End users are buying .xyz domains. How did we get here, and what happens in the future?
Yesterday, Square announced it was rebranding its corporate umbrella to Block and chose the domain block.xyz for its website. Block also uses spiral.xyz for one of its operating businesses.
If you’re suddenly surprised that companies are using .xyz domains, you haven’t been paying attention this year.
Domain investor Swetha Yenugula has been selling .xyz domains like hotcakes all year. You know the first reaction I got when I started posting her sales? Publicly and privately, people called B.S. How was this person selling all of these .xyz domains for four and five figures? Hats off to Swetha for having conviction and investing a lot of money before .xyz became what it is becoming today.
On the surface, .xyz isn’t that great of a domain. Sure, it looks edgy. Being the last three letters of the alphabet is interesting but has limited use cases (see Google rebranding to Alphabet). It’s also a long domain (when spoken) at three syllables. And Z is pronounced differently in lots of English-speaking countries. Many people snickered when Daniel Negari decided to go all-in on this extension.
The team at XYZ set the stage for this, though. I don’t like all of its marketing activities….the domain stuffing and cheap domain sales to look very successful before it was, for example.
But if you look closer, XYZ has been doing a lot of smart things. It got influencers to switch to .xyz. It spent a lot of time highlighting companies and people using .xyz. It marketed at tech events like SXSW.
Ultimately, the community decides which TLDs are successful. The people who pick domains for their websites decide this. And like .io, a lot of people have decided .xyz is a good choice. XYZ planted the seeds and some of those sprouted. Once they sprout, the new seeds blow around and spread.
Blockchain companies seem to be particularly interested in these domains, and blockchain is having another moment.
Now, there’s a lot of risk to investing in .xyz domains. Who knows where this will all be in a few years. I guess if you believe in blockchain, you should believe in the momentum here. If you think that’s all going to crash, you have to ask yourself if other companies will pick up the mantle. (And I don’t mean to suggest that it’s only blockchain companies using .xyz; it just seems to be driving momentum this year.)
The .xyz surge seems to be built on more than what we saw from .club at the beginning of the year. That was built on the hype for one new platform, Clubhouse. It was also stoked by people trying to sell newbie domain investors on an expensive course. That platform ended up nosediving and those course sellers don’t have a course to sell anymore.
Investing in new top level domains comes with risks, just like all investing. You have to ask yourself if current .xyz prices give you the opportunity for a return. You have to ask yourself if prices will keep increasing. At Sav.com auctions, unknown.xyz is $2,750 and favorite.xyz is $1210 right now, and will surely sell for more when they close. Will these look like bargains years from now, like old .io sales seem now? I don’t know.
This is a lot of fun to watch.
It is funny how ONLY Swetha sells .xyz names.
I dont trust .xyz names and i never care for it ever since Daniel tinted the extension years ago when they first came out.
Ethan Taylor says
I think that’s because she has most of the valuable one-word .xyz domains. There are nearly 20,000 .xyz domains in her portfolio.
That said, her portfolio also contains many two-word .xyz domains which I honestly think are not valuable (at the time of writing, of course) and I feel sorry for her for spending renewal fees on those domains. I currently see no potential in investing in two-word non-com domains, but that’s just me.
I have invested in a positive one-word .xyz domain, by the way.
Dont hold your breath on those Sav.com auctions actually getting paid for. I’ve been getting reauction notices from them daily after high bidder non-payment, particularly on the xyz names
I wouldn’t be surprised if there is more behind the scenes to these sales. For example, Swetha “sells” these .xyz domains to end users but in reality its the xyz registry paying for them in the name of publicity. End user gets the name for a nominal fee, gets free publicity as does the xyz extension. Its just a total guess though.
John Berryhill says
There’s a simple way to prove that theory.
Pose as a buyer and find out.
Your theory depends on there being some mechanism to rope the end users into the deal.
The required experiment seems sort of obvious and simple, no? Find the intake mechanism for the scheme as an end user.
And if you can’t find it, then it is unlikely any actual end user can find it.
Yeah I kind of regret posting that because its most likely not true. I just don’t trust the xyz extension after the stuffing and all that.I guess most lkely its aggressive outbound which if that is the case I feel for them because back in the day when I was doing outbound it required to take a lot of abuse from people. Not worth the hassle to me but i guess with xyz its necessary.
