Uni becomes first company to mint domain name extensions as NFTs


Okay, let’s be honest, if you read this article headline ten years ago you would have absolutely no idea what I was talking about. But it’s 2021 and NFTs are all the rage and Uni (formerly known as Uniregistry and now owned by Go Daddy) is making history selling off 23 of their new gTLDs with their corresponding NFTs.

Oh and they’re doing holding “no reserve” auctions. Here’s the skinny:

As the exclusive operator of 25 ICANN-accredited domain extensions, including .LINK and .GAME, UNR holds the NFTs that control their namespaces in the Ethereum Name Service (“ENS”) on the Ethereum blockchain. UNR’s Top Level Domains are the first to be turned into ERC-721 NFTs on Ethereum.

23 of these Top Level Domains and their corresponding NFTs will be sold together in no-reserve public auctions on April 28, 2021. The deadline to sign up has been extended to April 9 via UNR’s portal https://auction.link.

(Source – PRNewsWire)

Personally, I think this is a pretty brilliant move. And I know what you’re thinking, “Morgan you’re crazy, the NFT of the new gTLD is worth absolutely nothing, have you lost your mind!?!?”

Okay, first calm down, we’re just talking about domains, and second I think Uni has been planning on trying to part with these extensions either way, so getting them involved in the NFT buzz is likely to only bring more eyeballs. More eyeballs means a better chance of selling, and selling for more money.

I’ve known Shayan Rostam for years, he’s a sharp guy and IMO one heck of a marketer. Here’s his two cents on the move:

“UNR is opening the scarce asset class of Top Level Domains to the public, which brings existing cash flow and numerous new monetization models to future owners, including control of the NFTs on the blockchain,” said Shayan Rostam, Chief Growth Officer of UNR. “We are on the cutting edge; it’s unlikely that these assets will ever take part in an event of this magnitude again.”

(Source – Shayan Rostam, Chief Growth Officer, Uni)

My favorite new gTLD that’s going to auction, with it’s NFT, is .GAME. I really like this one and actually already spend quite a bit of time visiting one particular .GAME site, Sandbox.game.

Well played Uni, I think this is an interesting move and while I know some of my readers will probably poo poo the NFT side of this, I like it 🙋

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Jon March 31, 2021, 11:07 pm

    April fools day guys. Lol

  • KT April 1, 2021, 1:17 am

    If substantial, that’s a very good move by UNR. I don’t understand exactly how it would work and how the tld owner could charge extra for the ENS name though. As far as I know, the plan is for anyone with a DNS name to be able to claim the ENS one at some point which is an elegant and fair solution. You can already do that with some tlds, .xyz, .art , .luxe are mentioned on ens.domains.

  • David Chelly April 8, 2021, 7:37 pm

    Good summary of your article:
    “Morgan you’re crazy, the NFT of the new gTLD is worth absolutely nothing, have you lost your mind!?!?”
    Domains names are great because they are the major technical object of the web, one of the most coveted assets by brands, a source of geopolitical and legal disputes, a great leverage for SEOs, etc.
    The only common point between NFT domains and ICANN domains is that they can be bought and sold, sometimes with a profit. This is the least interesting thing of our industry…

    Smally rectification also: only part of Uniregistry was purchased by Godaddy. The nTLD business still belongs to Uniregistry


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