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The Lowdown
July 2018 Archive
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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

HEXONET Set to Host a Special Domain Industry Cruise Event in Vancouver, Canada on August 23

Popular domain registrar  HEXONET will be hosting a special evening cruise that will launch from Vancouver's scenic Coal Harbour on Thursday, August 23, 2018. The cruise, that will run from 5:30pm to 9:00pm, will give guests a chance to celebrate domains as well as support a local charity. 100% of all funds collected from ticket sales will be donated to the British Columbia Children's Hospital Foundation, a charity HEXONET regularly supports, and HEXONET will match all funds raised! You can read more about the foundation here

While surrounded by panoramic views of the city skyline and 

Hexonet's 2018 Vancouver Cruise on August 23, 2018 will give attendees breathtaking views from mountains to sea.
Image from Bigstock

coastal mountains, you’ll have an opportunity to meet and connect with international domain industry members, HEXONET customers, and local business leaders, all while enjoying a selection of beverages and tasty bites. Attendees can look forward to a brief panel discussion, followed by an evening of networking and fun in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.  

HEXONET reps tell us they have been having an incredible year of facilitating growth, connection, and education in the domain space, and this exclusive event is part of that effort. Tickets for the event are just $20 (Canadian) but space will obviously be limited so you will want to get yours right away.

We have heard a lot of great things about previous editions of this event so we will be heading out to Vancouver to experience it for ourselves and will of course share the photos and highlights with you in this column.

(Posted July 31, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2018/dailyposts/20180731.htm

India Has Back to Back Domain Conferences Coming Up the First Two Weekends in August

Domain investors  (or those interested in the field) in India have a couple of excellent educational and networking opportunities coming up next month. The first of those, the 5th annual DomainX conference, will be staged in the nation's capital - New Delhi - on August 4 & 5, 2018. The following weekend the spotlight will shift to Kolkata for a new one day event on Saturday, August 11 that is simply titled Domain Name Conference Kolkata.

Image from Bigstock

The DomainX event, to be held at the Hotel Shangri-LA in New Delhi, will get underway at 3pm Saturday (August 4) with show Co-Founder Manmeet Pal Singh presiding over

a two-hour session devoted to domain name case studies and answering audience questions. Saturday evening will be devoted entirely to networking over dinner and drinks. 

A full day of business activities will follow Sunday (August 5) starting at 10am that will feature a broad range of expert speakers including Samiran Gupta (Head, ICANN India), Michael Bereslavsky (Domain Magnate), Anjali Wadhwani (LegalYaar), attorney Rodney D. Ryder, Pardeep Goyal (Cash Overflow) and Amrendra Mishra (Analyzed Media), to name just a few. You can view the full DomainX agenda here and also get a good idea of what to expect by checking out the photos from last year's event. You can get tickets for the event here

The new Domain Name Conference Kolkata at the Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge will get underway at 9:30am on Saturday, August 11 and continue to 5:30pm. This event is being produced by Startup Cafe Foundation and they have lined up an impressive roster of speakers for a first time event as you can see from this list:

Samiran Gupta - Head, ICANN India
Arvind Reddy - Founder, 100DollarDomains.com
Manish Lunja - Founder, BrandPros.com
Deepak Daftari - Founder, eSiksha.com
Neha Gupta - Founder, Namaxis Corporation
Jay Paudyal - Founder, DomainKhan.com
Rohit Goyal - Founder, SmeHelp.In
Varun Kumar - Founder, Pashmina.com
Chetan Varmadirector - Founder, Elite Back Office Solutions

Tickets for this event are as close to free as you are ever likely to see for an event with this kind of talent on hand - just 200 rupees (about $3 at the current exchange rate). 

(Posted July 27, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2018/dailyposts/20180727.htm

Neustar Names New President and CEO - Charles Gottdiener Succeeds Lisa Hook Who Will Remain on the Board

Neustar®, Inc., a major provider of domain registry and real-time information services, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Charles Gottdiener as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Gottdiener, who most recently was Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners, succeeds Lisa Hook, who has served as President and CEO and a member of the Neustar Board of Directors since 2010. Ms. Hook will remain on the Board and work closely with Mr. Gottdiener to ensure a seamless transition.

