got started in domain names, just ask a lot of questions and learn from their experience. When I got started in the domain investing world I tried to spend as much time as I could talking with experienced investors, this likely made the biggest impact for me and I’ve been really enjoying doing the same in the NFT world.

Right now I wouldn’t even call myself a beginner when it comes to NFTs, I think total noob would probably be the best way to describe me. And that’s okay – I love learning and love digital assets, I like the idea of being able to live anywhere in the world and not worry about physical assets. Having an $100,000 piece of art, physically hanging in my place would be stressful for me, I like the idea of digital art a lot more.

So what’s next along my learning path? This week I’m doing a deeper dive into The Sandbox, which is on track to become the first real Metaverse where property has real value (people are buying land for six-figures in The Sandbox today). I hope to end this week with my first little chunk of land in The Sandbox, and as always, as I move forward I’ll continue to share what I learn with all of you 🕺

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Well it’s official, I now have a piece of NFT art, created by me, listed for sale on OpenSea.io the largest NFT marketplace. The whole process has been fascinating and more than anything, it has been fun to get in touch with my artistic side more. Before I dive into the technical details I’ll share a bit more about the art I created and why it’s meaningful to me.

Since I was a little kid my family and I would go to Yosemite every year, we did it for fifteen years and honestly it was probably my favorite week of the year. If you’ve been to Yosemite before you know it is absolutely beautiful and unique in so many ways. I still try to go to Yosemite has much as a I can and over the last couple of years my friends and I have been doing a really fun snow backpacking trip out to Dewey Point in Yosemite.

What makes Dewey Point so special is the view you get of El Capitan, one of the most distinct mountains in Yosemite. And El Cap, at sunset from Dewey Point is absolutely magical. The problem is, it’s hard to get that magic to translate when you look at a photograph, your mind just isn’t in the same mode that it’s in when you’re actually there.

So for my first piece of NFT art I thought, how can I make something that feels a bit surreal, that the mind knows isn’t real, so that it gets you into a little different headspace and through that maybe you can get a step closer to the magic you experience when you’re there. And thus my first piece of art was created, if you want to pause here and take a look at it on OpenSea.io feel free to:

Morgan Linton NFT

Okay, so now for the question I know a lot of people have, how the heck do you actually create an NFT and list it for sale? The process was actually pretty simple so if you have three minutes, read on and you’ll know how to do it too!

Step 1: Create an OpenSea.io and MetaMask.io account
You will need an account with both OpenSea and MetaMask. OpenSea is the marketplace itself and MetaMask is the Ethereum wallet they play nicely with.

Step 2: Send some ETH to your MetaMask account
You’ll need to pay the listing fee (plus gas) and I usually just recommend people throw say $100 worth of ETH into their MetaMask account so they have some funds to play with. This will be more than enough to cover your first listing.

Step 3: Submit your NFT to OpenSea
Go up to the top menu (i.e. on the upper right of your screen) and click Create, then scroll down to Submit NFTs, here’s what it looks like:

Submit NFT to OpenSea

Step 4: Create your first collection
On the next screen you just click the blue “Create” button to create your first collection:

Create Collection OpenSea

Step 5: Fill out a quick form about the collection you’re creating
Here’s what the form looks like:

OpenSea Collections

Step 6: Click “Add Items” to start adding items to your collection

NFT Collection Created

Step 7: Add the things you want to make NFTs of
To keep things simple I decided to start with a JPG, you could go nuts and jump in with an animated GIF, a video, really anything you want, you just need the digital file. Below you can see all the formats that OpenSea can handle:

OpenSea File Format Support

Step 8: Click Create and pay the listing fee (plus gas)
The next step is where the magic happens and your NFT gets added to the blockchain and available for purchase. You’ll go through an initialization step first:

Initialize OpenSea Account
OpenSea Account ready for trading

And that’s it – you now have an NFT listed for sale. Not too bad right? Given that I just went through this process for the first time yesterday I should note I’m about as far from an expert as I can be. I’m having a blast learning and as always will share what I learn with all of you – thanks for reading!

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I’ve been looking around on Flippa more and more these days and finding some pretty interesting things when I do. While I used to think of Flippa as a place to buy minisites that were generating a few bucks a month, today it has become a real marketplace for full scale online businesses.

It makes sense that larger more established online businesses are flocking to Flippa and buyers are too thanks to things like Due Diligence services, and streamlined revenue validation options. Gone are the days where you have to spend all your time sifting through junk to find that one special site, now Flippa is full of them.

So I thought it might be interesting to share a few sales that caught my eye starting with Ninja Outreach, a SaaS business that sold for $2.5M on Flippa last year.

Ninja Outreach

When you look at the stats it’s not surprising to see this SaaS business sell for seven figures, they were doing north of $60k/mo in profit which is over $700,000/year. I would imagine this turned into a nice little revenue generating machine for the new owner given that the product was already built and they had over 1,300 clients.

Often the fear people have with online businesses is that something labeled as “turnkey” will be anything but that. This is where using Flippa’s Due Diligence service to really dig in can help to make sure you are getting something that’s as turnkey as you think.

Of course, I was super curious to know if the new owners had changed the site, and well, they did – and it looks like they also scored some major enterprise clients like Amazon, Walmart, and AirBnB to name a few. I think it’s safe to say, the company that bought this seems to know what they’re doing and my guess is it’s making a lot more than $700k/year in revenue.


The next sale that caught my eye took place about two months ago, it’s a site called JobsForFelonsHub.com and it sold for $500,000.

JobsForFelonsHub.com

This is an interesting one as it’s in a niche I don’t know much about but certainly makes a lot of sense. The site has been around for seven years and was doing about $15.5k/mo in profit at the time it was purchased which comes out to around $186,000/year. At $500k the owner sold for a little less than 3x profit which puts it at a similar multiple to Ninja Outreach.

Taking a look at this site it doesn’t seem like the new owners did much sprucing up, instead I’m thinking they may have kept the site as it is, and hey, like the adage says, if it’s not broken, maybe there’s nothing to fix.

A site like this that ranks for popular search terms in a niche that’s not very crowded can probably run pretty smoothly as with regular content updates.


The last site that caught my eye sounds really darn cool but the site itself was kept confidential in the transaction. That being said, you can probably figure out what site it is given that the listing mentions that it’s Australia’s #1 pure play online kids fun store.

Flippa eCommerce website sale

Another long-standing site, it was doing a little north of $30,000/mo in profit when it sold which comes out to $360,000/year. Doing the math that means the $850,000 sale valued the site at 2.36x revenue which feels like a pretty good deal for the buyer IMO.

As a Shopify store I’m guessing this probably involved managing physical inventory so this could be a reason why the multiple was lower than for a SaaS business. At the same time, if you ever dreamed of running your own toy store, this probably was a dream come true!


I could keep going as there are some really impressive businesses that have sold on Flippa over the last year but I’ll spare you from information overload. What I will note is that sure, you might not have six or seven figures to spend on a business, and as you’d expect, there are lots of great opportunities in the five and even four figure range.

There definitely seems to be more options than ever before for people who are interested in running an online business but who also don’t want to start at day zero. Congrats to all the people I mentioned who sold their online businesses on Flippa, and congrats to the new owners who are probably pretty darn happy right now 🎉

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.IO Domain Sales

Okay, it’s time to just come out and say it, .IO is on 🔥 As an early .IO investor I’m pretty darn excited to see what’s happening right now. When it comes to startups today, .IO is a go-to domain extensions and many startups top choice next to .COM, and the value of these domains is running at a crypto-level pace 🏃‍♂️

When I started investing in domains back in 2007, if a startup couldn’t get the .COM, they would move right onto the .NET. Today, you get the .IO or the .CO, maybe you venture onto a .CC or a .ME, but the reality is, if you’re a startup and the .COM of your name is not taken, you’re probably going with the .IO and .CO, that change happened 🤷‍♂️

So I wasn’t too surprised today to see Skin.io sell for $49,999. The domain was owned by Mike Carson’s company Humbly, and sold on his popular domain marketplace Park.io.

