Domain report: Escrow.com completes $519 million dollars in sales (June 2021 – June 2022)

Escrow.com, the world’s largest online escrow company, reports domain name sales volume passed $256m in the first half of 2022, up 81% in two years.

As shown in the Escrow Q2 2022 Domain Investment Index, the company facilitated $125m in domain name transactions between April through June. In the trailing twelve months to the end of June 2022, US$519 million of domain sales were transacted through Escrow.com.

This is the sixth consecutive quarter that Escrow facilitated more than $100 million in secure domain name transactions, making it the world’s most trusted and preferred online licensed escrow payment services for buying or selling premium domain names.

Domain names as an investment peaked in 2021 with a total sales volume of US$519m facilitated through Escrow.com in the trailing twelve months to June 2022, up by 85% in the last two years.

The price for premium domain names continues to grow significantly, unlike “virtual land in the metaverse” which crashed by 85% in 2022, despite a McKinsey report predicting a $5 trillion market impact by 2030.

“Virtual real estate isn’t a plot of land in the metaverse next to Snoop Dogg or a NFT on the blockchain, it’s domain names. When Facebook rebranded to Meta, it didn’t buy virtual land in a game likely to be turned off in a few years. Facebook bought the best possible address in the best street on the internet: meta.com, and they bought it using Escrow.com,“ said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive at Escrow.com.

“The $5 trillion market impact of the metaverse will come from ecommerce facilitated by domain names, not land in a random short-lived VR video game with no interoperability with the next. We expect valuations of domain names to continue to climb as there remains a very large arbitrage opportunity with traffic to premium domains compared to foot traffic to commercial real estate.”

Tiffany & Co. was recently paying $7 million per year to rent floor space for one retail shop in Trump Tower. One could buy a name like diamonds.com for $5 – 10 million outright which could control roughly 40% of internet traffic related to searches for diamonds by ranking number 1 in google. There is no simply no comparison to owning the industry defining keyword for the space.”

Average Value of Domain Names More Than Doubles

Over the last two years, the average price of premium domain names has boomed. The average domain name sale price in 2Q22 was US$49,910.65, up 28% from US$38,939.57 in 2Q21, and up a whopping 199% (tripling) from US$16,694.49 in 2Q20.

The gains have not all been at the high end, with the median sale price for domain names up 23% to $5,000 from $4,064 in 2Q21, and doubling in 2Q22 from $2,500 in 2Q20.

Some niche segments outperformed: four-letter domains (LLLL.com) appreciated to a median of $10,000, up 59% from $6,300 in 2Q21 and $3,500 (up 186%) in 2Q20.

“Metaverse” Land Sales Collapse

“Every man and his dog in the crypto space has been hawking junk to investors claiming it was ‘land in the metaverse’, whether it was an island in a game, or a link on the blockchain pointing to a jpeg of a picture of an island”, said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive of Escrow.com.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth. Over $1.9 billion has been spent on this and these investments are rapidly going to zero. The real land of the metaverse is and has always been domain names, upon which websites, apps and great technology companies are built.”

While domain names have doubled over the past two years, virtual land sales in the metaverse have plunged. The average price of “metaverse land” was $16,300 in February 2022 and fell to $3,300 in June 2022, down nearly 80 percent according to Metaverse Real Estate Statistics (2022). Trading volume topped out with $229 million in November 2021 to $8 million in June 2022, down 97%.

Many companies are also realizing the value in upgrading their names. Just like Zuck dropped “the” from “thefacebook.com” on Sean Parker’s recommendation because “it’s cleaner”, Carl Hancock has just upgraded gravityforms.com to gravity.com.

Andrew Rosener, CEO of MediaOptions.com, winner of the Master of Domains as for the last three years as the highest volume broker in domain name sales in the world, said “Domain names are the bedrock foundation on which the entire internet is built upon, including Web3 and NFTs. Value accrues from the top down. So as more adoption occurs and more technologies and utility is created on top of the internet and its digital pipe lines, the more value accrues to the land beneath; namely domain names.”

Notable domain sales by Media Options include NFT.com for $2.1 million and zoom.com for $2 million.

Notable Domain Names Sales

In 2Q22 marquee domains sold through Escrow.com included connect.com to Hubspot, with the $10 million price tag disclosed publicly via a SEC filing.

On Escrow.com, the top individual premium domains sell over $10 million, with the top five domains in 2021 selling collectively for a total of US$46.2 million. While many of the top tier transactions in the $5 to 15 million plus bands have been kept private, Escrow.com’s most notable public transactions over the last two years include:

Domain

Price (USD)

NFTs.com

$15,000,000

Connect.com

$10,000,000

NFT.com

$2,100,000

Exodus.com

$1,945,000

Galaxy.com

$1,800,000

Meme.com

$1,250,000

Unlock.com

$1,228,200

Stable.com

$1,008,925

Ebike.com

$1,008,900

Biontech.com

$950,000

Recursion.com

$904,000

Gobet.com

$850,000

 

Domain Names in Q2 2022

In August 2022, Escrow.com announced NFTs.com sold for $15m, making it the second highest publicly recorded domain sale after Voice.com went for $30m in 2020. According to web.archive.org, NFTs.com was up for sale for only $4,650 back in 2008, representing stellar returns. Escrow.com also handled the sale of NFT.com from a separate seller, for an undisclosed price. Over the last year, Escrow.com has handled transactions for other premium domains around the same record-setting price.

As shown in the Escrow Q2 2022 Domain Investment Index, the company facilitated $125m in domain name transactions between April through June. In the trailing twelve months to the end of June 2022, US$519 million of domain sales were transacted through Escrow.com. This is the sixth consecutive quarter that Escrow facilitated more than $100 million in secure domain name transactions, making it the world’s most trusted and preferred online licensed escrow payment services for buying or selling premium domain names.

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