Aftermarket sales of .xyz are having a stellar 2021. Even at the midway point of 2021, the sales dollar volume has more than tripled over the 2020 whole year total. To put it in perspective, during the first half of 2021 the sales volume of .xyz is approximately equal to the combined sales volume for the .gg, .biz and .us extensions over the same period. The volume is still a factor of 6.5 less than the .net sales in early 2021, and orders of magnitude below .com volume. In my look at domain name sales during the first six months of 2021, I noted the rapid rise of .xyz. Currently .xyz is the most registered new domain extension by a considerable margin, at just over 3.6 million .xyz registrations according to nTLDStats. In the poll associated with the article After .COM What Comes Next, more than 6% of NamePros respondents voted for .xyz as the next choice after .com, although the extension did place after .net, .io, .co and .org. Recently the name drop.xyz sold for $30,000, the highest NameBio-recorded sale in the extension since 2016. That sale was by NamePros member @syedmairaj, and you can read more about the drop.xyz sale and negotiation here. While that sale was not one of hers, @DNGear has been selling premium .xyz names regularly, such as Beacon.xyz that sold for $24,888. In this article I take a look at .xyz sales over $1000 from the last year, the type of names that sell, and how they are being used. The Bumpy Ride For XYZ Sales Over The Years While the 2021 sales volume for .xyz is huge compared to recent years, the extension was selling at a similar clip in the first few years, as the indicated on the graph below. It should be pointed out that in the early years there were many registry premium sales included in the total, whereas in 2021 essentially all of the aftermarket sales are by domain investors. In order to block out most wholesale acquisitions, the volumes reported only reflect sales at $300 and more. So what happened to cause the huge drop in aftermarket sales in 2016? In late May 2016 .XYZ founder and CEO Daniel Negari announced “the biggest domain promotion the world has ever seen!” For a short period of time registrations in the extension were just a penny. The huge influx of cheap registrations essentially killed the aftermarket, and it has taken years to recover. Sales from Past Year in .XYZ I took a look at significant .xyz aftermarket sales, that I defined as $1000 and up, from the past 12 months. There were 82 sales in the analysis, with the majority from 2021 (only 14 were second-half 2020 sales). The average price was $4875, with the breakdown shown below. The largest sales were from recent months, and prices are rising. I was interested in what type of names sell, so went through the list categorizing by hand. Single word domain names dominate, representing the vast majority of sales. A few notes on my classification system and observations. Terms from science and math appeared frequently in the list, names such as entropy, velocity. fission, fractal, spectrum, and variable. There were some other technology-related names, such as metaverse, protocol and chia. I divided the remaining dictionary words into more and less common words. While my division is somewhat arbitrary, I categorized words like drop, canvas, frontier, nature. split, read and islands as common. Some examples of names I listed as uncommon, or more accurately less common, were echelon, deca, fleek and transcendence. Both common and less commonly used dictionary words appear frequently. There were a few proper names on the list, including Ryan, Napoleon and Nadia. There were no numeric names, and just one alphanumeric. There were a number of plurals in the list, but no names with hyphens. The full category distribution is shown below. I also looked at the length of each name, obtaining the results shown below. The average length is 7.1, with a range of 4 to 14 letters. The number of sales drops off strongly after 9 or 10 letters. Number of Extensions Among the screening metrics commonly used by domain investors, is the number of TLDs that term is registered in. For each of the 82 names, I checked this using dotDB. The average number of registered extensions was 172, but with considerable range from 2 to 571 TLDs. The most registered term was metaverse. While the higher-value sales correspond to terms registered in 140 or more other extensions, the correlation of sales price with number of TLDs registered is weak. The R2 coefficient is just 0.32. How Old? The .xyz extension came into general availability on June 2, 2014. The highest-value sale, drop.xyz, has been continuously registered since registration on the opening day of general availability. I wondered if most of the significant sale names were registered in the early years, so for each of the 82 sales of $1000 and more I checked Whois. I found considerable variability in age, as the distribution of creation years shows. The average age was about 3 years. Some names sold within a few months of registration, though. How are the Developed Names Used? For each of the 82 names, I checked if they had an operating website. About 44% of the names had a developed website. Another 4% were in redirection. I had wondered if a number were acquiring the .xyz to protect their brand, but that appears not a major factor in the sales. The Clubhouse people did acquire their name to redirect to their .com. Only 3 names were apparently for sale again. 