Domain names are an interesting investment alternative to stock market shares or Bitcoin

In times of crisis, when savings accounts hardly give any return at all, many find solace with more volatile investments like stock market listed shares or even virtual coins like Bitcoins and Litecoins. But the recent Bitcoin rate crash clearly demonstrated that this is a particularly risky investment. Domain names, however, have always been an interesting venture. Take the recent sale of ‘ebet.com’ (sold at $1,350,000) for instance or ‘shout.com’ (sold at $ 450,000).

The biggest evolution in the field of domains starts in 2014

An opportunity is undoubtedly rearing its head. 2014 will indeed be the year when the biggest evolution in the field of domain names will take place. The web as we know it is expanding with hundreds of new domain extensions. A domain extension is the last part of an Internet address. Familiar extensions like .COM, .NET or .BE will be joined by hundreds of new possibilities, like e.g. .SHOP, .GENT or .APP. This will allow Internet users to clearly outline their product or company. A florist will for instance be able to choose a .FLOWER domain name; a lawyer may want to select .LAW. A local business in Ghent would probably benefit the most from a .GENT extension – one of the three Belgian extensions that will shortly be launched.

It’s generally free to pre-register domain names

Domain names are always registered via intermediaries, the so-called ‘registrars’. Since last year, many of those registrars (especially the slightly larger ones) offer the option to pre-register this type of domain names. This means that, when the extension actually becomes available, they will make an attempt to reserve it. This often is done according to a ‘no cure, no pay’ system, where the customer only pays when the domain name is successfully registered.

Pre-registering is on the rise: already nearing 50,000 pre-registrations

In the entire Intelligent group, approximately 50,000 pre-registrations of domain names with new extensions have already been noted. “Among those tens of thousands of pre-registrations, we regularly carry out studies to learn what the main interests of future domain owners are. We found among other things that general words and terms like ‘love’ or ‘film’ are in again. Because of the saturation of domain names, it has become almost impossible to register domain names of this type with existing extensions like .COM or .BE”, says Jimmy Cappaert, Business Developer for Intelligent (the group of which Combell is a part).

Local TLDs like .vlaanderen, .amsterdam, .gent and .brussels seem popular with our customers. We noticed that numerous companies register their brand name, but also study which extensions are interesting for them and register their product names accordingly. We also observed that many domain investors register more generic names. Unlike before, there are not many domain squatters among them. Most have learned in the meantime that you cannot register google.brussels with impunity”, says Cappart in conclusion.