A new NFT trading craze where names are bought and sold for eye-popping sums is providing a multi-million-dollar lifeline for speculators shivering in the bleak crypto winter.
"Domain" names like coin.crypto (which has sold for $100,000) and beer.eth (which fetched $39,000) are a replacement breed of NFTs that owners can use to replace the jumble of 16 random numbers and letters that form their digital wallet addresses.
It might seem a lot of money for the crypto equivalent of a custom car plate, yet backers say these names could become valuable land in the years to come with the advent of Web3, a much-hyped vision of a future internet built on blockchain.
Right now the trading market for these alternative assets is providing rich - and risky - pickings for some investors who are scooping up buzzy domains with the aim of flipping them for a profit in the secondary market on NFT platforms like OpenSea.
"We have domain names starting at as little as $5, we've had some sell for the maximum amount as $100,000," said Matthew Gould, CEO Unstoppable Domains, which sells names ending in .crypto, .nft and .wallet on its website.
"The range is because there is a definite perceived value difference between different words and lengths."
WHAT'S a reputation WORTH?
Crypto domains are still in their infancy, though. there's no guarantee they, or Web3, will live up to their promise, while the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrency and NFT markets suggest perils for the unschooled trader.
Questions also abound on the scalability of the technology, and therefore the potential for confusion as competing domain providers issue similar names, potentially resulting in the misrouting of funds, a report by Block Intellige ..