49% were not developed at this time. While that might seem high, it is consistent with similar analyses on other extensions. A lot of names, even those that sell for significant amounts, do not get developed promptly. It should also be kept in mind that many of these .xyz sales were from only a few months ago. After looking at how the developed names are used, here are my impressions. The vast majority are in use by early-stage startups in hot areas such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, collaboration, and networks. One of the biggest sales, Beacon, is in use as a community-focused cryptocurrency fund. Another cryptocurrency initiative within the developed sites was Soteria. Several developed names are being used by venture capital funds, such as Patron. Defi is a common theme, such as Frontier, the chain-agnostic DeFi aggregator service. Collaborative networks find use, such as Mesh. The site is currently minimal, but the interesting name Islands is offering a service where creators host paid memberships for fans. A number of the developed sales are related to NFTs in some way. Props offers a service to easily launch loyalty tokens and NFTs. Manifold is also engaged in NFT for the creative and crypto communities. Although their site is up, Gateway describes themselves as launching soon. It will build or acquire direct-to-consumer companies. I had thought Pallet might be used for a manufacturing or supply chain business, but it is an ‘infrastructure for modern hiring.” There are a few digital content and marketing businesses, such as Motive. Switchboard uses data feeds to power decentralized applications. Propel is a decentralized auction platform for raising capital. The Minty site describe themselves as NFT-powered investing, definitely a hot area at the moment. There are a few, but only a few, that would appear to be used for blogs or information sites. That is perhaps surprising, since some saw .xyz as an alternative to .info for such sites. I did not see any that are local-based traditional businesses. There are 1982 .xyz sites currently in the Alexa 1M according to data at DomainNameStats If we look at traffic based on queries routed on the global Cisco Umbrella network, the web use of the .xyz extension moved from 29th to 15th place over the past year, and had highest use among new extensions in 2021. Discussion At NamePros Since 2015 there has been an active .xyz discussion thread at NamePros. Members showcase recent acquisitions, report sales, and share information on developed websites. Top XYZ Sales of All Time Here is a link to the complete NameBio list of .xyz sales for all time. The top of the list is dominated by registry sales of 1 and 2 character names. In first place, 1.xyz sold for $181,720 in 2016. That domain name is currently not in active use. What Does It All Mean? Clearly the landscape for .xyz investment is much more positive than it was a few years ago. Probably much of that has been driven by @DNGear, who amassed a large high-quality .xyz portfolio, held out for good prices, had the patience to renew quality names, and has dominated the recent retail sales in the extension. While no one can predict the future with certainty, aftermarket sales, registrations, and web use trends are all positive for the extension. It was surprising how dominated the major sales were in a relatively small number of sectors, such as investment, collaboration, NFTs, blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital marketing. It will be interesting to see if broader application unfolds, in the way the .io market gradually broadened. From the analysis that I did, these are the takeaways I developed for those seeking to build their .xyz portfolio. As always, do your own research and make your own conclusions. Invest mainly, or exclusively, in single word names. Consider the hot sectors noted above, but also keep in mind that many of those businesses operate on a common word that is only loosely associated with the business description. Do not be afraid of less common, or more technical, terms if there is a clear association with applications. It seems wise to generally restrict your consideration to words about 10 characters or less in length. Retail pricing in low to mid $$$$ seems right for many names in the extension, with highest quality names extending into $$$$$. Keep an eye on recent and comparable sales, as the market is changing. Look for terms already locked-up in extensions like .com, .net, .org, .io and .co. Many of the firms acquiring a premium .xyz seemed set on a brand story based on a certain word. Names commanding the strongest prices were taken in 140 or more TLDs, although there were sales with far lower numbers too. The registry promotes .xyz for ‘generations X, Y and Z’, although it also notes that it is suitable for any sector, location or type of use. The extension got a boost in August 2015 when Google co-founder Larry Page announced that abc.xyz would be used for investor relations for the parent company Alphabet. It continues to be used for that purpose. With so many registrations, it is hard to find many quality words available for hand registration. Tools like One Word Domains do cover the extension, but you will need a subscription. ExpiredDomains.net can help you find available names at the main auction and aftermarket places. I see that increasingly there are NamePros members seeking .xyz names in the Buyer Request section of NamePros. So what do you think about the .xyz extension? Have you had personal success with it? Do you think the current momentum will continue? Please vote in the associated poll, and share your comments in the discussion. Thanks to NameBio for much of the the data used in this analysis. Also shout-out to @DNGear for her success in the extension, and showing the way forward in securing good retail prices. Congratulations to @syedmairaj for the highest value sale in the extension in recent years.