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Sometimes I Feel Guilty About Being a Domain Investor

18

Yesterday afternoon, I spent a couple of hours at a family event. For part of that time, I was chatting with a friend of the family who is Rabbi. I had not spoken with this Rabbi for quite some time, and of course he asked what I do for a living. I told him about my business.

The Rabbi knew a bit about domain names because of an experience he had. He told me he owned Rabbi[Name].com for several years but accidentally let it expire. By the time he realized what happened to the domain name, it was too late to recover it. The domain name is now owned by a large domain investment company and is listed for sale for a little under $3k. The Rabbi couldn't understand why it would be worth that much money to someone, and he opted to register the .net domain name instead. I briefly explained to him about the business of domain name investing, and he understood the basics.

The Rabbi didn't pass any judgement about domain name investing, but I felt a bit guilty about what I do. I am sure I buy domain names at expiry auctions that were the → Read More


CBA Highlights the Email Aspect of Domain Name Ownership

5

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) covered some news about an error that was caused by using an incorrect domain name in an email address. The error involved the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). Here's what happened, according to SMH:

"The bank on Friday said it had conducted an information security investigation, after it emerged that last financial year staff had inadvertently sent 651 internal emails to email addresses with the domain name cba.com, rather than the bank's actual domain name of cba.com.au."

Incidentally, something very similar recently happened to a different bank in Australia when "customer information was sent in error to an nab.com address rather than an email address on the nab.com.au domain," reported ZDNet in January of 2017.

A little less than a year ago, I wrote an article about how email is the domain name X factor. Many companies still don't think domain names are super important. They may feel their money is better spent on branding or building products/services rather than buying an expensive → Read More


List of Registrars Showing Public Whois After GDPR

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GDPR went into effect last week. Even though GDPR is a European Union data protection and privacy regulation that does not cover Americans or other people who are not EU citizens, some domain registrars totally eliminated public Whois lookup information to ensure they do not violate GDPR regulations and potentially expose themselves to serious penalties.

I have found that some domain name registrars have not eliminated public Whois lookups and Whois information, and I want to share what I found with you. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of registrars, and as far as I can tell, Whois information is only publicly available for registrants who do not have a European presence. I used a combination of registrar Whois searches, ICANN whois searches, and DomainTools Whois searches to see which registrars are blocking information and which are still showing information.

I invite you to share the name of registrars that are not using something like "Data Protected" for Whois lookups as you find them.

Registrars still showing → Read More


“Data Protected” Welcome to GDPR

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I was curious to see how Whois would look with GDPR upon us. I did a Whois search for a domain name registered at Enom, and "Data Protected" is the term that is input in many of the registrant fields. The email address is listed as noreply@data-protected.net and there is no phone number for the registrant.

Here's a screenshot of a Whois lookup I did at Enom this morning to show you how (at least some of) their Whois records look in the wake of GDPR implementation:



The majority of my domain names are registered at (more…) → Read More


7 Ways I am Preparing for GDPR

5

GDPR is coming this Friday, May 25. Unless there is a last minute reprieve (litigation or something else unexpected), the Whois system will likely disappear. This is going to have a big impact on the business of domain name investing.

It will become harder to contact domain name owners. It could become more difficult or cumbersome to transfer domain names to other registrars. Performing due diligence could be more challenging. Domain investors may benefit a bit from GDPR, but I think there is a great chance domain investing could become more difficult.

I am hopeful ICANN and domain registrars figure out a GDPR compliant system that works and allows domain investors to continue to operate as usual. In the short term, I am not sure this is going to be possible, so I am preparing my domain portfolio in anticipation of some GDPR related problems.

There is still time, so I thought I would share some of the ways I am preparing for GDPR. I invite you to share the ways you are preparing if you would like. (more…) → Read More


Domain Investor Has $96 Million Bitcoin Portfolio

6

There are quite a few domain investors who also invest in cryptocurrency. I personally know of a few who I believe have done very well with their crypto holdings, and I am sure there are even more who have kept their investments more private.

This morning, CoinDesk wrote about Cai Wensheng, a Chinese investor who has built a holding of 10,000 Bitcoins worth nearly $100 million, depending on the price of Bitcoin ($9,700+ at the time of publication). Mr. Wensheng didn't start investing in Bitcoin at the earliest stages. Instead, CoinDesk reports that he had one Bitcoin in January and built up his holdings when Bitcoin was hitting its lows earlier this year. Interestingly, this investor got his start as a domain name investor.

From the CoinDesk article: (more…) → Read More


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