Domain Names or Bitcoin?

Yesterday, there was a lively discussion about a tweet Rick Schwartz wrote regarding an an upcoming collapse he predicted. Quite a bit of the discussion centered on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, a topic I am admittedly neither an export nor someone who has much insight about.

This morning, Rick Schwartz wrote a brief series of tweets about domain names and cryptocurrency. The tweets culminated with a final piece of advice about buying domain names instead of Bitcoin:

I know there are many people in the domain name space who also buy cryptocurrencies. Some people are long on these currencies, and others trade them because of the volatility and potential for short term profits. I am curious what people who are active in both crypto currencies and domain names think about Rick’s advice here.

For some people, this might not be a “one or the other” type of decision. I am sure some people have enough funds to buy 10 Bitcoin and own a portfolio of good domain names. Others may not have enough funds to do both.

If you had $30,000 earmarked for an investment – be it short term or long term, would you choose Bitcoin or domain names? I invite your thoughts, but I want to remind people to have a civil discussion.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. i would go for Domain Names… but only a good .Com may change someones life is not entirely true imo a good ccTLD also may do that

  2. 4 letter .com for me only 456,975 way less than the total amount of possible bitcoins which is 21 million. I predict they will go to $20,000 minimum in next 5 years.

  3. A tweet from 2011 saying take $3,000 and go buy 3000 Bitcoins could have CHANGED YOUR LIFE.

    This one here not so much.

    However, to answer the question, I would split the $30,000 and invest 50% in .com domains and 50% in a basket of cryptocurrencies.

  4. Cryptocurrencies is no longer about Bitcoin only, for example:
    $30K invested in Stratis one month ago means $300K in the pocket TODAY!
    I could tell more like this one… Now like for domaining, you must be informed ( and smart.

    • Francois, very true but what I’d like to add is that a $30k investment in Stratis a month ago would have been an incredibly risky move and I don’t think most sane people would have done that. In hindsight yes it would have been a killer move but that’s in hindsight. If you have a lot of money you’re ok with losing and you’re a true gambler then you can take those super high risks and possibly make a nice lump sum in a month or two but for most people that’s not possible nor smart.

    • 5 month ago investment in ethereum would give you 25x return.
      10k, would give you 250k right now. And it wouldn’t have been that risky if you followed the news. So no, King is wrong in this case, he knows domains he doesn’t know crypto.

  5. I would buy 1-5 premium keyword dot-coms with commercial meaning only. With that $30k, you could earn $150k within 12 months. Take $30k of that profit stow it away for a possible bitcoin investment. The dot com moment is 2018-2020…

  6. It seems like cryptocurrencies are gaining traction around the world and familiar financial names are getting involved. Total value of all crypto right now is around $100 Billion, which isn’t that much considering the size of the world and the amount of monetary transactions that take place every day. Only 21 million bitcoins will ever be made, 84 million Litecoin, etc. I have just recently started to think that these are worth a look if they eventually become more of a mainstream form of payment. Paypal can be a hassle for some countries, bank wires and payments between countries can be a real hassle and take days, so crypto is a solution to a lot of traditional forms of payment, though it is very volatile right now. The blockchain system of accounting is also very interesting. I’ve also started looking at Ripple but it isn’t easy to obtain so far as i can tell.

  7. I would agree with Rick right now.

    Bitcoin may even be in a bit of a bubble now. Jim Cramer has suggested what I believe could be why:

    As far as other crypto’s go, who really knows enough for it to be anything other than playing roulette? Or does anyone really know enough and is it anything other than roulette? So some people have had recent gains with some. Well how many have had losses?

    Putting money in Bitcoin now would just be pure gambling in my opinion, and you could easily be sitting on a loss soon.

    Investing in a top quality .com, however, does make sense, and is not gambling. Especially if it’s one you could also use prior to any sale.

    So if I was going to be doing this right now, which I’m not, I would simply use the standard “Elliot Silver” method of domain investing in this regard and not put anything in Bitcoin.

  8. P.S. And I would also agree with “may change your life” as being plainly true and not hype at all. Even if you’re not talking about a huge dollar amount by some standards, either a good income from a top domain could be life changing for many, or a substantial profit even if it’s not seven figures or more could easily be life changing for a lot of people.

  9. Never put money in any speculative investment if you cannot afford to lose it. Imo a domainer would be crazy not to throw a few hundred bucks into cc’s. If you put $30k into lisk at it’s ico when it was 0.08 last year you would have 375,000 lisk. They are $2.75 today!!! That is $1,031,250.00!!!! Waste of time 30k to a million in a year???? I don’t think so. Like domnains you could lose everything if not played correctly.

  10. Rick is wrong. 10 bitcoins can be traded for other cryptocurrencies, and turned into 100 bitcoins in a couple months. On top of that, crypto is highly liquid. You can cash in whenever you want. In domains, cashing in often means taking pennies on the dollar – if you there is even a buyer. Like domains, there is no upper limit on crypto coins.

    There is no fussing around with buyers, no stressful negotiations. Just pure trade.