Whenever a see a solid premium one-word .IO name like this sell, I always take a look at the .COM. In this case, it looks like the .COM is doing a whole lot of nothing, which means that the new owner of Skin.io might not be able to afford it now, but they probably have their sights on it.

One interesting thing I’ve learned about one-word .COMs over the years is that the ones that don’t even resolve often have owners that are not motivated to sell and expect top-dollar for their domains. And I think they should ask top dollar for these – a premium one-word .COM is like a diamond, except it’s the only diamond of its kind on the planet.

At around $50k I would say the buyer got a great deal on this name, it’s a strong one-word .IO…and these are selling for six-figures all the time. I’m excited to see .IO adoption continue to grow, oh and as a .IO investor, it’s safe to say I have some skin in the game 😜

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Buying Handshake Domains

Handshake domains are different from the typical .COM and .IO domains I invest in, well, in many ways, but there’s one way that is really changing how I think about the investments I make in this new space.

Before I go any further, please don’t confuse me for a Handshake domain expert, I am not one, I’m not even intermediate, I’m an absolute beginner. I currently own one Handshake domain morganlinton/ which was gifted to me by Handshake Jesus (thank you sir 🙏 ).

Now I’m getting ready to buy some Handshake domains which means I’m spending more time on NameBase.io than ever before. If you haven’t read my post about how I plan to spend my first $20,000 in Handshake Domains, feel free to give it a read.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about how I’m looking at my Handshake domain investments differently, or at least one way that I am.

What makes Handshake domains different is that unlike a normal domain I would buy that you would look at being used by one company, likely for their main website, Handshake domains are more like buying a new gTLD, a domain extension that tons of companies will use.

Which means I need to rewire my brain because I want to buy domains that make a good extension, not just a good domain name. This is why Handshake domains like c/ have really taken off…people are thinking it could be the next .COM, or like it in the Handshake world.

Like new gTLDs my thinking is, the vast majority of Handshake domains are going to be worth, well, nothing. I’ll give you some examples:

Bad Handshake domains

The top one is an example of something that would make plenty of sense in .COM. If you own a company called Mr Doodle, which I checked, and yes someone does – and yes, they’re on MrDoodle.com, and honestly, it sucked me in, you should probably just check it out because it’s wacky.

I personally don’t think there’s going to be a big demand for something.MrDoodle/, just like nobody wanted to register the new gTLD, .mrdoodle.

So with Handshake domains I have to think, is this a domain name extension that, if Handshake takes off, will be something people will want to buy domains in? And I’ll be honest, there’s a lot of junk to sift through to find something good. Yes, there are tons of Handshake names for sale but, like domains, you really do need to find the diamonds in the rough.

I still haven’t pulled the trigger and bought my first name, but I can tell you I’m probably going to have to revise my budget per name as I think it’s going to be closer to $5,000/name to find Handshake names that are truly investment grade…unless I’m thinking about it all wrong, you tell me!

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Earlier this month Kings of Leon made history as the first band to release an album as an NFT. I think this will quickly move from a historic event to the norm, but Kings of Leon was the first and I’m pretty excited to have been one of the first ~1,600 people to get the album NFT.

Which leads me to the question I got from just about everyone I told about it. “What the heck do you get in an NFT of an album?” Often followed by, “I’m so confused about how the heck to buy this?”

One good friend of mine, who is actually a software developer here in SF asked if I could hop on a Zoom to walk him through it. When I was done he said, “yikes, that’s confusing!” So I figured, if he was confused, probably a lot of other people are confused and it might be helpful to walk through the process.

