News: Bitcoin Domain Name and Trademark Up For Sale

Both the domain name and its registered trademark have been put on the market following the bankruptcy of Japanese exchange company MtGox.

While bitcoin as a currency still exists, MtGox was the biggest company exchanging this digital currency. In February 2014, MtGox announced its bankruptcy and announced the loss of 744,000 bitcoins belonging to customers.

The loss was valued at around AUD$451 million at the time and made up 6% of the bitcoins in circulation.

Now, MtGox’s parent company, Tibanne, plans to sell assets including and the Bitcoin registered trademark, with the bundle valued at around ¥100 million (AUD$17 million).

Is The Bitcoin Domain Name Bundle Worth It?

Bitcoin is an extremely young digital currency. Released as open source software in 2009, it has gradually gained popularity in some commerce circles since then and has also received a lot of media attention.

The collapse of MtGox – one of bitcoin’s biggest champions in the past – predictably led to speculation of the death of the currency, but experts have said otherwise.

“MtGox filing for bankruptcy is not the end of bitcoin but it is the beginning of the end of bitcoin in its current form,” currency trader Alistair Cotton of Currencies Direct has told The Guardian.

“Over the last year we’ve seen ever-increasing usage and with it huge volatility in value and blows from banks and regulators. These are growing pains as the currency evolves in front of our eyes and the MtGox bankruptcy is part of that.”

Regardless of what happens to bitcoin as a currency, the trademark and .com domain name could be valuable investments.

For example, those invested in it will still want to check websites connected to it and people curious about bitcoin will still search for information about it online. With .com domain names still ranked highly on search engines, buying gives some guarantee of traffic straight away.

What will be really interested, however, is to see who decides to invest in this domain name and trademark bundle and what they do with it. Will be a website for trading in the e-currency? Or will it be a resource for and about bitcoins?

The possibilities that come from a sale like this are really only limited by the strategies and creativity of the buyer. So now it is just a matter of the right person seeing value in

News: Amazon Misses Out On .Amazon Domain Name

E-commerce giant Amazon has lost the right to the .Amazon extension in a domain name win for mother nature.

From a business perspective, it makes sense that the empire would want its very own domain name extension to promote its business ventures and add value to its online network.

But the e-retail giant was not banking on competition, which has come from countries including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay. These South and Latin American countries were against using the .Amazon extension because they felt it would undermine the online presence of sites relating to the actual Amazon rainforest.

“The application for registration of the domain ‘.amazon’ is a direct reference to the Amazonian region…according to the biography of the founder of [],” Peru’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs writes in a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

“The preservation of the Amazonian biome and its local populations should prevail over the interests of a private company which [sic] name is inspired by the region itself.”

To its credit, did discuss the issue with concerned nations and offered a number of compromises that they said “respected both the cultural history and needs of the Amazonia Region, as well as those of Amazon as a global corporation trusted by millions of people”.

When these compromises – which included supporting the registration of region-specific domain names like .Amazonia, .Amazonas and .Amazonica – were rejected, the corporation argued that .Amazon does not fall into the official definition of a “geographic name” that needs to be protected for country use. also said it has a legitimate claim to the “non-geographic use” of the name and that the company should not be punished for applying for the domain when the governments themselves did not.

But the company’s arguments did not carry weight with the opposing countries or, more importantly, with ICANN and the bid was officially rejected in May 2014.

Now, if countries like Peru want to claim .Amazon for their own, they will have to go through a similar application process with ICANN – but at least the nations connected to the Amazon Rainforest know that a corporation has not taken this option away.

The new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) have been rolled out as a way to give individuals and businesses more web address options, and have quickly become popular with specific markets and industries.

But, as the .Amazon case highlights, it is not always a simple case of getting the extension that you want.

While domain name advisors and legal teams will help make the application process easier to deal with, considering other stakeholders and potential opposition will make it easier to figure out the odds of a positive business outcome.

Domain Name News: 50 Cent In Da .Club

US rapper 50 Cent is one of the first celebrities to join the top-level domain name game with the launch of his new website,, in May 2014.

The domain name extension .club is one of hundreds of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) recently released to the public and has become one of the top three options in terms of registrations.

