Crypto like .com

I Want My Name I Want My Name:
I’m endlessly fascinated by cryptocurrencies… not so much for their actual intended use, but for their investment stories. It’s hard not to see parallels to the industry I’m in, which is packed with opportunity, but (very arguably) low on real money-making opportunities.
Let’s start here. The (simplistic) dream of the crypto coin is to create a global currency unencumbered by governments and boundaries. It’s a neat concept, but the first big coin, Bitcoin, is hampered by limited supply and slow transaction speed. As a currency, it’s pretty terrible — so society started calling it internet gold and the price/Bitcoin went nuts.
In a way, Bitcoin is a lot like .com — the supply is limited, and investors, seeing an opportunity, created an unintended (I think?) demand. There are probably thousands upon thousands of .com domains just sitting in people’s accounts as investment properties. These are the OG internet hodlers.
Then the options came. In the world of crypto, there are countless currencies you could invest in now. There are coins that are copies of Bitcoin, coins that solve little problems with Bitcoin, and even coins designed to eliminate the artificial supply constraints, which theoretical would normalize prices (good if you want people to actually use the coin). That hasn’t stopped people from parking money in these coins as an investment, but longterm, I have to imagine it dampens returns. Eventually, the winner of the coin wars is going to be the one that mirrors the original dream — to be a currency people can/will actually use. That means low price fluctuation and limited investment opportunities (more like a fiat currency than a gold rush).
See the .com comparison there? The goal of domains is to use them, and when you have a gold rush bringing all the investors to the yard, the supply/demand balance gets tipped and the usefulness of the product goes away. But now we have hundreds of TLDs covering almost any possible use case. Going forward, why would someone spend a lot of money on a domain someone’s been parking as an investment when they could get a “better” version of the same domain in a more applicable TLD?
All that said, I won’t pretend .com, or Bitcoin for that matter, isn’t the one you want in the near future. Both are still the most identifiable versions of what they are, and that almost always means there will be some sort of FOMO. But for those playing the long game — perhaps there is no long game. The goal for both domains and cryptocurrencies isn’t for investors to make a boatload of money, it’s for the most possible people to be able to freely use the technology in a way that most benefits society. Or something like that.

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