So if you’ve been scratching your head wondering how to buy the Kings of Leon album NFT, or if you’re still on step one wondering, what the heck is the Kings of Leon album NFT, read on.

Okay, so before I dive into the details I want to make sure that if you’re reading this, you know what an NFT is. If you don’t I’d recommend reading this article about NFTs in the New York Times.

Now that we got that out of the way I’m going to assume if you’re still reading, you know what an NFT is. So let’s answer the first question you might have – what do you get when you buy the Kings of Leon album NFT?

What is in the Kings of Leon NFT

Just to make it extra clear, you get three things with the NFT purchase:

  • All the songs on the album as a digital download – 11 mp3 files
  • A limited edition NFT Golden Eye Vinyl – a physical limited edition vinyl (record) of the album shipped to you. This is the only non-digital item that is part of the NFT drop
  • Digital collectible album artwork – animated GIF of the album cover with that little cherry in the bottom corning bouncing around

Here’s a look at the folder contents when I downloaded the NFT:

Kings of Leon NFT Folder Contents

As you can see, the folder has all the songs in the album as mp3 files and then what most people usually associate with NFTs these days, original limited edition album artwork.

The Kings of Leon album NFT is available for another week through March 19th 2021 and as you can see from the image above, all unsold limited edition NFTs will be burned after the sales period ends.

Okay – so now you know what you get when you buy the NFT, so now for the good stuff since you have a week left to do it – how do you actually buy the Kings of Leon album NFT?

Step 1: Create a MetaMask account

Metamask.io

MetaMask is a crypto wallet and one of the most-used/accepted wallets when it comes to NFTs. If you’re planning on doing anything in the NFT world, you’re going to want a MetaMask wallet.

It takes less than two minutes to create a MetaMask account and you’re going to want to add the Chrome extension and pin it. Boom, onto step two!

Step 2: Send Ethereum to your MetaMask wallet

If you’re going to be dappling in the NFT world, you’re going to also need to be dabbling in the crypto world, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, right?

In most cases I think people reading this (in the US at least) will be transferring Ethereum from CoinBase to MetaMask. At a high-level this process is pretty darn simple – just get your wallet address from MetaMask, head over to CoinBase, click the Send/Receive button, paste the address, enter how much ETH you want to send, and you’re done.

One quick note – for the Kings of Leon Album NFT drop I’d make sure to put $100 worth of ETH in your MetaMask wallet.

Step 3: Buy the Kings of Leon album NFT on OpenSea.io

The NFT itself is available to purchase through OpenSea.io which you can get to either directly on OpenSea or by going to YellowHeart.io which has this NFT plus a bunch of other NFTs related to the album.

If you go through YellowHeart, you’ll just scroll down until you see this:

 Kings of Leon NFT YellowHeart

Click the “Buy” button and it will take you to the OpenSea.io page I shared above.

When you click that blue “Buy Now” button on OpenSea you’ll be prompted to sign into your MetaMask wallet, i.e. the next screen you see will be:

Sign into MetaMask

And that’s it, once you sign in you’ll authorize the transaction and then, like all things blockchain, you’ll need to wait a bit until it shows up. If you haven’t used crypto much before, don’t panic if a few minutes after making the purchase you still don’t have the NFT, it takes time, I suggest just taking a break and coming back to your computer and you’ll be in good shape.

That’s it, three pretty simple steps and while it’s definitely very different from going to a website, entering your credit card number and being done, NFTs are new and different so you may as well just bite the bullet and get used to it!

I hope this post is helpful, as of me writing this there’s still a week left to buy the Kings of Leon album NFT so if the complexity of the process was getting in the way, hopefully I’ve helped make it easier. As for how the value of this album will change over time, your guess is as good as mine. I think it’s pretty special since it’s the very first album to ever be released as an NFT, and there can only ever be one first.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, suggestions, or you just want to say hello, feel free to jump into the comment section below 🕺

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Handshake Domains

Okay, it’s official – I’m sold, it took a while but I finally got there and I now can honestly say, I believe the future for Handshake domains is bright, very bright. What tipped me over the edge is really getting to see the community first-hand this week and HandyCon, and in all honesty – I was blown away.