50 Cent is officially launching the new website in association with company formed to own and operate the new .club GTLD, .CLUB Domains, which could boost the popularity of this new extension even further.

.CLUB Domains says the official launch event, on May 22nd, will celebrate both the launch of 50InDa.Club and the general availability of this extension. It says this gTLD is “the only one to have absolute global recognition and appeal”.

“Early registrations by companies and individuals who have obtained their very own “” web address, include high-profile sports teams, auto manufacturers, major consumer and luxury brands, private clubs, fan clubs, hobbyists, and many more,” the company says in its press release about the launch.

50 Cent, who is also the featured guest at the invitation-only launch party in Manhattan, says the new website reflects changes in his career and coincides with the release of a number of new ventures.

“As I prepare to launch `Animal Ambition’ on June 3 and my new drama `Power’ on Starz, the timing was right to give my fans a central web location to stay on top of all my latest news and social updates,” he says.

“I like to stay on the cutting edge, and represents the new wave of Internet names that actually mean something to me and my fans.”

name went live on 7th May 2014 and .CLUB Domains says that more than 32,000 domain names sold within the first 24 hours. While some .club domain names are available for under $15 a year, sales of premium .club names have already exceeded $500,000.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) brokered the deal with .CLUB on behalf of 50 Cent, and .CLUB Domains CEO, Colin Campbell says the rapper is a “perfect fit” for the new domain because “he truly understands brand recognition and the power and passion of being part of a community – a club.”

The collaborative effort between this new domain name company and 50 Cent not only highlights the mainstream potential of new gTLDs, but also how celebrity endorsements could be a new way for domain name companies to get our attention.

In fact, the launch of this domain name and 50 Cent’s new website could set the stage for many similar events and promotions in the domain name industry. But as far as .CLUB Domains is concerned, this event is all about celebrating the new.

“We’re pumped up to see the website and especially excited to have 50 Cent join us to help kick off our launch at our party in New York,” Campbell says. “Now everyone can be In Da .Club!”

News: Medicare Domain Name Sells For Millions

The value of domain names specific to the health and medical industry has reached new heights with selling for US$4.8 million (AUD$5.1 million) in 2014.

US health insurance company eHealth Inc bought the premium .com domain name with $4.5 million in cash and $300,000 of forgiven receivables from the seller, who is unnamed at this stage.

The domain name was running as a lightly developed site prior to the acquisition, monetised by lead generation and Google Analytics, so eHealth will get some SEO benefits from its purchase. But the company’s CEO, Gary Lauer, has also made it clear there are big plans for the .com.

“ is a really important property which we were frankly delighted to be able to acquire,” he says in an investor conference call in May, noting that the redeveloped site is “something we just started”.

“We think that’s going to have some really positive impact [on] Medicare business throughout the year as well as during the annual enrolment period and I can’t tell you at the moment where we’re ranking in Medicare but we certainly source a growing volume of applications from search.”

He has also told investors that is going to “help us significantly there as well”.

The most recent public record for shows the seller was Tennessee company Medx Publishing Inc, which last year gained attention by purchasing when the US government let the domain name expire. Medx Publishing Inc CEO Bill Kimberlin actually acquired the domain name in 2000 and designed his business ventures around it.

“I knew that (Medicare) was a $500 billion-plus market with 48 million people. There are a lot of people competing for these dollars,” Kimberlin said in an interview with the Nashville Business Journal in 2012.

“The most premier real estate to exist on the planet for this was going to be When we got that, there really wasn’t a business model yet. It was going to be a pretty long research (road) to figure out to monetise that.”

Based on the sale of and the other ventures managed by Medx Publishing Inc, that plan seems to be going very well for Kimberlin.

With the US Medicare system earning even more in 2014, and getting a lot of attention from political figures, the media and the public, eHealth is set to continue the successful legacy of the domain name in 2014 and beyond.

News: Calvin Klein Loses Domain Name Dispute Due To Swearing

While Calvin Klein owns key domain names associated with its business and brand, apparently it did not bank on anyone thinking outside the box and registering more “vulgar” domain names that could be associated with the brand.

