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How cryptocurrency prices impact domain names

The value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether has fluctuated a lot. Prices have fallen from their highs this year but are still up substantially compared to a year ago when you could buy one bitcoin for about $10,000.

Cryptocurrencies don’t technically have anything to do with domain names, but appreciating cryptocurrency prices actually have an impact on the domain name aftermarket where people buy and sell domain names.

Let’s review the impact soaring cryptocurrency values have on the market and discuss ways you can profit from cryptocurrency trends with your domain name investments.

a briefcase filled with cryptocurrency 'coins' and websites

Impact on domains

As cryptocurrencies increase in value, this impacts the domain name market in two ways.

First, people who have made money investing in crypto are investing some of their gains into domain names. Domain brokers report that many buyers are asking to acquire domain names using cryptocurrency rather than dollars.

These buyers are sometimes willing to pay more for domain names because they’re playing with “house money”. If someone buys a domain for one bitcoin today, it’s worth tens of thousands of dollars (whatever the current price is) to the seller, but the buyer might have only paid a few hundred dollars for that bitcoin years ago. So it doesn’t seem as expensive to the buyer.

The second reason crypto appreciation has boosted domain sales is that companies that offer crypto-related services are buying domain names for their businesses.

Types of domains

What types of crypto-related domain names have value, and how can you take advantage of this trend? Here are some examples.

Exchange terms

Domain names with the letter x rarely sell for much because few words in the English language include the letter. But x is short for exchange, and the right domains ending in x have value for this reason.

In addition to just x, domains with DEX in them are popular. DEX is short for decentralized exchange. 

A recent dex-related domain sale was NFTDEX.com for $25,000. 

ETH and other coin names/abbreviations

Domains that include the names of popular cryptocurrencies are selling like hotcakes. 

Ether, the cryptocurrency for the Ethereum blockchain, is abbreviated ETH. Since April, ETH.gg sold for $50,000 and ETH.co sold for a whopping $300,000. (This shows another thing about cryptocurrency companies: they often use extensions other than .COM)

BTC.com, which is short for bitcoin, sold for $1 million in 2014, and BTCexchange.com sold for $55,000 in 2019. BitcoinPoker.com sold for $65,000 last year.

Mona Lisa Chicken painting vs NFT

NFTs

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are very popular right now. NFTs are unique assets on a blockchain, such as a piece of digital art. 

In March, the artist Beeple sold a digital collage for $69 million at a Christie’s auction. And collectors are snapping up NBA Top Shots, which are like basketball cards on a blockchain.

Donuts, a domain registry that manages hundreds of top-level domains, including .GURU and .MONEY, reported a surge in domain registrations including NFT this year. Whereas last year perhaps a dozen or so domains were registered in any given month, people registered nearly 1,600 domains containing NFT in Donuts’ extensions in March. 

Recent aftermarket domain sales including NFT include NFT.app for $50,000, BuyNFT.com for $10,589, and the aforementioned NFTDEX.com for $25,000.

NFTs are often artwork, so you might also take a look at domains that use the .ART top-level domain.

Generic/dictionary words

Crypto-related companies usually buy domains related to crypto terms, but not always. 

Cryptocurrency marketplace SushiSwap bought the domain name Sushi.com. The price it paid for Sushi.com is unknown, but the exchange’s own cryptocurrency has a total value of over $1 billion as of May 21, 2021, so the company has plenty of money to spend on domains.

It appears that SushiSwap also bought the domain Pancake.com, which is the name of a rival exchange.

How you can invest in crypto domains

Even if you’ve never bought a cryptocurrency, it’s clear that you can jump on the crypto wave with domain name investments.

Start by searching for cryptocurrency-related domains on the Namecheap marketplace. Also, experiment with various combinations that you can register in extensions like .COM, .IO, .CO and hundreds of other extensions. You can also purchase domains or other products with Bitcoin at Namecheap. 

Cryptocurrency prices can go up or down, and the same can be said about the value of crypto-related domain names. But if you believe in the future of blockchain-enabled technology like cryptocurrency and NFTs, investing in related domains might be a good bet.

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Andrew Allemann avatar

Andrew Allemann

Andrew is the founder and editor of Domain Name Wire, a publication that has been covering domain names since 2005. He has personally written over 10,000 posts covering domain name sales, policy, and strategies for domain name owners. Andrew has been quoted in stories about domain names in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and Fortune. More articles written by Andrew.

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