It looks like bidding activity on Handshake domains is cooling off as we move towards the end of the month. Today on Twitter Mark Smith shared the data in the following tweet:
I think Mark’s guess around why we’ve seen the decrease is probably spot on, right now it’s pretty clear all the best Handshake domains have been taken, especially given that these domains have a much more narrow use case since they’re treated like TLDs. At the same time, people like me gave up on buying Handshake domains some time ago and focused on buying HNS which should be a better bet (at least IMHO) if the Handshake domain ecosystem does take off.
My guess is you’d see a similar trend if ICANN ever decided to make any new gTLD that anyone can think of available to register. You’d see a frenzy of bidding initially, lots of trading between speculators in the middle, and then a sharp decline as all the words that make sense as a TLD get claimed.
What might make Handshake a bit difference is the bet on emoji domains. There are a good chunk of investors out there who people people will want to buy subdomains in emoji handshake domains. So if I’m really into say gardening, maybe I’d want to own morgan.🪴/ – I’ve made it pretty clear I personally don’t get it…but hey, it’s a new space and the world is changing so anything is possible.
I think that over the next year Handshake domain investors will want to see more ways for normal people to access Handshake domains, not just integration in a browser like Brave (which is used by less than .5% of people) but a real contender like Safari, Firefox, or Chrome. Without forward momentum around end-user adoption, spectators will get tired of trading between each other and we’ll see more of what we’re seeing now which is a lot less activity when it comes to buying.
In the world of traditional domains, momentum with TLDs like .IO where you see massive end-user adoption in support in every browser pique investor interest for a reason – the data is there to show that it can be a good investment. For now, Handshake is a bet, a bet I personally think will end up paying off for a good group of Handshake domain investors and ecosystem players, but it will take time to see widespread awareness and adoption. The question is – how long will that take, and how long is too long?