So when Calvin Klein discovered someone had registered the domain name f*, it filed a legal complaint under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).

This policy has been designed and implemented by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to protect domain name owners against trademark issues, such as a confusingly similar domain name or one registered in bad faith (ie. cybersquatting).

As US litigation lawyer John C. Greiner explains in an article for, anyone concerned that their legitimate domain names are being used in bad faith by another party can “bring the dispute to an arbitrator and receive a decision that will require the user to transfer the name, or allow its continued use.”

“I’ve represented clients in dozens of these things, and it is really efficient,” he explains on the legal resources website.

But if this is such an effective way of resolving domain name issues, what happened with Calvin Klein’s complaint?

While it is clear from a business perspective that this domain name could be damaging, the arbitrator assessing the complaint concluded that the vulgarity of the domain name f* “makes it clear that there is no association with [the] complainant.”

The official assessment also outlines similar cases that support this decision, although the case has made headlines because it is the first time a domain owner with a trademark starting with “f*ck” has actually won a UDRP case.

But as the owner of f* says in response to the complaint, no “consumer could reasonably believe that the best route to finding Complainant’s goods on the Internet is by entering <f*> into a web browser.”

Unfortunately for Calvin Klein, this argument has been strong enough to quash the URDP filing – even though there are potentially other problems that could arise for the company from this domain.

Although not in use at the moment, the owner of the domain name says he registered it for future use as a protest site and has plans to create a whole network of other domain names that include famous trademarks preceded by the word “f*ck”, effectively creating a network of easily identifiable protest sites.

From the domain name owner’s perspective (and perhaps that of consumers opposed to the brand), it is a clever plan and a huge win to have the UDRP complaint overthrown.

However, from a business perspective, it could be concerning to think someone could register a domain name very similar to the one you use, but add a swear word to differentiate it. Does that mean you should register this kind of domain name yourself in order to avoid complaint sites cropping up?

While the decision lies in the hands of businesses when it comes to grouping domain names and investing in other options, it may also help to remember that other legal avenues – such as defamation – could be pursued if anyone ever registers and uses a f*ck domain name targeting your brand.

News: Union Invests In Domain Name For Political Debate

The Electrical Trades Union has addressed a Queensland government asset sales campaign by registering a domain name similar to the official campaign website.

The background to this move is that the Queensland government has proposed a number of solutions to deal with the state’s $80 billion worth of debt, including selling public companies (such as those in the electrical industries) to private investors.

The official website – – has resources and information to engage the public in discussions about the economic situation and budget, with phrases such as “Dealing With Queensland’s Accumulated Debt Problems” and “Great State. Great Opportunity” prominent on the site.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU), on the other hand, has set up, which calls for people to “join the campaign to save your essential public assets”.  When the ETU set up the site, it also paid for Google ads that set it at the top of the search results, although the government has since invested in its own site to improve the ranking of the official site.

At the moment, the ETU site is basically just a splash page with links to the ETU’s official campaign website against the sale of electricity assets in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

But ETU state secretary Peter Simpson still says that buying this country code top-level domain name was “money well spent” and that registering the domain name was surprisingly easy considering the PR company employed by the government has been paid over $6 million to effectively run the “Strong Choices” campaign.

“The union has nowhere near $6 million to spend on a campaign, we have no access to unlimited public funding,” Simpson explains in a Brisbane Times interview.

“So we thought, why not throw a few Google ads around advertising our site and let Queenslanders come to a real site with real facts, not a biased joke such as the other one.”

Simpson says the idea came from one of the ETU’s supporters and highlights “how much of a cobbled together campaign Strong Choices really is.”

Political motives aside, the ETU’s move shows how effective buying a domain name can be when you have a message to share with the public. What’s more is that it can be a lot cheaper than traditional campaign programs and – with some investment in advertising and seo – as effective as you want.

How Safe Are Your Domain Names and Online Accounts?

As the worldwide web becomes ever more popular, hackers are finding new ways to gain access to everything that they want – including our domain name and social media accounts.

While the details provided in any one account may not seem like much, any information could be dangerous in the hands of today’s hackers. In fact, many of the criminals focusing on web-based accounts will now target the weakest links or “easiest” options in order to get what they really want.

