NEWS ShortDot launches .BOND - Interview with Kevin Kopas

Castion

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Today I have the pleasure of talking with Kevin Kopas, the COO of ShortDot SA, the company behind the very successful .ICU extension. ShortDot SA is also behind the launch of the upcoming .BOND extension which is currently accepting claims from trademark holders until November 18th 2019 when it launches for the general public.

On the face of it .BOND seems to be focused on the finance sector. What are your thoughts on tackling a specialized extension after launching the very successful .ICU that has a very broad market appeal?

Firstly it is important to point out that our company name is “ShortDot” on purpose; we love shorter domain extensions because when you look at the overall market they generally perform better than extensions with more letters. We are really excited about .bond because after the generic nature of .icu we were able to target a specific market with .bond. .bond is priced higher than .icu, so we aren’t expecting the same volume, but because it is targeted towards financial firms, we looking forward to seeing who registers it.

I think that the ability to focus on a specific industry with a specific product like .bond is going to be fun because I know, pretty much, who our customers are. Whereas with .icu we have seen traction in many industries; cryptocurrencies, personal blogs and portfolios, small businesses, and more. .icu launched in May of 2018, and as of a few days ago we are now the 2nd largest new domain extension on the planet with more than 2.5 million registrations!

What is your pricing strategy behind .BOND?

.bond is priced quite a bit higher than .icu. When looking at registrar sites right now I see retail pricing between USD $800 and $1000. These numbers are relatively close to the wholesale cost of .bond, but it is also important to point out that we don’t have any premium names. This means that outside of the approximately 1000 Registry Reserved names every single .bond name is available at the standard price. Renewals are also at that same price. We chose a higher price because we wanted this to be a more premium extension while still laving it in reach of small businesses. We see .bond being perfect for larger financial firms and smaller independent advisors. With the higher price it helps with availability when an end-user is searching for their ideal domain but also instills a sense of professionalism with their clients when they have a more premium domain extension.

What kind of opportunities do you see for investors in .BOND?

Even with the higher registration price, there are great opportunities because there aren’t any premium names, premium renewal fees or any other fees that change or vary. Investors can register some great names for the registration fee and then prospect leads and try to sell the name just as they would with other extensions that fit into a particular industry. We have already been approached by a few domainers that have expressed interest in working directly with us to sell some of our registry reserved names because of the value they see in the extension. That being said, yes, James.bond is a registry reserved name.

You recently made a deal with Alibaba for them to sell .ICU domains on their new digital goods platform. Are you looking at broadening this partnership to include .BOND?

Overall, China has been great for .icu! As you may know getting MIIT licensing in China is a requirement to be able to sell domains in Mainland China. We invested quite a bit of resources into our China plan, and I am living in Asia again to focus on the region and the registrars that are here. Alibaba is the largest nTLD registrar, according to nTLDstats.com. They dominate quite a few industries within China and around the world, we’re happy to have them as a .icu accredited registrar.

Regarding .bond, at this point we don’t have plans to get MIIT licensing but never say never! There are quite a few registrars in Mainland China that also have entities in either Hong Kong or Singapore, which give their clients the ability to register names in extensions that are not MIIT licensed. This does provide domainers in Mainland China the ability to interact with investors and brokers from around the world, so while currently, we are not planning on getting licensing there is still plenty of opportunity for domainers everywhere to benefit from .bond.
 

secura

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#3
The sunrise period of the Bond-Domains has started on October 17th and ends on November 17th. If you want to register during the Sunrise Period, you have to own a trademark and register your trademark at Trademark Clearinghouse .

After the Sunrise Period there is an Early Access Period which starts on November 19. It works like a "Dutch auction" with falling prices. Interested parties please write to secura@domainregistry.de.

Hans-Peter Oswald