Namecheap bolsters blockchain domain push with Namebase acquisition, reports strong 2021 results

Registrar buys leading Handshake marketplace and reports rapid growth over the past year.

Namecheap is making an acquisition related to blockchain-based domains and reported strong growth in 2021.

The acquisition of Namebase bolsters the company’s position with Handshake, one of the competing blockchain-based domain name alternatives. Namebase is the leading marketplace and onramp for Handshake domains.

With Handshake, anyone can register a top level domain and then sell second level domains under them to other parties. For example, Namecheap offers second level Handshake domains in extensions such as .saas, .p, and .creator. At this time, Namecheap is the “owner” of each Handshake top level domain it offers at the registrar.

These domains can be used for crypto wallet addresses, Web3 identities, and technically, web presence such as websites. However, none of the most popular browsers currently resolve blockchain-based domains without using a plugin. Opera, which has about 1%-2% market share, is enabling native access to Handshake domains this year.

Separately, Namecheap revealed to Domain Name Wire that its revenue last year soared 28% over 2020, tallying $256.76 million. It ended the year with 14.62 million domains under management and 30 million active products including email subscriptions, SSL, hosting, etc. It added one million customers last year.

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