Domain auction concludes with bid valued at $750,000.

This afternoon, I’ve received a couple of emails from people attending the Handycon 2022 live domain auction. A bidder named “whale” just won an auction for the .s Handshake domain for 4.7 million HNS tokens. At the current price of just under $.16, that’s about $750,000.

Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall confirmed to me that he was the winning bidder.

It’s the highest known price ever paid for a Handshake domain.

The top level domain was originally purchased for about 63,000 HNS in an auction in November 2020.

Handshake domains don’t work like regular domains. They are based on blockchain technology, and, for anyone to visit a site built on one, people have to use a special browser or plugin. Blockchain-based domains are becoming somewhat popular for crypto wallet addresses, but I’m not aware of any websites built on one that have gone mainstream. They face uphill challenges.

Unique to Handshake is that you can buy the top level domain — in this case .s — and then sell second level domains below those.

A couple of domain name registrars offer second level Handshake domains, most notably Namecheap. So in this case, Namecheap will act as the registry for .s and offer the domain to its customers. Other registrars could conceivably offer the domains as well, and pay Namecheap a registry fee.

Namecheap also owns Namebase, a popular onramp and marketplace for Handshake TLDs.

I imagine the appeal of .s is that you can take any singular word and make it plural, such as domain.s or flower.s.

This story has been updated to reflect the identity of the buyer.


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