Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have been in the headlines throughout 2021 and 2022, with top collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks selling for millions and crypto domains entering the scene.
NFTs have also become an important part of the gaming world, with “play to win“blockchain games such as Axie Infinity and The Sandbox allowing players to earn money while completing missions, quests and trades.
However, history can remember that some of the highest NFT sales are NFT domains. Similar to the start of the .com boom, buyers are buying up domain names on a massive scale, hoping to claim a piece of internet “real estate” on the blockchain.
Blockchain domains turn complex wallet addresses into simple domain names while providing censorship-resistant websites. Domain names have various endings ranging from .crypto and .eth to .dao and .blockchain.
They can be purchased at Unstoppable Domains and Ethereum Name Service (ENS) or traded on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.
The following article explores the most expensive crypto domains ever sold.
Crypto domain market growth
The value of crypto domains has grown exponentially since they were popularized by brands like Unstoppable Domains and ENS.
Most domains start between $10 and $20, and many sell for significantly higher prices in secondary markets.
According to statistics from DappRader, NFT sales reached $342 million in February 2021, which was more than the total sales value in 2020. Following this all-time high, Unstoppable Domains launched the sale of its “win .crypto” in March 2021. This sold for $120,000 and broke records as the most expensive crypto domain. It showed that the NFT category was broader than just digital art.
Later that year, Unstoppable Domains released 94 high-end sports and gaming NFTs to the public, including “gambling.crypto” and “baseball.crypto.” These sold out in just a few days, further showing the potential of blockchain domains. Following this success, Unstoppable Domains said it would launch a batch of premium domains every week, covering a range of industries.
In February 2022, Unstoppable Domains sold over 2 million domains, including domains for several Fortune 1000 companies such as IBM and Alibaba. Brands can also reserve their domain by contacting Unstoppable Domains through their online form.
Cryptographic domains: not a new concept
The idea behind crypto domains has been around since Bitcoin. In 2011, Namecoin, a fork of Bitcoin was the first attempt to create a crypto domain. However, with the technology behind cryptocurrency in its infancy, the number of applications for a crypto field was limited. Cryptocurrency was not yet accepted as a true medium of exchange, and the idea did not catch on.
However, after a few iterations of innovation, the launch of smart contract-enabled platforms like Ethereum, crypto domains are now a much more realistic commodity than ever.
Blockchain domains are used in new markets
Although cryptocurrency domains were initially sold among early crypto enthusiasts and insiders, their potential was recognized by companies seeking similar profits that early domain squatters made in the dot com boom. .
As a result, these domains are selling at a higher price than ever.
For example, Budweiser recently purchased “beer.eth” for $95,000, and the “sex.crypto” domain was sold for $90,000. Both of these domains are now worth over $600,000.
Although these domains sell for huge prices, most crypto domains are still relatively affordable. On OpenSea, over 319,000 domains are available from Unstoppable Domains, each selling for less than 0.01 ETH. This makes the market extremely attractive for new investors who wish to take advantage of investments in the domains. However, this has also resulted in some restrictions from providers.
Unstoppable Domains has reserved several thousand domains for notable brands and individuals, making them ineligible for purchase – the idea is to prevent an individual from purchasing the domain and using it to impersonate an individual particular. This protects brand integrity and prevents unethical misuse of domains.
Crypto-Focused Domains Remain Dominant
With the hype around NFTs still rampant, it’s no surprise that the most expensive crypto domains are those in the industry itself. First names, crypto, and finance-related terms remain by far the most popular.
Here are the 10 most expensive crypto domains purchased in July 2022.
Keep in mind that each domain was purchased with ETH, the value of which fluctuates quite frequently.
The following list calculates the domain value in ETH at 3159 USD.
Sex.Crypto sold for 230 ETH ($726,570)
Own.Crypto sold for 35 ETH ($110,565)
Hodl.Crypto sold for 30.5 ETH ($96,349)
LiquidGold.Crypto sold for 20 ETH ($63,180)
BitcoinUK.Crypto sold for 14 ETH ($44,226)
Oncology.Crypto sold for 12 ETH ($37,908)
PropertyInsurance.Crypto sold for 11.75 ETH ($37,118)
Vietnamese.Crypto sold for 10 ETH ($31,590)
EthereumPay.Crypto sold for 10 ETH ($31,590)
Three-Two-One.Crypto sold for 8 ETH ($25,272)
Final Thoughts: Will Crypto Domains Become More Valuable Than Traditional Domains?
As the crypto domain market grows at a substantial rate, is it possible that crypto domains will take over?
Well, if there is a hit, there is a long way to go for crypto domains.
While a few six-figure domain sales are major stepping stones to market, they are still dwarfed by the amounts spent on traditional “.com” domains. For example, in February 2021, the “sushi.com” domain was purchased for $1.9 million by Future Fund to create the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange SushiSwap. However, this is still significantly lower than CarInsurance.com’s highest .com buy, which sold for a whopping $49.7 million.
Although some speculators remain optimistic about the market, it may be several years before blockchain domains are valued at the same price as traditional equivalents.
An important factor will be the adoption and usefulness of domains, as many browsers like Google Chrome still do not support the use of .crypto or .eth domains for websites.
With the crypto market continuing to be one of the fastest growing on the planet, the value of daily crypto domains will likely continue to rise.