That was recently the case for internet entrepreneur Naoki Hiroshima, who found himself the victim of an elaborate Twitter account theft in January 2014.

His Twitter username, @N, was worth up to $50,000 and he regularly dealt with people trying to buy or steal it.

While Hiroshima was used to resetting his Twitter password, the thieves that eventually took his account actually did so by first hacking into his other accounts – including domain name registrar and web hosting service GoDaddy.

“While eating lunch on January 20, 2014, I received a text message from PayPal for one-time validation code. Somebody was trying to steal my PayPal account. I ignored it and continued eating,” Hiroshima explains in a post on Medium.

“Later in the day, I checked my email which uses my personal domain name (registered with GoDaddy) through Google Apps. I found the last message I had received was from GoDaddy with the subject “Account Settings Change Confirmation.””

When Hiroshima tried to log in to his GoDaddy account, he found it impossible and called the company’s support service. Following the security procedures in place, they asked for the last six digits of his credit card. But the thieves had already changed those details on his account.

“In fact, all of my information had been changed. I had no way to prove I was the real owner of the domain name,” he says.

Online Account Theft Support

After a month of reports to GoDaddy, PayPal, Twitter and various other companies and services, Hiroshima has now got the @N username back, but this story serves as a warning for everyone with accounts online.

Whether it is your PayPal, Twitter, Google or even your web host provider account details, it is important to be aware of the protection available as well as the potential damage a breach brings with it.

Even if security and support services seem strong, there could be ways for hackers to take advantage of them, as Hiroshima’s failed attempt to verify his GoDaddy account details highlights.

Similarly, recent research has shown that password encryption and the security that is supposed to be offered by https sites has been compromised, with authorities now urging people to change all their passwords to reduce the risk of hacking.

Online accounts and resources have become some of the most valuable commodities we have, and it is clear even experienced businesspeople can fall prey to security attacks.

So whether you have one domain name, a hundred, or even just a social media presence, internet security is one of the most important things to check and review regularly.

Domain Name Sales Trend: Are Live Auctions Here To Stay?

An established and successful New York auction house is paving the way for domain names to be the next big thing in live auctions.

Heritage Auctions is the first major auction house to sell domain names in-house, with its inaugural domain name and IP auction bringing in over US$1.5 million in November 2013.

The sales included notable domain names,, and – which all sold during the live auction – as well as anonymous and post live auction sales of, and

The Founder and Director of the Domain Names and Intellectual Property category at Heritage, Aron Meystedt, said at the time that the response to the event would lead to more domain name auction events in the future.

“All things considered, we thought the live event was a relative success,” he said, adding that “the enthusiasm we’ve seen post-sale, with the high-end transactions that have taken place, points to the emerging confidence that Domain veterans, new investors and end users are placing in the category and in the Heritage Auctions platform.”

The auction house has already followed through on Meystedt’s word, announcing an exclusive joint partnership between Heritage Auctions and RightOfTheDot, LLC in January 2014.

The plan is to provide live auctioneer and live online auction services for premium domains in new TLD extensions that are being launched over the next several years, such as Night.Club, Concert.Tickets and Hotels.NYC. The partnership will also continue to provide auctions of existing, established TLDs such as premium .com domains.

So will other auction houses catch on and offer people the chance to buy domain names at live events? At the moment, that probably depends on who they can get to oversee this kind of venture.

Heritage Auctions currently has an advantage thanks to Meystedt’s experience with the dot-com world. He has 10 years of experience in domain name valuations, sales and development and is credited with owning the first domain name registered on the internet (

But if other domain name pioneers were interested in working for or with auction houses, then the chances are good that more live domain name auctions would be held across the country (or even around the world).

Generally live auction events give people a chance to ask auction house experts questions about the item for sale, or the domain name in this case. The structure of live auctions means that you can also see who your main competition is and make bidding decisions informed by who they are and how they bid.

Online auctions, on the other hand, tend to have lower overhead costs and are more familiar when it comes to the domain name industry. The Heritage Auctions domain name sales, for example, have attracted a “Buyers Premium” that adds 15% to the sale price of each domain name.

