The world market capitalization of cryptocurrencies reached an exceptional peak last January. Even though market capitalization has decreased since then, the public interest for Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies has not completely waned. This is evidenced by the amount of exchanges and purchases of blockchain and crypto-related domain names. For instance, ethereum.com was sold towards the end of 2017 for 10 million dollars. Meanwhile, the GAFAs show a growing interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Amazon even opted for an intellectual property protection strategy by registering blockchain and cryptocurrencies-related domain names, in order to protect itself against possible risks of domain squatting and combo squatting. This move also allows them to have potential domain names on hand if they wish to develop new activities using blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
The growing interest of companies for crypto-assets is also witnessed in the top thematics and keywords (bitcoin, crypto, coin…) used when registering new domain names.
Monaco buys CRYPTO.com and reinvents its brand identity
MCO, also known as Monaco, is a project revolving around the distribution of Visa cards using blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Originally from Switzerland, the company announced its rebranding as CRYPTO.com on July 6th, thus asserting its identity and its mission of developing, adopting and transitioning towards cryptocurrencies.
As part of this identity change, MCO bought the “crypto.com” domain name from its previous owner Matt Blaze, an American researcher specialized in IT and cryptography who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Blaze originally obtained this domain name in 1993, and has been frequently contacted by potential buyers following the rise of cryptocurrencies. Last January, Blaze stated his refusal to sell it, arguing that the “crypto” term could not be assimilated to “cryptocurrency” only (as it can also evoke cryptography).
For anyone else trying to contact me for this reason, don't bother. Not for sale. https://t.co/S8yKT4J5IF
— matt blaze (@mattblaze) January 5, 2018
But he apparently decided to change his mind. According to Monaco CEO Kris Marszalek, “if it was just a question of money, he would have sold [the domain name] a long time ago”. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed by either side, but according to the domainers community, the sale was most likely closed for a total situated between 5 and 10 million dollars. According to DomainInvesting.com, some even argued the amount to be closer to 12 million dollars.
MCO not only acquired a nice domain name (both short and semantically interesting), they also benefit from the entirety of its previous SEO history, improving the website’s natural referencing thanks to the popularity of the incoming links that came with it. The operation therefore brought double benefits to the company and its successful rebranding, allowing it to considerably increase its notoriety on search engines. A great example worth following!