Neustar's announcement of the transition noted, "Over the course of his 30-year career, Mr. Gottdiener has established a track record of leading information services companies to drive innovation in client solutions, increase revenue and profitability, and scale operations. In his role as COO at Providence Equity Partners, Mr. Gottdiener oversaw the firm’s portfolio company operations, business development, human resources and other administrative functions. In addition, Mr. Gottdiener served as a Board member or interim CEO of several Providence 

Charles Gottdiener
President & CEO
Neustar

portfolio companies, where he focused on driving enterprise value by building a culture of operational excellence and generating profitable growth."

Prior to his role at Providence, Mr. Gottdiener spent seven years at Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) in multiple leadership roles, including President of the global risk, analytics and internet solutions business. Over the course of his D&B career Mr. Gottdiener established a track record of setting competitive business strategies, building high performing teams and launching new, innovative products to drive profitable growth. Prior to joining Providence Equity Partners and Dun & Bradstreet, Mr. Gottdiener held several leadership positions with the Boston Consulting Group, CSC Index, Ernst & Young Consulting and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. Mr. Gottdiener received a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College

Mr. Gottdiener said, “I am thrilled and honored to lead Neustar in this exciting phase of the Company’s growth. Neustar is unparalleled in its ability to deliver real-time, authoritative insights across marketing, digital performance and defense, as well as in risk, fraud and compliance. I look forward to working with the entire Neustar team, our partners at Golden Gate and GIC, and the Board to continue building Neustar’s leadership in the global information services market and in the service of our clients.”

Lisa Hook
Neustar Board Member,
Former President and CEO

Ms. Hook said, “Neustar has successfully completed the transformation we began in 2011 to become the leading provider of identity resolution-based information services. These efforts have been supported by a fantastic team with whom it has been both a pleasure and an honor to work. Last August, Golden Gate Capital and GIC offered us a compelling opportunity to further invest in our long-term growth and operational flexibility, and with Neustar positioned for future success, now is the right time for a leadership transition. I look forward to working with Charlie and continuing to serve on Neustar’s Board.”

Bernhard Nann, Chairman of the Board at Neustar, said, “With vast operational experience and a proven ability to accelerate business growth and drive profitability, we are confident that Charlie is the right leader for Neustar as the Company provides increasing value to our customers and a great place for our employees to develop their careers. His skills and 

experience in information services and his track record of creating a culture of operational excellence make him well suited to enhance and execute on our vision at Neustar. He will help drive tremendous value for the Company in the coming years.”

Mr. Nann continued, “Over the last 10 years, Lisa has been critical to Neustar’s successful transformation from a telecom services business into an information services provider, and we are grateful for her service and a smooth transition. We look forward to continuing to benefit from her tremendous expertise in her capacity as Director.”

(Posted July 23, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2018/dailyposts/20180723.htm

Ice.com Changes Hands for $3.5 Million in 2018's Biggest Publicly Reported Domain Sale to Date

Veteran domain brokers Brian Harbin from GritBrokerage.com and David Clements from Brannans.com have teamed up to close the biggest publicly reported domain sale thus far in 2018 - Ice.com at a cool $3.5 million. That is almost triple the amount paid for the previous YTD leader, Super.com, a name that sold for $1.2 million in March. 

Harbin represented the seller and Clements the buyer in a deal that was handled by Escrow.com and confirmed by Escrow.com General Manager Jackson Elsegood. While agreeing to allow the purchase

Image from Bigstock

price to be revealed the buyer, who reportedly has a plan in place to develop the domain, has chosen to remain anonymous for now.  

On Monday morning Harbin, Clements and Elsegood all agreed to participate in a private conference call to answer questions about the sale with the proviso that the information shared would be under embargo until 9am this morning.  

(Left to right) Brian Harbin (Grit Brokerage), David Clements (Brannans.com) and 
Jackson Elsegood (Escrow.com) were all involved in closing the $3.5 million sale of Ice.com.

Harbin told me he first met the buyer when that person bought a domain Harbin had listed for $2,500. After buying a few other domains through Harbin's Grit Brokerage in the same price range, this person wound up calling on Harbin to sell a domain for him but this one was a blockbuster - Ice.com. Harbin had done some previous deals with Clements and contacted him about this  exciting new listing. Clements happened to have an acquaintance he had met at a private event in his hometown, Atlanta, that he thought might have an interest in the domain. When Clements presented the opportunity to obtain the domain the buyer jumped on it, agreeing to the full $3.5 million asking price. Working with Escrow.com it then took them barely a week to complete the transaction which happened on July 6. 