    Sure you can lose money. But cash in enough to make your original investment back and what’s to worry? I take the risk that my crypto will crash overnight and lose 90% of its value. And I may have bought in at 5% of the current value. With domains, I take the risk that they will never sell for what I paid for them.

    Sorry, but I get the feeling that domains are of the past and crypto is of the future. Much more exciting. And at least with crypto, our investments are helping a noble cause. Investments in domains, however, really only help the investor.

    • Good points, and domain investments also can face the risk of significant downsides. Think about how many domains were lost in bad UDRP decisions. Total loss for the owner. Think about domains that were seized by courts or federal agencies. Cryptocurrencies don’t have these issues. Governments can only seize what they know belongs to you.

  11. And I think a lot of people still believe that bitcoin and the like will only disrupt financial transactions and currencies. It goes far, far beyond that.

    Decentralization is the key. While some of the currencies (like Ripple) are centralized, many are not. Which leaves them essentially free from the control of governments and internet giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook. The technology will fundamentally change government, will minimize identity theft and hacking risks, and make it almost impossible to censor speech. China’s firewall, Google/Facebook/Youtube censorship, cloud storage on centralized servers that are subject to hacking or loss, Ebay and Amazon market control are all looking at an existential threat.

    So simply to compare bitcoin with gold or fiat currency is missing 95% of the picture. Research decentralization to start to see the possibilities.

    Most or these new currencies may eventually fail. But some will succeed wildly. Already bitcoin is suffering from centralization of power (basically a few large miners in China), which goes contrary to its original aims. Other currencies are working on ways to avoid this. Some will succeed, creating a truly free market currency that resists manipulation. As well as a free and decentralized VPS, cloud storage, cloud processing power, barter markets, exchanges, news sources, art and music resources, political elections and “banks.”

  12. .Com domains of course.
    Bitcoin has a limited supply of 21 million coins, that’s a commodity (digital gold), not a currency. IMO

    Ethereum (Ether) has a better chance of being accepted as a digital currency than Bitcoin does. Ether has an unlimited supply. But, the market has spoken and it has chose Bitcoin, not Ethereum, just like .com was chosen over .net.

    • You also cannot be the only owner of Bitcoin or name your own price like you can do with domains.
      You are basically a shareholder of Bitcoin and we all know how that can end.

    • You have no idea what you are talking about. Ethereum was 1/20th of bit coin market share 5 month ago. Now it is more then half of bit coins market share. Read up on giant difference on ethereum and bit coin. Since you just gave two analogies that both fundamentally wrong. Ethere is like to exceed bit coin by end of the year in market cup…. silvre/gold analogy is not only wrong, its totally simplistic totally misleading. It is like comparing wrench to multi tool. That’s Bitcoin to Ethereum. And before you respond, please read up on difference, since in next response i will actually lay out step by step why you are not even in the ball park of wrong.

    • Yes but that ethereum multi tool is run by a centralized group that has already hard forked the original chain.Can you say dao!?!? Lisk is a better risk and still pennies. Stick wiyh ico’s if you can. Upside far greater in most cases than after ico.Imo.

    • Steve, hard work dao was voted by majority of the community at the time. Ethereum is not for profit foundation, it is run but community with a clear leadership and vision for development. Unlike bit coin and their lack of agreement on anything. Most ICO is actually garbage, though if you buy them at launch you can probably do a quick flip and get 3-10x in short term. Any good ico sells out in seconds. Take a look at Ethereum Enterprise, it is backing that bitcoin could never get. Since most association with bitcoin to connected to slik road. While Ethereum even with DAO is much friendlier space for development, with much better tools and functionality for long term growth.

  13. So much delusional posting here now. So this is what we’ve learned so far from it:

    1. Because hindsight is always 20/20, therefore it’s wise to “invest” in crypto because those who picked a winner picked a winner.

    2. Foresight is 20/20 now too: you can park your $30k in Bitcoin now, trade it in for multiple cryptos if you want and live happily ever after.

    • Nice! Congrats. Yes, those who have been in this space and understand reason and fundamentals why its going up, will be doing very well. Domains are good long term, the crypto is maybe one in 10 years opportunity right now. I bought some ether 5 month ago. I am talking as someone who caught the wave (yes, i am mainly domainer). Should i have bought more? Sure, but i put what i thought i was comfortable with losing. Investment is up 26x, on a whole thing (not part of portfolio as in domains). Right now it is much better then domains. Liquidity is there in spades.

  14. Perhaps its too late to invest in Bitcoin (or perhaps it’s not), but if you put $30k in Litecoin, my speculation is that you will do pretty well. I don’t believe we will see as large of a percentage of growth in bitcoin as we will in Litecoin.

    A few weeks ago, Litecoin was at $89, today it’s at $300. Many are speculating that it will follow in Bitcoins footprints and hit $10k.

    This is my opinion and not investment advice. My investment advice is “never speculatively invest what you can’t afford to lose… oh, and if you are married, don’t wait to tell her you’ve made a fortune… tell her what you are doing beforehand” 😉


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