Have you ever used Fb.com to log into Facebook? A lot of people have not, but that didn’t stop the social media giant from buying the domain for $8,5 million – so no one else would have it. Although most domains are not nearly worth that much money, some of them can be worth ridiculously large amounts.
There are dozens of high-profile domain sales. Not every domain name is worth millions, but as long as you are able to buy and sell for a profit, you can make a living flipping them. To do so, we need to look at what makes a great domain name, and where one can sell it for a profit.
How to find valuable domain names
A good domain name is one that will help businesses grow. If we look at the most expensive domains ever sold, we can see that they share a few qualities: they are short, brandable, easy to remember, and extremely relevant. One-word domain names are usually the best ones, as they are easier to type, say, share, and memorize.
The .com extension should always be the preferred option. Even though there now hundreds of different options – such as Alphabet’s .xyz – .com is still the go-to extension if you actually want to make a profit flipping domain names, as it is still the most recognized, easily accessible extension outside of the tech world. Cognitive fluency forces us to go with something people already know, and whether we like it or not, .com’s are already known. If unavailable, we suggest you either use .co, .net, or a known ccTLD such as .ca for Canada, or .pt for Portugal.
Next, we have domain name search volume. Businesses are only going to make money off a domain if it gets them new customers. Premium domains names are typically exact, or close to exact, matches of popular terms people search for in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. An excellent way to assess search volume is through Google’s Keyword Tool.
Domain name age is also a factor, as it is known search engines take into account the age of a domain in their ranking factors. The older, the better. To find great available domain names use registrars such as GoDaddy, Google Domains, or NameCheap.
Avoiding domain name disasters
There are a few things to keep in mind in order to avoid disaster. Great domain names can be ruined by something that stops them from being as brandable and memorable as possible. Fresh-tomatoes.com, or FreshTomatoes054.com for example, are worse than FreshTomates.com. Hyphens and numbers are great examples of what one should avoid.
Some would think a great domain name could be related to a very popular company, a variation of Coca-Cola. Trying to flip a domain name that infringes another company could end up in a legal battle. When in doubt, we recommend talking to an attorney or a legal professional, so as to avoid future problems.
Where to sell domains
After buying an incredibly valuable domain, you will want to sell it to the right customers, in order to make the most out of it. There several websites that allow you to list your domains. Flippa.com is a great example, as it is already an established domain and website marketplace, in which sales often reach six figures.
To sell, you will need to have realistic expectations. Don’t expect to sell one-word domains for millions, just because of their quality and potential. Most high-quality domains are sold for a few thousand dollars – enough to make a living, even if you don’t sell that often.
Editors Note: Hacked.com was bought by Jonas Borchgrevink (Founder of CCN.LA and Hacked.com) for $50 000. An amount that could have been more than 1 million USD for the right cybersecurity company.
Wrapping it up
Patience is a virtue. Don’t just buy a domain because you think you can sell it, do your research on it as there are a lot of factors involved in every sale. If a domain has, in the past, been penalized by Google, its value will be significantly reduced. Even legendary internet marketer Neil Patel once spent nearly $2,000 on a domain without doing proper research – and then had to buy a new one.
Whether or not you decided to start flipping domain names, you need to know that success doesn’t come overnight. You may come across domains you will never be able to sell, and you may come across gems that sell themselves. Keep in mind practice makes perfection.
A note from Jonas Borchgrevink (Director of Hacked.com): Try to focus on niche domains and point out the industry or companies that would be a good fit for the domains you buy. Be careful of buying domains on auctions like Flippa.com for a large amount of money, there is probably a reason for the sale. Unless you hit a “one hit wonder” like FB.com, you won’t make money fast or easy. If you have questions or want to discuss potential domain names, you are free to contact me on [email protected] or leave a comment below.
Fidelity Investments is Mining Cryptocurrency
Fidelity Investments is a multi-billion dollar brokerage that just so happens to be mining cryptocurrency. In fact, it has been at it for three years, using its own computers to harvest bitcoin and Ethereum.
CEO Abby Johnson recently told Fortune that its U.S.-based mining operation is “making a lot of money.” This comes despite running a relatively modest operation.
Hadley Stern, Senior VP of Fidelity Labs, described his company’s venture as an “experiment.”
The real reason we began mining, and still do, is to learn how the network works, how consensus works, how difficulty levels work,” he said in reference to the mining process.
The key to profitability has been the dramatic rise in cryptocurrency over the past year. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the world’s No. 1 and 2 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, and no-one else comes close.
Well Ahead of the Pack
The fact that Fidelity has been at this for three years speaks volumes about the company. Other, much bigger players are still dipping their toes in the market, but are unsure about how to proceed. Goldman Sachs is reportedly on the fence about starting a cryptocurrency trading operation, while J.P. Morgan has already begun handling customer orders for bitcoin-based instruments.
Fidelity is doing a lot more than just mining tokens. Earlier this year, it reached an agreement with Coinbase to let customers view cryptocurrency prices alongside other assets on their Fidelity homepage.
Coinbase is the world’s most funded cryptocurrency exchange with more than 7.4 million users.
The cryptocurrency market ended the week on a firm note, with bitcoin (BTC/USD) reaching a session high of $4,425.00. At press time, the index was up 1.6% at $4,368.
