Businessweek: Pitbull Looking at Domainer Merlin Kauffman $7.5 Million Bitcoin Fund

Bloomberg/Businessweek.comm, just published a piece on the hip-hop artist known as Pitbull,  one of our South Florida celebs and his business ventures outside of the music world.

According to the article  Pitbull’s attorney is trying to get his client Pitbull to possibly invest in Bitcoin and are looking forward to a meeting none other than Merlin Kaufman, who in addition to being a world-class domain investor is running a Bitcoin Fund:

“Zigel slides over a stack of articles about Bitcoin and mentions a possible sitdown with Merlin Kauffman, who runs a $7.5 million Bitcoin investment fund focused on the hardware that runs the currency.

Pitbull flips through the pages quickly, not displaying much interest.

“I still want to know, what exactly is Bitcoin?” Pitbull says. “How real is it? Is it going to be adopted and be disruptive?”

“The people who are going to adopt it are young,” Zigel replies. “If it’s something they decide they want to do, it’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

“What makes this real money?”

Zigel, looking unsure, glances quickly at the articles Pitbull has shoved back toward him. “It’s very speculative right now,” he says. “There’s nothing that’s holding it together.”

Pitbull is dubious. “No gold, no nothing?”

“No banks behind it, no.”

There are many people into the Bitcoin thing, as investors, miners, traders, market makers and otherwise

Many of them have ties to the domain community,  which is why you see  number or articles about Bitcoin and other crypto currencies on TheDomains.com

Of all the Bitcoin movers an shakers out there its pretty amazing that Pitbull’s attorney names someone in the domain community on the first page of the five-page story.

You can read it all here.

Did Lebron James Lease or Buy Lebron.com? After 6 Years Domain Points To LebronJames.com

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CBSNews.com published a blog post about a week ago about a domain investor who owns Lebron.com since 2008.

The story,  which in a very positive light,  chatted about a domain investor, Patrick Nagle. whom they described as a “Tech-savvy Maryland businessman”.

“As millions of basketball fans search online for news of what team free agent LeBron James will be playing for next, Mr. Nagle has found a way to benefit.

Type in LeBronJames.com and you go to James’s official Web site. But type in lebron.com and you’ll end up wherever Nagle directs you. Nagle bought the domain name lebron.com back in 2008.”

“Now he has taken all of the Web traffic looking for basketball news at Lebron.com and directed it to Nagle’s own personal LinkedIn profile instead.”

In an email to CBS News today, Nagle says, “I’ve been buying and selling Internet business for the past 15 years (since I was 16). I stumbled across Lebron.com when I co-founded OurSpace.com in 2008, an Urban Social Network, (later acquired by News Corp). I thought lebron.com was a great domain, so I bought it.”

Now about a week after CBS News published the story the domain name Lebron.com is forwarding for the first time since 2008 to Lebron James Official site LebronJames.com

The whois record has not changed so we don’t know if there is a lease and/or sale in the works, or maybe Mr. Nagle responded to a C & D letter based on the story.

We don’t have the answer yet but the timing of the forwarding of the domain to Mr. James official site on the heels of the story would seem to indicate something is in the works.

As for Mr. Nagle he seems to be another one of those people who has been in the domain investment space for a very long time but isn’t a well know figure in the community but appears to be making some big money from domaining.

The article goes on to quote Mr. Nagle to say:

“I recently re-sold MarijuanaMD.com in less than week for mid six-figures after acquiring it for $800.

I don’t know what Lebron.com is worth — but I do know it is a quality generic name.”

Nagle says he owns or runs around 3,000 domains and web properties, but has “stopped buying and selling to focus on a new business.”

.XYZ Debuts on RegstrarStats.com As The 8th Most Registered Top Level Domain Extension

 

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.XYZ has become the 8th most registered Top Level Domain according to RegistrarStats.com.

.XYZ domain registrations are only surpassed by .Com, .Net, .Org, .Info, .Biz, .US and .Mobi (actually .US is a ccTLD not a TLD)

This is the first day I have seen .XYZ stats picked up by RegistrarStats.com which shows .XYZ picking up over 4,000 registrations and the only one of the now top 8 to pick up net registrations (of course .XYZ does not have deletions yet)

Years before there was ntldstats.com, and namestat.org, which have popped up this year to track stats on the new gTLD’s,  RegistrarStats.com was the go to source for to find stats on domain name registrations across TLD registries and registrars.

While the two newer services are free, RegistrarStats.com is subscription based and you have to be approved to spent the money and get access.

Also unlike the two newer services RegistrarStats.com tracks stats not just on the new gTLD’s but on all incumbent strings like .Com, .Net and .Org and although it generally does not track country code extensions (ccTLD’s) but does include .US.

Since launching just a few months ago, .XYZ has passed .Asia, .Name, .Tel, .Pro, .XXX to name a few.

While most will still point to the Network Solutions fee domain giveaway to account for .XYZ success, I haven’t seen the number move on the NetSol side for many days and the percentage of .XYZ registrations was a high as over 86% coming from NetSol is now sitting at 77%.

