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Obviously, the news in NFT world for the last week has been YUGA YUGA YUGA. You can’t escape them. For those living under a rock, Yuga Labs (owner of Bored Ape Yacht Club) bought Cryptopunks and Meebits from LarvaLabs, thus ending the Apes vs Punks debate once and for all.
Then, their rumored play into the metaverse was leaked on Twitter along with a pitch deck that turned out to be outdated. It does, however, sound like the 200K land plots in the “yugaverse” is going to happen though.
Either way, everyone is talking about them except the folks here at BivNFT. Yes, while everyone smartly sinks their money in Web3’s new Disney, I’m burning mine buying useless domain names.
As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, I recently celebrated my 1 year NFT anniversary.
To take a walk down memory (and pain) lane, I reviewed some of my early purchases. I quickly noticed my first actual purchase was…bivens.eth (as my first transaction was technically a free mint).
I suppose since I’m relatively doxed, I can reveal that is my last name. It has always irked me that bivens.com is owned by a company that wants to sell me a personalized email address.
When I saw that bivens.eth was available, I finally could own something that I’ve long wanted to capitalize on…my own name.
You see, in a previous job, I worked with a lot of Web1 websites owners. I quickly began to understand the value of domain names and met some people who were sitting on literal millions of dollars worth of them.
I began to buy a few myself and though I like my portfolio, all the good ones were either taken or really out of my price range.
I don’t remember where I first heard about ENS or who told me about it, but I was immediately interested. That’s because it’s finally given me a chance to own important digital real estate in a budding crypto-based economy.
ENS domains present a big opportunity for us all…and I believe that ENS domains will be even more important culturally than .com’s. And that could mean some of these being worth a lot of money down the line.
That’s because, behind an ENS domain, there is an online identity and a wallet. They not only can represent brands but entire families and communities. I think not everyone needs a website, but I think everyone will need an ENS. If cryptocurrency really is to “redefine the financial world” (as Paypal CEO stated this week), then we will need a way to send money quickly and easily. And let me tell you, wallet addresses are not easy.
With ENS? Sending ETH from a Coinbase account is cake. Just type in biv.eth (I recently acquired the shorter version of my last name too) and my wallet address auto-fills. If we ever plan on onboarding a lot of people to crypto, simplifying something inherently complicated, like wallet addresses, is a must.
In theory, this also makes every citizen of the world a potential ENS customer. If we’re using cryptocurrencies on a daily basis, an ENS domain will become like an email address for cash.
More on ENS for those not aware…
It actually predates CryptoPunks and CurioCards making it a “historical” NFT technically.
It’s also a DAO and certainly seems like it’s going to become the .com for wallet addresses. There are competitors like .crypto and .wallet, but due to the already large amount of money and Twitter handles tied up in .eth, ENS seems like it’s the clear frontrunner.
A noted difference to buying a domain name from GoDaddy or Namecheap for example (other than being on the blockchain) is that 3-letter domains (currently the shortest amount of letters you can do with ENS making them, in theory, the most sought after domains) cost substantially more than 4-letter domains, which cost more than domains with 5+ letters. 5+ letter domains cost .002 ETH per year, 4-letter ones cost .06 per year and 3-letters cost .244 per year.
What’s cool is that someone squatting on the short ones will have to pay a much larger premium than someone using 5-letter domains. That makes their risk a bit higher and discourages “squatting” - a systemic problem with traditional domain names.
For that reason, I find most of the value in 5+ lettered domains currently. And because I believe ENS domains will be prevalent with individuals, surnames and first names will likely all be valuable. That is not to mention all the current businesses who have 5+ letters in their company name but still do not own their .eth.
And don’t get me started with brandable words that can serve as both an ENS domain and an entire online identity…
It’s in your best interest to move on ENS domains before others do…and snag them for your friends and family too while you’re at it! I dare you to just buy one…
Squatting will be an issue with Web3 and ENS too, unfortunately. Anyone who has ever tried to buy a domain name before understands this. The prices can be extremely inflated because the seller knows damn well that he has the only one you want. The power dynamic is way off.
.com’s were in theory the first non-fungible tokens if you think about it…so I think we can all understand the concept that ENS domains too will all be “1/1 rares”. Uber.eth and Google.eth will be highly valuable because they’re the only ones in circulation and necessary for proper branding.
For this reason, there have recently been issues with OpenSea taking down listings due to DMCA by companies who do not want to be exploited. This past year, nba.eth was effectively given away to the institution instead of being sold for its market value.
With a conventional .com, the world registrar (called ICANN) can essentially strip a domain away from someone if they are squatting on it. My favorite wrinkle is that if you can show you’re using the site, there is not much a case to have it stripped from you. That’s why you see what you do on rams.com. Instead of being owned by the professional football team, it is owned by someone giving you all the facts on rams the animal.
Do not be fooled. The LA Rams just haven’t hit the domain owner’s reserve price yet. And this is how he skirts having the domain taken away from him.
With decentralization and ENS being a DAO, there is no one that can take away a .eth from anyone, no matter how powerful that institution may be. The rams.eth, for example, owner can relax while the rams.com owner has to build a whole website front in fear that he’ll lose the domain.
We are in the era of the wonderful Web3…for better or for worse. Let’s see how it goes.
We’ve got rumors flying about Disney acquiring an NFT project and I’m out here buying racquetball.eth:
For some inspiration, here at the top ENS sales over the last 30 days via nft-stats: