Binance.ca: #Domain was locked down after #Binance mounts legal threats

Canadian domains ending in .CA follow the CIRA policies. The Canadian Internet Registration Authority has policies in place regarding the eligibility, registration, transfer, and challenge of domains under the .CA ccTLD.

Trademark owners can utilize these existing policies to protect their brands and trademarks. A recent case involves the domain name Binance.ca, that is in lock status, currently. Its registrant shared a lengthy rant via Twitter about the domain’s registration in October 2017, before Binance registered any trademarks in the US.

Parenthesis: the registration of a mark does not determine rights to the mark and Binance formed in July 2017. In other words, Binance most likely claimed rights to its BINANCE mark by means of forming its company under that name.

Domains, brands and trademarks. Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash

A while ago, Binance executives approached the registrant of the domain Binance.ca, making an offer of $6,500 dollars. The registrant countered with a rather provocative 420 ETH or the equivalent of $1.5 million dollars, asserting that the domain was registered prior to any Binance marks and claiming a rather unconvincing project as the intended use for the domain. The Binance company has now launched a process to utilize the regulations involving .CA domains, among other methods to take over the domain.

Binance does acquire other “Binance” domains as in the case of Binance.nl for $18,325 dollars. While there is a record of a sale of the domain Binance.ae for $300,000 dollars via Sedo, that acquisition has a couple of problems: The domain is registered to a Russian, Kirill Zalipaev, and it’s still parked at Sedo. If that exchange completed, there is no indication that Binance acquired the domain, or that Kirill Zalipaev is an employee of Binance.

As part of the ongoing thread on Binance.ca, another domain linked to a major cryptocurrency exchange was unveiled, that of Bitmex.us. The domain was registered in late October 2017 by the same person who also registered Binance.us. Both domains are in the possession of their brand owners currently.

The pattern is clear: Domain names matching existing cryptocurrency brands and products are being registered by squatters with the mere expectation of a payout. Some companies do pay a small “ransom” but in the case of Binance.ca the asking price is akin to extortion; no company would pay such money, when there are options such as the CIRA process.

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Comments

One Response to “Binance.ca: #Domain was locked down after #Binance mounts legal threats”
  1. Dale Hubbard says:

    Great article explaining a tortuous Twitter thread.

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