The Handshake domains community is one of the most switched on, motivated, and welcoming group of people I’ve ever met, and their vision for what Handshake will become is so strong, it tipped me over the edge.

First, yes – you’re going to hear me talk about Handshake a lot more on my blog and I’ll probably do some intro posts on what the heck it is and how it works for those scratching their heads saying, “what is Morgan talking about?”

For now, I’ve decided to make my first moves and begin investing and like I have with domain names for all these years I’m going to share my journey every step of the way, starting today.

I decided to start with a $20,000 investment and here’s how I’m planning on splitting it up:

  • 5 x handshake domains at ~$2,000/each
  • $10,000 in HNS

For now I’m planning on splitting my investments between handshake domains themselves, and HNS, the coin/token itself. Is this a great idea? I’m not sure, there are definitely people who know a lot more about Handshake domains than me because, like Jon Snow, I know almost nothing.

That being said, I am convinced that this is the beginning of something new and I learn the best by diving in and doing. I’ll also note that I’m playing with profits here. This is coming from money I’ve made with domain names and it’s money that if I lose, will be a-okay.

I would like to give a special thanks to Mike Carson for his passion and excitement for Handshake, that definitely rubbed off on me. And of course, I have to give a huge thanks to Handshake Jesus who is a true community leader, and once we’re all vaccinated I can’t wait to sit down and have a beer with the guy! 🍻

So for those of you who have been in the Handshake space for a bit I’m curious to know what you think of my strategy? How would you invest $20,000 if you were just getting started?

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

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Bold Metrics featured in RollingStone

Running a startup is full of ups and downs, when you’re inventing something new and different it can be a perilous journey at times. As a founder, finding people who believe in our vision and want to join us on this journey, then helping them build a career they truly enjoy, is one of my greatest joys in life.

While you’re always going to be fanatically product-focused as a founder, without a great team, it will be hard to build and maintain a great product. And yes, with a great product comes happy clients and that leads to happy investors. Seeing clients use our product and loving it is an incredible feeling.

And then there’s press. As a founder I’ve never focused much on press because I’ve always wanted to put my focus on our team, our product, and our investors first. At the same time, sometimes a little serendipity happens and you wake up to find you’ve been featured in an article and it just feels good.

Today is one of those days.

Bold Metrics was featured in RollingStone in an awesome article about AI and retail highlighting the impact we can make on reducing returns. Our mission at Bold Metrics is to change the way clothes are made using AI and lots, and lots, of data. Our technology dramatically reduces waste and helps apparel brands become much more sustainable.

You might be surprised to learn that when you return clothes bought online, they don’t always go back into circulation, in many cases they actually go into a landfill or incinerator. If you think of the carbon footprint involved it’s crazy – first the clothes are made which can take hundreds of gallons of water to make just one $10 garment. Then the clothes are shipped and warehoused, then put on a truck and delivered to you. You try it on – doesn’t fit? Back onto a truck and then into a landfill or into an incinerator.

We’re going to look back on how clothes were made today fifty years from now and be shocked at how wasteful the whole process is. And consumers, yeah – we’re all going to laugh when we remember websites with size charts expecting us to measure ourselves to find the right size.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, the startup journey is full of ups and downs, but if you have a mission you truly believe in, it’s worth every down, no matter how low they end up being. At the same time, the little ups along the way make a different, even if only for a minute. And with that, my time is up, back to work!

If you didn’t click the link to the article above and are too lazy to scroll, here’s a link – How AI Could Help Fashion E-Tailers Reduce Retail Returns.