Ice.com had previously been developed as an ecommerce platform to sell jewelry products but it became apparent to the owner that the name itself was worth more than the business. While the new owner has development plans of his own he is not ready to reveal what the domain will be used for. Whatever that may be, Clements believes the buyer now has the strongest possible foundation to build on. "For less than the cost of a single, 30-second Super Bowl ad we were able to acquire a powerful, single-word domain name with significant long-term value for our client. Major enterprises are recognizing the value and competitive advantages these premium domains deliver.”

With respect to the seller Harbin said,  “I’m enthusiastic that my client was able to fully monetize the digital asset they’d developed over 19 years – realizing significant gains over the previous sale price. I’m grateful and humbled to be part of a deal that was a win-win-win for everyone involved. And I’m honored to be a small part of the initiative to advance the domain industry by educating consumers on the value of digital assets.”

(Posted July 17, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2018/dailyposts/20180717.htm

CentralNic Acquires KeyDrive - Essentially Doubling in Size Overnight

CentralNic, a UK-based public company that is already an important player in domain registry management and the operation of retail registrars, has just gotten considerably bigger. The company's board of directors announced today that they have agreed to a deal that will allow CentralNic to acquire the entire share capital of Luxembourg-based KeyDrive S.A. and its subsidiaries for an initial consideration of $35.8 million (a figure that includes combination of cash and CentralNic stock according to a report at ProactiveInvestors.co.uk) plus a

performance-based earn-out of up to $10.5 million. The acquisition represents a reverse takeover under the AIM rules for Companies and is conditional upon shareholder approval.

KeyDrive is a global technology business and leading domain registrar that manages nearly 6 million domain names on behalf of companies, resellers and individuals. They are the parent company of several registrars including Moniker.com and DomainDiscount24.com, as well as reseller portal RRP Proxy.

CentralNic CEO Ben Crawford said, “The acquisition of KeyDrive is a milestone for the company. On completion, the enlarged group will have doubled in size and will have the technology platforms, expert staff, vision and drive to rival the industry’s traditional leaders.”

Alex Siffrin, the founder and CEO of KeyDrive will become Chief Operating Officer of the Company, and will also be a significant shareholder. Crawford said,  “I am personally excited to be welcoming Alex to CentralNic. His experience, shared values and standing within the industry will be a tremendous benefit to the group and a great addition to the management team”

(Posted July 16, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2018/dailyposts/20180716-3.htm

VPS Web Hosting

NameSummit Postponed - 2018 NYC Show Scheduled for August Moves to New Dates in November 

The 2nd annual  edition of the NameSummit conference was scheduled to run August 6-7 at the Westin Times Square Hotel in New York City. However, organizers have now decided to move the 2018 event to November 5-6 at the same hotel in Manhattan

Jason Schaeffer, who co-founded NameSummit with Steven Kaziyev, filled me in on the change of plans. "On May 31st Steve and I hosted our first Real Estate Summit in New York that covered everything from short sale and mortgages to blockchain for Real Estate and online branding," Schaeffer began. "Much of that one day event covered branding on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to

domain names and personal branding for agents.  The coverage had a lot of crossover and connection to what our speakers are teaching at NameSummit. Given the feedback after the event, we decided that we were going to host another Real Estate Summit in the fall."

NameSummit Co-Founder Steven Kaziyev speaking in New York City May 31, 2018 at the Real Estate Summit he also co-founded. Video highlights from that event can be seen here.  

Schaffer continued, "As we were moving toward this year’s NameSummit, the resounding feedback from speakers and sponsors was that we should seriously consider doing a fall event rather than the August dates.  While we originally chose the August dates to avoid possible conflicts with other industry conferences, in the end doing an event in the summer proved to be a big challenge with everyone wanting to take time for vacation and generally slow down.   Given the obvious connections between Real Estate and Domain Names and the fact that much of our content for Real Estate Summit related to digital branding and monetizing digital assets, we started giving serious thought to combining the two shows in the fall.  We started discussions with the Westin a couple of months ago and finally this week obtained clearance to do the new event on November 5 & 6th."

"We are very excited for the Fall show as NYC gives us the opportunity to bring the best in Real Estate and Branding together so the energy should be great and the weather will be 

Jason Schaeffer
NameSummit Co-Founder

nice.  The Westin is accommodating us too with a room rate that is only $10 higher per night than our Summer rate which is pretty good for the high season in Manhattan."

 

A scene from the first Real Estate Summit in New York City May 31, 2018. This event will be incorporated unto NameSummit when NameSummit returns November 5-6, 2018.

