Are You Spending More Time on Cryptocurrency?

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I was chatting with a veteran domain investor on Tuesday who has become active in the cryptocurrency space. He posted something crypto-related on social media, and I messaged him to ask what it meant. Long story short, he essentially told me that domain investing was much more boring than cryptocurrency and the returns are better.

I follow the cryptocurrency space, although I am not all that knowledgable about it. I happen to agree with this person on both accounts right now. I have never found domain names all that exciting, although negotiating deals is fun and the money is great. If you look at any of the cryptocurrency charts, he is also right about the returns.

Great domain names still get high prices on the aftermarket, but I think there has been a bit of a lull for the middle of the market. I am not sure how long this has lasted because my portfolio isn’t a good barometer for the industry as a whole, but my guess is that it has been about 18 months give or take. There is more competition at auctions, and there are far fewer good deals as a result. I have also found that people who have owned domain names for a while aren’t really taking lower offers. For instance, someone who turned down $50k during the Chinese bull domain market a couple of years ago most likely isn’t going to take $30k today.

The first half of 2017 was fantastic for me sales-wise, but the last couple of months have been a bit slow. Had I invested in cryptocurrency, I would likely have seen higher returns, but hindsight is 20/20. I have no idea if the market will take off or crash, and I am not sure if anyone knows for certain. I suppose that is the same with any type of investment, including domain names.

I am interested in knowing if domain industry participants are spending more time on cryptocurrency and perhaps what percentage of time has shifted from domain investing to cryptocurrency. I invite you to comment below.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Elliot, I (like you) follow the cryptocurrency space, but I’ve not been able to make sense of it all to trust myself enough to leave domains behind and take the plunge. For now, I continue to watch, study, and learn about the cryptocurrency space, and continue domaining.

  2. Good piece, Elliot.

    I used to spend 20+ hours per week on domaining, including reading blogs, etc. I now spend about 2 hours per week on domaining, and, instead, spend 30-hours per week on crypto, ETHEREUM in particular.

    The space is not only more exciting, but we’re not even warming up for the first inning of this (very long-term) game. The underlying blockchain technology is already changing entire industries, like finance and healthcare, forever.

    I attended the inaugural ICO Summit in Zurich last month, and the level of excitement was incredible, as was the caliber of attendees. You can actually watch a replay of the entire conference for free on their site:

    https://icosummit.ch/zurich-2017/

  3. Having worked for companies with foreign currency exposure, I struggle to comprehend how Bitcoin can be worth more than $5000 – particularly when there seems to be massive speculation in the crypto space a la late 90s tech stocks. Regardless, from what I understand blockchain technology (cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are one application) will have as profound of an impact on business over the next 20 years as the internet did over the last 20 years. Consequently I have recently been toggling between about fifteen ebooks on blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, cryptography, cybersecutity, etc, viewing Youtube videos and visiting various websites on the topic of blockchain and cryptocurrencies as well.

  4. i’m not going to bother with it..i don’t really understand it and despite what i try and read about it, i get no further ahead.

    personally i don’t see this crypto craze as lasting forever, not in the way it currently is at least. after the hype of something new there is almost always a cooling off period.

    sure, i wish i bought bitcoin when they were dirt cheap but now, you need to invest thousands to see any kind of decent return. i can turn a 10 dollar domain into $1000 to $25000. i just don’t see that being possible in cryptocurrency. it seems they can come and go, rise and fall whereas as good domain will typically remain a good domain for years.

    • I agree that a majority of the crypto’s will most likely die off, but the dozen that do make it have the potential to make you a lot of money. It’s not too late to invest as the coins are still in their infancy. There is a lot of information out there that you can read up on. 99% of coins have what is called a “White Paper” that explains what makes the coin special – how it works, what advantages it offers, etc. I’m investing daily in coins. There is plenty of potential to make big returns 10, 20 even 50 times you money in an investment even in today’s markets. Not saying to dump all of your money into it, but whatever you can risk and afford to lose. If the coins don’t go anywhere or become anything, so you tried and you lost. But if the coins do take off, the potential is endless. It’s all about making calculated risks. Great place to get started is http://CoinMarketCap.com then if you click on a specific coin, you will see a link to their website to read more about it.

  5. Yes i’m investing in ico’s and i just wish i would have started earlier.

    I dropped about 1,000 Chinese speculative .com and i reinvested in crypto that amount and some.

    Volatile markets are fun.

    I spend 5% of my time reading and buying 10 names at the most per month and 95% of my 10-12 hour daily watching the crypto market.
    I still sell and respond to offers when ever i get them.

  6. When people state cryptocurrency, are they day trading bitcoin, and ETH, I looked into ICO’s, and they are just to vague when it comes to regards of financial regulations. Sure there maybe a winner in the bunch, but all the losers are going to make you even on the lot.