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Impervious

Okay, first things first, I know what you’re thinking – “what the heck is a decentralized domain? And who is Impervious?” While I want to tell you all about it, I’ll start with a little history on what a centralized domain is, or translated into more common lingo, what a standard gTLD is today.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard about domain name extensions beyond the tried and true .COM, .NET, and .ORG. These domains fall into two categories:

  1. ccTLDs – Country Code Top Level Domains assigned to a specific country, Germany has .DE, Spain has .ES, etc.
  2. gTLDs – Generic Top Level Domains that companies often pay millions of dollars for, think .FINANCE, .CLUB, etc.

To apply for a gTLD you need to pay a ~$180,000 non-refundable application fee and then if anyone else wants the extension, you’ll join a bidding war that can get into the millions before you know it. Many of the most recognized new gTLDs you know and love today went to auction and sold to the highest bidder. Crazy popular extensions like .WEB sold for $140M, and no I didn’t add a zero.

Now as you probably know, the whole concept of decentralization that has been popularized by Bitcoin and the crypto world as a whole seems to be a lot more than a fad. Rather than having organizations like ICANN decide what you can and can’t do, and how much you’ll pay there’s an idea that we’re moving to a more free and unregulated version of the Internet.

Handshake - HNS

Enter Handshake. The first step, or maybe it’s better to say Giant Leap, into a decentralized Internet. Handshake allows people to bid on TLDs in a decentralized root zone, and a new company from Mike Carson, founder of Park.io is making moves in this space, and making history while they’re doing it, starting with .badass, here’s the skinny:

.badass is currently a TLD on the decentralized root zone Handshake, which is built on a proof of work blockchain.

After the auction for the name .badass was opened, we placed a bid of 1001 HNS, which turned out to be the highest bid. When the auction ended, we paid the 2nd highest bid of 190 HNS, which at the time was worth around $19. You can see the auction history here.

That 190 HNS was not paid to anyone, it was simply “burned” (permanently removed from circulation).

This auction process was quick and painless, which is in stark contrast to the ICANN process, and it’s one of the things I love the most about Handshake. Unlike ICANN TLDs, Handshake TLDs can be registered by anyone — by normal people instead of large companies — and there can be other uses for TLDs besides what we see on the internet now. I believe it will open up the internet and make it more free and creative.

(Source – Medium.com)

Following along so far? Because here’s where it gets interesting, or more interesting…so with .badass Impervious has launched what I think might just be the first truly decentralized domain extension, and yes, it’s a bit nuanced, and Mike says it a lot better then me, so here’s the details and the difference between .badass and something like .crypto:

Second-level domains are the part of the domain before the TLD. For example with the domain name total.badass, the word “total” is the second-level domain. Having second-level domains greatly expands the namespace. It makes it so that there are a lot more cool and memorable names available for registration.

There are already decentralized second-level domains on the internet. Ethereum Name Service allows users to register second-level domains under the .eth TLD. Other services like Unstoppable Domains (.crypto) and Namecoin(.bit) are similar in theory. But what is interesting about these other projects is that their TLDs are not anchored in any root zone. They are orphaned. Some may be vying to get their TLD on ICANN, but in my opinion the value of a decentralized second-level domain is greatly decreased if it is anchored in a centralized root zone.

This is why .badass domains are so badass. Because they are the first decentralized second-level domains anchored into a decentralized root zone. You don’t have to trust anyone and you completely own your .badass domain.

(Source – Medium.com)

Now as we all know, these are still the early days of decentralized everything, at the same time, Bitcoin has become a real, respected asset class and it doesn’t look like NFTs are going anywhere but up. As consumers get more comfortable with blockchain technologies I can see a truly decentralized Internet becoming a thing, and a big thing at that.

I think that Mike and his team are pioneering in a space much like the early domain investors were doing in the 90’s. Sure it’s unproven, and no, you can’t just fire up Chrome and go to a Handshake domain, but in a world where this does all come together, Impervious is definitely going to be one to watch.

Oh and for those wondering, yes – I own morgan.badass 🕺

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