Listen to yourself. “A singular woman having success on something I didn’t think would work? MUST BE FRAUD!!!l” Give Swetha credit where credit is due FFS.
I didn’t even realize the person is a woman. Nothing to do with gender for me.
It is curious how a young person from a poor country spends half a million dollars on a dubious extension. It is curious that only Swetha sells xyz for 5 figures. It is curious that Swetha only sells xyz and not sold any .com
She does own thousands of them, she can set any price she wants, as far as Im concerned some of these names are still being undersold.
Andrew Allemann says
Have you ever been to India? There are lots of wealthy people there. But you didn’t need to be wealthy to invest in .xyz. You could register domains for about a dollar. Research a couple thousand good domains and register them for $2k. Sell some off, re-invest the profits. Grow your portfolio over time until it gets to 20,000. It takes a lot of determination and effort.
Sure, there are rich people everywhere. Investing half a million dollars in a doubtful asset seems curious to me. The story of the milkmaid..
Andrew Allemann says
She didn’t immediately invest a half million in .xyz. She had generated $600k in sales by the time she invested $450k in the domains.
This still holds true, even till now you have XYZ haters, but I can understand that since ANYTHING taking away thunder from dot com is looked down upon because of all the investments that were done and the amount people hold. XYZ at the time was a for sure thing for me,
I just sold all my stuff too early for nothing, although I still hold 1 extremely premium name. As for Swetha having some back alley deal going I doubt it, I have conversation between her and me going back 2015 trying to buy my names and asking me where I thought it would be in the future.
XYZ in heart was always a startup company so I see why its gaining steam now. You guys still have some time left but I think some will still ignore it.
The King Of France says
“As for Swetha having some back alley deal going I doubt it”
Oh, well “Anonymous” doubts it, so it must be legit.
It’s hard to tell if some people are really stupid, or just think everyone else is.
Andrew Allemann says
But if The King of France thinks so, then…
You could maybe say that back in 2015 but not anymore when well known figures are now holders of the extension. You guys should have gotten the hint early on with ABC and google and the money that could have been made, we are talking 99 cents here and still you guys thought it was a bad investment.
Whether there is back deals going on with XYZ, I don’t know, but I doubt Swetha is involved because ive dealt with her in the past and I genuinely don’t believe she is making this all up or corroborating with some scam going on.
Why do I believe this? Because as I said, I have text conversations with her on namepros going back to 2015, asking to buy my xyz domains, back then they were practically worthless.
You guys act like she’s been selling xyz domains for tens of thousands of dollars for years now when its not true. this current pickup is recent. I remember her selling her xyz domains for a few hundred dollars initially. She worked hard to get her collection and I know this myself because Ive dealt with her. It blows my mind the hate this extension gets.
The truth is you’ve hated it forever and now you’re in denial when it finally starts gaining steam and the likes of Jack Dorsey is using it. Believe it. You still have time to invest, but I doubt you are going to take that advice now when you could have back in the day for .99 cents.
While I see .io at some high-rollers brokers portfolio, I haven’t seen .xyz there yet. That may change, but it’s not something that already happened.
.xyz? Meh. Think .mobi.
Lol .mobi doesn’t even pass the radio test. Are they gonna spell it .moby or .mobi when you tell them?
I own zero .xyz domains, nor do i intend to invest in any?
Have i been gobsmacked by some of the high one word .xyz domain sales? Yes, especially when the same one word would most likely have fetched a lower price in .ai, .io and .co.
Do I question the xyz domain sales? Not really, as I can’t see why someone would falsify and/or report inaccurate data. The motive some may say to pump the extension? Can’t see this.
And Square created an umbrella company called block.xyz. Other companies are using the xyz extension.
Perhaps someone could check how many of these .xyz sales resulted in developed sites.
I believe every domain acquired from me in 2021 is now an operating site, even an .io acquired from me with a BIN Afternic lander last week, Now that I know the buyer, I should have listed it for high 5 figures – no, i just forge on 🙂
Bill Harrell says
Looking forward to when more and more end users buy XYZs and the haters then reach for: “well it’s just a bubble and they’ll see sense when they need the .com, blah blah”
I bet on XYZ and had some sales at Godaddy when it all started, then a drop came and I had to drop the ones I had.
Now they come back again and invest in other domains for two years.
This has made me contemplate switching one of my exact match .org geographical names to the .xyz string that I also own. I do wonder how Google would treat the switch… as well as other people.