It’s been one of those weeks, if not months, for the domain investing industry and the community.
The apple cart has been flipped, and apples are all over the place, not in a good way.
Flares and grenades are being thrown from one side to another by opposing new gTLD parties.
Punches have been thrown. Blow for blow and toe to toe, the gTLDS might have been put down for the count and in the casket with the latest Uniregistry news.
It all started with Rick Schwartz tweeting about new gTLDs, also known as new domain extensions, being on life support with the plug ready to be pulled.
If you didn’t know, Schwartz is not a fan of the new gTLDs. I’m not a fan and own less than 5 geo new gTLD.
I’ve always thought they were expensive and confusing for the general public.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve written about the new gTLDs and whether they would potentially threaten .com, .net, and .org domains.
When new gTLDs were originally released, many believed they were going to top the 90’s domain gold rush as a second coming.
It hasn’t all been gloom and doom for the new gTLDs, but it hasn’t been sunshine.
And from the sounds of the latest news that Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry is increasing rates for new gTLDs by 3000% (no, I didn’t add an extra 0), the faint sound of taps is likely likely to be blaring in the coming weeks and months for those managing new gTLDs at Uniregistry.
New gTLD domain renewals held with Uniregistry are going from renewal rates of $10-$20 annually to nearly $300. OUCH!
It’s not all gTLDs, but a few of Uniregistry extensions such as .hosting, .juegos, .audio, .blackfriday, .diet, .hiphop, .guitars, and .property.
My best guess is that there will likely be a drop catch frenzy, with renewal rates as high as a kite.
Schilling did make mention that there would be promotions to ease and decrease the rate increase, but I’m not certain that many are giving much weight or trust after feeling like they’ve been betrayed thus far.
It’s very likely a growing group of domainers will take a blood bath, being forced to not auto-renew and some closing their domain investing businesses for good.
Many domain investors are voicing their opinions. I imagine There will also be a mass exodus from Uniregistry to Epik, Efty, GoDaddy, and other registries.
I know such news makes me pause and reconsider growing my new gTLD portfolio, even if I own only a handful of names.
With Uniregistry leading the way with price hikes, I imagine other registries are likely to play follow the leader, and over the cliff, they all go.