But regardless of whether or not other auction houses start selling domain names at live events; Heritage Auctions is now providing people with a different way into the domain name industry. Ultimately, that should mean more options for everyone interested in domain names.

News: Three Biggest Sales For February 2014 are .Com Domains

Domain name sales for the start of 2014 are starting to rise, and the real winners so far are those that end with the ever-popular .com extension.

Domain name has jumped to the front of the pack with a sale worth US$950,000 (AUD$1.57 million) in February that takes out top spot for the month and the year to date. was bought by public company YY inc. and has launched it as a Chinese language online education site. As DNJournal has reported, YY Chairman Jun Lei intends to invest US$163 million building up over the next 2-3 years.

Lei is also founder, chairman and CEO of another booming Chinese company, Xiamoi, and is quickly making a name for himself as “the Steve Jobs of China”, with DNJournal’s report suggesting he is one to watch in the domain name and business worlds.

But the .com trend continues beyond this massive sale, with the next biggest purchase for February worth US$120,840 for the number-based Rounding out the top three sales is the word-based domain, which sold for US$40,000.

In fact, of the top 10 sales for February, only one is not a .com: takes fourth spot with a US$22,600 domain name sale. The rest of the highest domain name sales for the month are all relatively short (ie. single-word) .coms.

This trend suggests that .com will continue to be the most sought after domain name option, even when new options become available. It is also backed up by data for the whole of 2014 so far, with the vast majority of high sales going to domain names ending with this extension.

What’s also interesting about these .com sales – particularly the more recent ones – is that most of them are sold privately. That means the buyers and sellers are working outside of domain name services, relying more on their own skills or those of qualified domain name brokers who can help buyers get the domain names they really want.

While a wide range of new top-level domain names are about to come onto the market, sales for the year so far suggest the .com legacy will continue. But this news is also a reminder that there are a number of ways to get the best domain name for your goals and price range.

Domain Name Value: Would You Spend $675,000 For A .Com?

The value of a domain name depends on a range of different factors but just as with any other investment, the cost really comes down to who is willing to buy it.

Not all domain names are expensive and there are actually a lot that can sell for less than $100, but more specific or premium options are typically worth tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Domain names ending in .com, in particular, are often very expensive because the extension has become practically synonymous with the internet. There are even experts who believe .com will always be the most prominent and sought-after domain name extension, regardless of the other specific, premium extensions that are coming onto the market.

While the price of premium .com domains can be explained by this popularity, does it justify spending so much money just to get a URL?

TeamworkPM is one of the most recent companies to indicate that it really does pay off to get the right domain name. The Ireland based online project management company recently bought for US$675,000 (AUD$753,000) and rebranded the entire business around this domain name.

Information from TeamworkPM suggests this switch from a .net to a .com domain name is already paying off.

“For customer confidence we know how important a dot .com domain is,” TeamworkPM’s media contact, Bill Mahoney, says in a blog post about the transition.

“Since making the switch, existing customers have told us that as much as they’ve liked using TeamworkPM and as happy as they were with the features offered, the dot .net was always a bit of a stumbling block when it came to signing on the dotted line.”

Mahoney also notes that around 75% of the world’s domain names were .coms as of July 2013, emphasising the familiarity and confidence this particular extension can bring to a website, a brand and a business.

Making The Most of A Domain Name Investment

Although spending a lot of money on a domain name is not a new thing, what is interesting about the case is that the company has also turned the purchase of this domain name into a marketing opportunity.

Major domain name purchases always attract some attention from the blogs and relevant news publications, but in this case has also been proactive in letting existing and potential customers know how and why the change happened. Not only does the new website and blog outline the process, but have also spoken to the media about the transition and what it means for the company.

“We have a great product but we haven’t been concentrating on marketing as much as we could,” co-founder and CEO Peter Coppinger says in an interview with Domain Name Wire.

“This domain is part of strengthening our marketing efforts. I think we can quadruple our sales in the next year with better marketing, and using this domain name is part of that.”

So rather than seeing the price tag as just for a domain name, in this case, making it about the entire business has proved to be a smart investment that will pay dividends in many ways.