Schaeffer also noted, "Tickets will be priced the same as before with a $299 to $699 range and we will be providing light breakfast and lunch both days along with a party on Monday night.   We’ve already spoken with some Registries and they are excited about the opportunity to connect with the real estate industry to expand the discussion on domains and new gTLDs. In the end, the combined events provide an even greater opportunity for the domain industry to educate and connect with those that are going to buy and use domain names. Our focus remains on helping increase domain name usage and helping people grow their online presence, promote their brands and properties in this changing landscape."

Schaeffer said the fall event will be covering, among other things: 

Influencer Branding

Social Media Branding

Geo-Domains and Geo Targeting

SEO and Digital Media Best Practices

How Blockchain is Expanding 
Opportunities for Real Estate Investing

New gTLDs and Domain Opportunities

Short Sales and Mortgages

Personal Branding and Coaching

Domain Brokerage and Investing Opportunities

Digital Marketing for Agents and Investors

"With the combination of Real Estate Summit and NameSummit, we can help focus the conversation and bring the real property and online property worlds together. We are looking forward to hosting our domain industry friends in New York City this fall," Schaeffer concluded.

We attended the first edition of the NameSummit conference last year in New York City. Photos and highlights from our coverage can be seen here

(Posted July 16, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2018/dailyposts/20180716-2.htm

Buckley Media Group Closes $1 Million+ Deal for Sleeping.com and Snoring.com 

Buckley Media Group (BMG) has just closed a $1,004,450 sale of two closely related domain names -  Sleeping.com and Snoring.com - to US Expediters, the company that operates CPAP.com. At $502,225 each, BMG will have two new entries in the top ten of our YTD Top 100 Domain Sales Chart when the weekly update to that elite list is posted Wednesday evening. Buckley Media Group already occupies a top ten spot with their $335,000 sale of Inspection.com in February.

BMG Founder & CEO Kate Buckley noted, "Sleeping.com and Snoring.com were registered by my client, a private entity, in 1999. He decided he was ready to liquidate them to an end-user and retained my services to do so. While multiple companies across several industries (from mattresses to healthcare) expressed interest at a very high level, US Expediters ultimately won the domains in a highly competitive bidding environment. They operate CPAP.com so they clearly understand and expertly leverage premium domains, and were ready to substantially invest in these

Kate Buckley
Buckley Media Group

domain assets. I look forward to seeing the exponential impact that Sleeping.com and Snoring.com will have on their business.” 

US Expediters Founder and CEO, Johnny Goodman, stated:  “Cpap-pro.net was the first domain our company used to sell CPAP equipment. When we purchased CPAP.com, it made an immediate financial and brand impact for us. From then on, we understood the power of premium domains. We were able to purchase CPAP.com because we took the time and effort to email the seller in German when no one else did. That was a great deal for us."

Goodman added, “People search for the keyword “sleeping” roughly 12 times as often as they search for CPAP. We've often wished we could list sleep-related products on CPAP.com, but it hasn't always made sense or been on brand. We like the idea of a website that is your one stop shop for anything and everything relating to sleep. It folds nicely into our mission and the impact we want to have on the world."

Ms. Buckley said, “The bottom line to me is that Johnny understands the power of premium .COMs and how to strategically leverage them. He was the ideal acquirer for these powerhouse domains. Premium domains aren’t only lead generators but they are also brand enhancers and appreciating assets. All three lead to higher company valuations. As a business owner, finding these qualities in the same asset is incredibly rare. Johnny got this in spades."  

“I worked with both buyer and seller to negotiate terms and facilitate a smooth and elegant transaction which closed in record time—seven figures in 4 hours and 31 minutes via 

Escrow.com. A special thank you to Manuel and Jackson from Escrow.com who put in the extra time and personally called me to congratulate me on a 7-figure deal setting a 

new record for time closed. All parties were a pleasure to do business with, and I look forward to US Expediters putting these authoritative ultra-premium .COMs to their highest and best use,” Ms. Buckley concluded. 

(Posted July 16, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2018/dailyposts/20180716.htm

Payoneer Decides to Shut Down the Domain Escrow Service They Launched Two Years Ago

For the past two years  global payments service provider Payoneer has been trying to expand its brand by becoming a major player in the domain escrow business. Despite earning positive reviews from customers who used their services, the company apparently didn't reach the financial goals they were aiming for.