According to ntldstats.com, which is updated sometimes twice a day, .XYZ tops 300,000 registrations at the moment at 301,627.

RegistrarStats.com is updated once a day.

 

Founder of Mt. Gox To Sell BitCoins.com In HA.com Domain Auction On July 24th

The URL Bitcoins.com will hit the auction block on July 24, 2014, as Part of Heritage Auctions’ Domain Names & Intellectual Property Auction.

The domain name is being sold by Mark Karpeles, the controversial founder of the failed Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, and is expected to bring more than $750,000.

“We are hoping, with the sale of Bitcoins.com, to provide some relief to the people impacted by the Mt. Gox bankruptcy,” said Karpeles, “and will be putting at least half of the sale amount toward that purpose.”

“Bitcoins.com is absolutely the best remaining, and available name for this new market,” said Aron Meystedt, Founder and Director of the Domain Names & Intellectual Property category at Heritage Auctions. “Bitcoin.com, the singular version, is owned and used by Blockchain.info, the world’s most popular bitcoin wallet, and Bitcoinwallet.com itself is also already tied up. For the right investor this is a golden opportunity.”

The bitcoin payment system, an open payment network aimed at eliminating currency exchange fees and removing the need for intermediary banks, was created in 2009. It is mostly in the last 12 months, however, that it has gained mainstream notoriety, largely with the failure of Mt.Gox.com and the seizure of the nebulous Silk Road website, along with the subsequent liquidation of its Bitcoin assets. Bitcoins (plural) are the actual unit of exchange that has monetary value.

“The current market capitalization of all bitcoins in circulation is between $7 billion and $8 billion,” said Meystedt. “Daily, there are millions of dollars in transactions in Bitcoins. This auction offers the opportunity to capitalize on one of the most significant developments since the inception of the Internet.”

Bitcoins.com is being offered in the July 24, 2014 auction alongside more than 90 other premium domain names, including:

OklahomaCity.com

DEC.com (the fifth oldest domain name on the Internet, circa 1985),

Rides.com,

SEM.com

Digital.com

Cute.com

SouthernCalifornia.com

Co.Com Enters “General Availability” Phase At Noon EST Today!

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According to a Press Release we just received the Co.Com registry will enter the live General Availability (GA) registration phase today, Tuesday, July 8th at 16:00 GMT (12 noon EDT).

The .Co.Com registry previously announced it was removing tens of thousands of its premium domain names on their reserved list and allowing Landrush registrations which would presumably carry over to GA (except for those taken in Sunrise and Landrush)

Here is the rest of the press release:

“As we look ahead with great anticipation, it is also a good time to reflect on the past few months. Our Landrush registrations were strong. It’s a very competitive market with an increasing number of choices. In this environment, despite our pricing being much higher than many of the new gTLDs, total registrations are now in the single-digit thousands, without deep discounting, give-aways or gimmicks.”

“.Co.Com is getting the greatest uptake in the 218 countries where third level names are commonplace (UK, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Korea, Japan, etc.). Registrants have been able to get the keyword names they’ve wanted, but have long gone in .com or their respective ccTLD.

Some registrants in those countries also realize that a .co.com domain will rank better in global search than a ccTLD (all else being equal).  As most of our readers know, ccTLDs rarely rank high in search engines when searches come from someplace other than a company’s home country.

Registants are also finding that .co.com, unlike new gTLDs, often come with existing traffic they can monetize. That can either be a boost to their existing traffic, or get their new site off to a running start. Traffic is something you typically do not get when registering a new gTLD or a third choice .com or ccTLD.

Having said that, the biggest factor influencing registrants is that .co.com ends in the familiar and popular .com extension. There are still 30 million+ .com ads every year and most of them are hyphenated multi-word, third or fourth choice domains.  The .co.com extension provides a chance for companies to get the short memorable keywords that are long gone in .com, and .co, and ccTLDs for that matter.

We’ve been suggesting that registrars show a .co.com in search results when the .com is not available, and there is no strong signal for a new gTLD. Registrars who are doing this are seeing excellent conversion rates, even at the higher Landrush pricing. We’re looking forward to seeing the results when lower General Availability pricing takes effect today.

Most importantly, we are very encouraged to see websites going live.   Here are some of the sites that have chosen to brand themselves with a short memorable .co.com domain.

http://www.quingo.co.com

Explore the work of artist Ben Walker

http://aska.co.com

Geneva-based ASKA provides moving services for valuable assets (“Vauling”)

http://GlobalEnglish.co.com

Hola! Lear English via Skype
http://programmer.co.com

Largest professional suppliers of DAF used commercial vehicles in the UK

New sites appear every day. We’ve been posting and tweeting about them, and will begin featuring them on this website as well. If you see a .co.com “in the wild” please let us know!

Thank you again to those who have registered a .co.com during our Landrush Phase, and to those in the domain name industry who have been so supportive.

A special thanks goes to our registrar distribution channel for all their excellent work to promote .co.com during a very busy time for them.

More registrars are going live today, with others to follow. We now look forward to continuing our journey with you as we grow the .co.com community.