At least two NFT projects are leasing great domains.
Despite being an initialism, NFT was recently chosen as Collins Dictionary’s word of the year, beating crypto to the top spot.
The term, short for non-fungible tokens, has rightly been recognized in a year where NFTs have become one of the breakout stars of the digital age. Bored Apes and Crypto Punks are now highly desirable assets that have netted some investors millions of dollars.
Motivated by the popularity and money-making potential, thousands of entrepreneurs and artists are creating new NFT projects. However, it’s often difficult for the creators to gain traction or stand out from the crowd when hundreds of new projects are vying for attention each week.
Alongside traditional NFT marketing methods, some projects are turning to premium domains to catch the eye by offering an air of exclusivity and permanence, using domain leasing to secure the right name.
A good domain name might not be the first thing you think of concerning an NFT project, but the project’s website is one of the first interaction points for many potential NFT buyers. Coupled with the fact that NFT minting usually takes place on the NFT’s official website, a domain becomes a much more important consideration.
I’ve noticed two NFT projects that have recently struck deals with Venture.com, a domain name marketplace that doesn’t sell domain names. Rather, Venture.com offers domain names for lease.
The first project is Sherbet, which brands itself as offering a “ticket to the world’s first social Web3 casino.” Sherbet has attracted over 23,000 Discord members and a Twitter following of over 8,000, but the project is notable for operating on Sherbet.com, a one-word domain originally registered in 1996.
WHOIS history shows that Sherbet began leasing Sherbet.com around mid-July 2021, just before the project launched. An Archive.org version of Sherbet.com from January 2021 suggests the domain was available to lease for $400 per month at that time.
Turtles, an NFT project on the Solana blockchain, has also leased a domain name from Venture.com. The collection of 3,333 pixelated turtles started operating on Turtles.com around the beginning of September 2021. Archive.org suggests the domain had a monthly lease price of $1,080 in April 2021.
Thousands of companies have discovered the benefits of upgrading to a premium .com domain name, is it now the turn of NFT projects? With the potential return on investment that an NFT project creator can make, basing that project around a premium domain name might make sense.
Andrew Allemann says
The leasing numbers seem so low, but then I thought about Venture.com’s angle here. These are leases, not lease to own. So if a company becomes successful, the buyout will likely be huge.
I’ve had two NFT projects who currently operate on .io domains inquire about the exact match .com names that I own. You can see the domains at MetaNaming.com. NFT project creators/administrators understand that not owning the .com for their project is risky for several reasons and they are looking to secure the .com names of their projects. I’m expecting some sales in this area soon and will report back here after something closes.
My experience has been these younger NFT companies do not respect nor understand the importance of a dot com. Many have a thing for ETH and thus alternative extension(s). Also leasing short term is risky, could ruin the value of the name long term depending upon the project and association with that url after things do not work out. Personally I would only lease names I do not hold as highly valuable or unlikely to be desired by other end users.
Just my take.
Venture has a model not an angle… there are no buyouts.
think bigger, think longer term… much longer
Build a company on a name you don’t own (or will own if bought on a payment plan)?
Foolishness to the nth degree.
Who would buy — or even fund — such a company?
Indeed, the value of such a company would actually decrease as the lease nears its end.
Might as well build your company on Facebook.
Multi-billion dollar corporations lease and build their brands around their retail and office spaces – physical presences – all around the world and investors don’t care at all. Why would investors care that a similar large corporation leased its virtual presences, i.e., domain names? As long as the lease agreement is inexpensive (doesn’t negatively impact free cash flows, and thus dividend payouts) and protects the rights of both parties equitably, why would the investors care?
Sorry, but your non sequitur argument is inapt. When companies with retail and office spaces physically relocate, they don’t concomitantly change their company name.
If such companies changed their names every time they moved their physical locations, you bet investors would care.
But when it comes to domains, it’s even worse than that. Because with domains, if the lease isn’t — for any reason — renewed, some other company can swoop in and grab it for themselves.
Hence, foolishness to the nth degree.
Did you mean inept?
Domo Sapiens says