Last night I received an email from Payoneer announcing they were shutting down their domain escrow service. It was signed simply Matt Watts (with no title to indicate what his role at the company is). However, a quick check at LinkedIn showed Matt listed as Payoneer's Head of Enterprise Strategy & Business Development, starting this year. Prior to 2018 he was Head of Business Development, B2B Services. 

Two other Payoneer executives, Scott Reynolds and Brandon Abbey, were the company representatives most people in the domain world were familiar with. Just this past January they did a joint presentation about Payoneer services at NamesCon in Las Vegas. After getting the shutdown news from Watts I learned that Reynolds (who had been General Manager, B2B Services) had left Payoneer in March to start his own blockchain-related company, TangoTrade. I haven't yet had a chance to connect with Brandon (who served as the highly regarded President of Escrow.com before joining Payoneer where he has been the Director of Strategic Accounts) to see what is next for him (either in a different role at Payoneer or a new one that would hopefully keep him in our industry where he has been a leader since 2004).

In January 2018 Director of Strategic Accounts Brandon Abbey (left) and the company's GM for B2B Services, Scott Reynolds, detailing Payoneer's domain escrow services in a presentation at NamesCon in Las Vegas. 

Here is the full text of Matt Watts's email announcing Payoneer's exit from the domain escrow space:

"It’s with sincere apologies that I’m sharing news that Payoneer is discontinuing our escrow business. While we have been excited and honored to service prospects and partners like yourself, after careful review of our product portfolio have decided to commit our focus to other areas of the Payoneer business. 

If we can be of help to successfully transition our relationship to other Payoneer products that might support your business, please let us know. We offer a variety of money transfer services such as mass payouts, virtual bank accounts, invoicing with credit card and bank transfer payments, and other products, and would be happy to support exploration of our services.  

We know the transition for some may not be easy, but we are here to lend guidance and flexibility where possible. Thank you for your business to this point and understanding of our situation. We’ve appreciated all you’ve done in partnership with Payoneer."

(Posted July 11, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Did the Crypto.com Buyer Pay $12 Million? - Best WIPO Panelist Identified - .LLC Enters Landrush

On Friday  I passed along the news that Crypto.com had been sold to Monaco for an undisclosed price (but one almost universally believed to have been multiple millions of dollars). While Monaco and seller Matt Blaze have both been mum on that point, Elliot Silver at DomainInvesting.com came across a post by Cheddar.com reporter Tanaya Macheel this morning that stated the news organization had learned from an anonymous source close to the transaction that the price was $12 million. There has not yet been any public confirmation of that number from anyone involved in the sale though.

Image from Bigstock

With respect to speculation that Blaze may have gotten both cash and equity in the deal, Blaze posted on his blog over the weekend that he did not get any financial stake in Monaco as part of the deal.   

Howard Neu
NeusNews.com

In other news, domain owners who have had to defend their ownership rights in UDRP disputes have long felt the deck was stacked against them - especially in cases involving a single panelist who may have a long record of siding with complainants. in an attempt to even the playing field, many respondents pay more to get a three-person panel. On his blog at NeusNews.com, veteran domain attorney Howard Neu has been issuing semi-annual reports identifying which WIPO panelists in 3-panelist cases most often sided with the Respondent by finding there was an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking or abuse of process by the Complainant. 

Howard just released his latest report today, one that found John Swinson was the best panelist for respondents in the first half of 2018. Check out the full report for the details as well as other names of panelists who most often gave domain owners a fair shake.

Elsewhere, the new .LLC gTLD opened its landrush today with General Availability set to begin July 23, 2018. The roll out is being handled by one of the biggest domain registry operators, Afilias. A company press release noted, "With the introduction of .LLC, Limited Liability Companies will now be able to establish Internet identities which are more closely aligned with their existing identities and branding, rather than modifying their name or brand to adapt to limited choices in more crowded TLDs. .LLC registration is open to anyone; no need to wait till the paperwork is filed.  Future LLC owners can use their new domains to attract investors, develop new websites to win support or announce planned businesses and begin marketing efforts to win business and support their missions as they apply to become an LLC."

(Posted July 9, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2018/dailyposts/20180709.htm

Never Say Never! Crypto.com Owner Decides to Sell After All - Multi-Million $ Domain Goes to Monaco

Never say never! Less than 3 months ago we told you about how Crypto.com owner Matt Blaze had gotten so tired of getting unsolicited offers for his extraordinarily valuable domain he declared the name was not for sale at any price and people should just stop trying to change his mind. Blaze, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, had also made it clear that he was especially not interested in seeing anyone use the name for cryptocurrency purposes, having once stated, "many cryptocurrencies are scams, and I strongly advise against their use as investment vehicles."