Ether is also trading higher against the dollar, with the ETH/USD rallying more than 3% to $305.
Ripple (XRP) lost momentum on Friday, but still managed a weekly gain of 21%.
Chinese Government Eyeing Fresh Bitcoin Legislation?
The Chinese government could roll out fresh cryptocurrency regulation in the coming months permitting licensed brokers to operate, based on recent information from Xinhua.
The state-owned news publication recently revealed that the government is mostly concerned with stamping out illegal activity involving bitcoin and other cryptos. Government authorities could be planning to regulate the market by creating a licensing program with strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems.
The Case for AML
The need for KYC/AML protocols has long been raised by cryptocurrency proponents, especially in reference to initial coin offerings (ICOs). In response, the blockchain community has come together to create the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT). The SAFT is both an instrument and open-source framework for token sales that vets accredited investors.
SAFT activity is quickly gaining traction, with the likes of Gizer recently issuing a presale of its ICO through SAFTLaunch.
SAFT was officially created by Protocol Labs in close collaboration with AngelList and Cooley.
China’s Stance Looms Large for Cryptocurrency Market
Although digital assets have recovered from the China-induced flash crash of September, favorable regulations on the mainland could mean big business for bitcoin exchanges. Prior to the ban on ICOs and bitcoin brokers, Chinese investors were responsible for a quarter of all BTC trades.
According to Xinhua, China is likely to pursue a licensing program similar to Japan, a country that recently approved 11 cryptocurrency exchanges. CnLedger, a leading source of cryptocurrency news in China, recently had this to say:
“Xinhua News, official press agency of CN: Virtual currencies have become the top choices of underground economies. We shall adopt ‘0-tolerance policies’ towards crimes hidden underneath and take measures such as record-keeping, licensing, AML processes, real-name, limiting large transactions.”
Is China’s cryptocurrency ban temporary? It certainly looks that way. Regulators must already know that the ban hasn’t stopped mainland investors from buying cryptocurrencies next door in Hong Kong or Singapore. A saner approach to an all-out blanket ban is a tighter regulatory framework that will stamp out money laundering and other underground activities.
«Featured image from Shutterstock.»
Tim Draper Has Made Over $110 Million Since 2014 With his Bitcoin Investment
Tim Draper, the billionaire technology investor and prominent venture capitalist who has invested in some of the most successful technology startups in the likes of Coinbase, Patreon, SpaceX, Tesla, Box, FourSquare, has profited over $110 million from his investment in bitcoin less than three years ago.
In 2014, Draper participated in the auction of 144,336 bitcoins by the US government and the US Justice Department, which were seized during the investigation into Silk Road, a dark web marketplace. Draper was granted the permission to purchase a batch of 30,000 at around $600 from the US government.
Upon securing 30,000 bitcoins, Draper told Fox Business:
“[I’m] very excited about bitcoin and what it can do for the world. Bitcoin is as big a transformation to the finance and commerce industry as the internet was for information and communications. If bitcoin were here in 2008, it would be a stability source for our world economy. Everybody should go out there and buy a bitcoin. Every investor who’s a fiduciary should at least be partially involved in bitcoin because it’s a hedge against all the other currencies. There’s a whole ecosystem being built that’s going to make commerce much easier with much less friction and safer.”
Today, Draper’s 30,000 bitcoins are worth $129.9 million. Considering that Draper had spent $19 million purchasing the batch of 30,000 bitcoins in 2014, Draper has recorded a profit of over $110 million in less than three years.
While Draper held onto his investment in bitcoin, the US Justice Department was quick all of the 144,336 bitcoins seized during the Silk Road operation. According to various sources, the US government sold the majority of its 144,336 bitcoins at a price of $336, at $48 million. If the US government had sold its bitcoins in 2017, it would have generated an additional profit of around $573 million, as 144,336 bitcoins at today’s bitcoin price of $4,330 are worth $624.9 million.
Since 2014, in addition to purchasing tens of thousands of bitcoins, Draper has funded some of the most successful bitcoin companies in the cryptocurrency market including Coinbase and Korbit. Earlier this year, Coinbase secured a $100 million investment at a $1.6 billion valuation, while Korbit was acquired by the parent company of a $10 billion gaming company in Nexon at a $140 million valuation.
Furthermore, Draper has not sold his stake in Coinbase and earlier this year, Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, revealed that Coinbase is still at an early stage in terms of developing and scaling. Armstrong noted that it will evolve into the safest and most trusted exchange in the global market.
“Digital currencies are having their ‘Netscape’ moment. The pace of innovation has been accelerating and we are now seeing exciting projects and companies being built on top of digital currencies. We’re beginning to transition into phase three of our secret master plan. Our goal is to be the safest, most trusted and compliant, and easiest to use. Not the first to market with new assets. Especially at scale, it takes time to ensure any new asset we add is well tested and secure,” said Armstrong.
Coinbase is also one of the two exchanges in the US market apart from Gemini that is targeting institutional and retail investors by providing sufficient liquidity. As Coinbase and its flagship cryptocurrency trading platform GDAX continue evolve, Draper will position himself at the forefront of cryptocurrency innovation and disruption.
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