    So what do you do buy bitcoin at $5.2K, or ETH at $300, and wait for govt regulation to kill the market?

    Outside of that what is meant by spending time on crypto?

    • The caution I come across in some of my readings on the topic of crypto is that there have been a lot of hacks of exchanges and wallets. If your credit card number gets stolen you have limited liability. If your bank goes under you have FDIC insurance. If your private key gets compromised you may have no recourse.

    • I tried opening a wallet at Coinbase which requires a photo id. Fine but I attempted uploading a webcam and a camera phone copy numerous times with no luck. They do not offer the option of sending a scanned copy to customer service. Regardless out of frustration I found a way to contact customer service about the issue. I never received a response.

    • Opening an account at Coinbase is undoubtedly frustrating, and I had the exact same issues as you did with the ID/photo requirement. And, unfortunately, they’re (supposedly) the best game in town. Things should definitely improve, soon, though, because they raised some huge amounts recently; and I’ll bet that their lack of customer service, and resolving their onboarding issues are going to be at the top of their to-do list.

      But just think about what’ll happen to this space should some of the major brokerage firms jump in, or possibly even Google, FB, or AMZN. Once those kinks are ironed out by a few major players, the market penetration of ownership of BitCoin and ETHEREUM (alone) will expand exponentially.

      That’s just one reason why these are the early days.

  7. Oil salesman dies, comes to the pearly gates and St Peter says, “Welcome my son, I’m sorry but we have a special section for people such as yourself and it’s filled up at the moment, you must go to hell.” Oil salesman thinks for a minute and yells into heaven, “Oil found in hell!” All the oil salesman come running out and head for the stairs towards hell. “Well than, looks like space has opened up, come on in!” says St. Peter to which the oil salesman responds, “Actually that’s alright father, I think I’m going to head down with the boys, there might be some truth to the rumor.”

    That’s Warren Buffett’s description of the market. He would also tell you if you don’t understand something don’t invest in it.

    • Agree with Mark, the technology is the thing, not the currency, aside from Bitcoin … and maybe Ethereum.
      I buy/reg crypto-related .com domains, not the currency itself.
      I feel safer this way.
      I believe most ICOs are scams.

  8. Can you imagine all the money domainers have paid thru paypal doing deals between each other, on forums etc, what cryptocurrency can do for fees, and exchange fees is amazing, this is the issue, institutions who make much of their funds on currency exchange fees, wire, transfers etc… will donate funds to shut it down.

  9. I’ve spent way more time on cryptos than domains for the past 6+ years. But you already knew that. And there were already a few old time domainers in it when I got in. To quote one of them “it seems like bitcoin scratches the same itch as domains”

  10. I just got into the crypto investment market. I’ve read the books, the blogs, and watched the videos. But I still don’t feel I have a good feel for it, as I do the equities market, real estate, etc.

    I’ve put some funds into Ethereum, as it still seems like it’s got more growth (but what do I know)

    Per domains: I’ve has the same scenario as you, Elliot: sold lots of domains for nice prices in early 2017, with several offers per week. It slowed down at the start of Summer, then sold a few more domains.

    And now I’m back to few offers, or low offers.

    I see the list of domains sold each week; it seems to be more “luck of the draw” rather than science or metrics.

    Not sure what factors can be attributed to the slow-down, at least for me, in the domain market over the last 5 months.

  11. The Gartner hype cycle for emerging technologies does not have an entry for cybercurrency. It places blockchain technology as having crested the peak of inflated expectations, and shows blockchain tech heading down into the trough of disillusionment. See:

    https://blogs.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/files/2017/08/Emerging-Technology-Hype-Cycle-for-2017_Infographic_R6A.jpg

    Cybercurrency is still in its innovation-trigger stage, at the beginning of the hype cycle, IMO. Triggers include the central bank of Nigeria printing money in an attempt to paper over stubbornly low oil prices. That central bank is fueling the popularity of Bitcoin because Nigeria’s currency is no longer a suitable storehouse for equity.

    Nigeria is merely one of dozens of countries with brittle currencies. Not far behind are India, with its cascading, retroactive-taxation system and recent demonetization, and China, with its massive and unsustainable internal-debt problems. Cascading means there are taxes due on money paid earlier for other taxes. Argentina and Ukraine have cascading tax systems too.

    Are we headed into a cybercurrency bubble? Obviously. What will pop the bubble? That’s a separate topic. Will we know when to divest our cybercurrencies before the top of the market is reached? Unlikely. Will the market recover after a big crash? Of course.

    We need new types of transnational financial institutions, with greater transparency, less greed, and better governance than the existing banking system. Cybercurrencies are a key component of that new system.

    Am I investing in cybercurrencies? Not yet. Rather than being the poor schmuck feeding his money into a one-armed bandit, I’d rather be the person who owns that slot machine.

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