What a difference 90 days - and a presumably gargantuan payday - can make. TechCrunch reported today that Monaco, a company that plans to issue a crypto Visa Card, had acquired Crypto.com from Blaze for an undisclosed price. With the purchase of Crypto.com Monaco is also rebranding itself as

Former Crypto.com Owner Matt Blaze
(Photo from Twitter)

MCO to match the name of the cryptocurrency it issues. News of the transaction triggered rampant speculation as to what the selling price was with the most common guess appearing to fall in the $5-$10 million range. Others, pointing to Blaze's reluctance to sell, think it took more than that to get the deal done.

Image from Bigstock

Blaze has not commented on the transaction and Monaco CEO Kris Marszalek would only tell TechCrunch "If it was only about money he’d have sold it a long time ago," suggesting Blaze decided that Monaco was the right home for the name he has owned since registering it in 1993. Some believe that statement may also indicate that Blaze had gotten some equity as well as cash in the deal. 

Whatever the financial arrangements were it appears Monaco can easily afford the acquisition.  TechCrunch reported, "Monaco’s ICO finished in June 2017 with the company  

raising what was then worth $25 million in crypto. Fast forward to today and Marszalek said the firm has close to $200 million on its balance sheet thanks to a surge in the valuation of cryptocurrencies."

(Posted July 6, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Photos & Highlights from the 2018 NamesCon China Conference in Shanghai

The  2018 NamesCon China conference was held in Shanghai in conjunction with its sister Cloudfest China conference June 27-29 at the Yuluxe Sheshan (a Tribute Portfolio Hotel). The event began with Digicert's Welcome Party Wednesday evening and was followed by two full days of business Thursday and Friday. Our friend, veteran international domain broker

George Hong was on hand for the show that his company, Guta.com, helped sponsor and George was kind enough to send us some photos and highlights from the event so we could share them with you.

Above & in the 3 photos below: Scenes from the 2018 Coudfest/NamesCon China 
Welcome Party
hosted by Digicert Wednesday evening, June 27 in Shanghai.

Above: The next two days, Thursday and Friday, June 28 & 29, gave attendees a chance to benefit from a wide variety of presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities

At left: Peng Wang from Ali Cloud Domain got things started Thursday morning with a report on domain name industry development

Below: In another popular session Thursday Jian Zhang from Baidu Cloud presented an Exploration of ABC (AI, BigData and Cloud Computing in the Digital Era at Baidu.

Above: The wide ranging panel discussions at NamesCon China 2018 included this one moderated by Jun Yang of West.cn (at far left) that covered the current state of New gTLDs. China has become the best market for some of the new extensions that have been licensed to operate there.

Below: The final panel discussion Thursday focused on how to make Successful Domain Transactions. It featured (left to right): Host Yue Feng from Newg.tv, George Hong (Guta.com), Peibi Wang, Giuseppe Graziano (GGRG.com), Xiaochun Deng (YuMing.com) and Jim Wang (Goddady). 

During this one-hour discussion the panelists covered end user domain sales, the type of names end users are buying, the potential impact of New GLTDs on the domain industry if ICANN opens another round of new GLTD applications, the difference in how mainstream domaining is viewed by participants in China and the West and the future value and sales cycle of domain names.

There were many more business sessions throughout the day as well as a global online domain auction on Friday. 

At right & below: In between seminars and during afternoon tea breaks, attendees visited the Exhibition Hall to get information from service providers like domain  brokerage Guta.com (at right) or enjoy some game and entertainment provided by companies like the .CLUB registry.

Above: The purple men from .XYZ were also a big draw in the Exhibition Hall where they took on TrustAsia in some Superhero cosplay.

At left: After a busy day of conference activities, attendees re-fueled Thursday evening at a VIP Dinner Party hosted by Cloudfest China and NamesCon China.

June wound up being a busy month for NamesCon as the China show came less than three weeks after their first NamesCon Europe conference in Valencia, Spain. Events like these have made it possible for domain 

industry participants to build business relationships and personal friendships around the globe. That is something that I've always believed makes this one of the best of all worlds for Internet entrepreneurs.

(Posted July 3, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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