We’re coming towards the end of 2016 now, and so we thought it would be interesting to take stock of a year in domaining and recap some of the highlights of this year. Below, we take a look back at some of the biggest stories of the year, interspersed with some of NamePros’ most popular posts. NamesCon 2016 NamesCon 2016 was, according to all reports, an overwhelming success. At the event, Escrow.com unveiled their brand new website, Frank Schilling delivered a popular keynote speech, and there was a live auction. The live domain auction delivered three six-figure sales: lawn.com, tuscany.com and penis.com. The auction also provided twenty-seven five-figure sales. WE.com’s $8 million sale was confirmed In DNJournal’s first post of the year, editor Ron Jackson confirmed that We.com did indeed sell for $8 million. NamePros had covered the sale in August 2015 but was only fully confirmed to Ron at 2016’s NamesCon event, and it was duly added to 2015’s sales chart as the second largest sale of that year, behind Rick Schwartz’s Porno.com sale. Kassey Lee’s Record-Breaking Post Also in January, Kassey Lee (@Kassey Lee), a regular contributor to NamePros, wrote an extremely informative article entitled, “How to Find Acronyms for Chinese Pinyin Domain Names.” This guide, which will help you make sense of Chinese acronyms, has so far been viewed close to 90,000 times, which is a record for the NamePros blog. Tesla Buys Tesla.com One of the biggest stories of the year was Tesla’s purchase of Tesla.com. The news was broken by Domain Name Wire, who reported that the American car creator Tesla had bought Tesla.com. It was a story that was covered in international media outlets, after Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted about the domain name. NamePros managed to speak to the seller, Stuart Grossman of California. MarkMonitor Changes Hands in a $3.55 Billion Deal Thomson Reuters, the former owner of MarkMonitor, made the decision to sell its IP division in a $3.55 billion deal. The deal meant that MarkMonitor, along with at least five other companies in Thomson Reuters’ IP division, would be sold. Thomson Reuters acquired MarkMonitor in 2012 for an undisclosed sum. Verisign Buys .WEB For $135 million At the end of July, Domain Name Wire broke the story of the .WEB domain name extension rights being sold for $135 million. A number of companies such as Google, Radix and Web.com participated in the auction, but it turns out that Verisign bought the rights to this extension, which is now due to be released in 2017. Afilias placed the second highest bid. Donald Trump Buys ClintonKaine.com One of the most important events of the year was the US Presidential election. In August, the Republican candidate Donald Trump bought the domain name in a deal worth $15,000. The purchase made national headlines, and a “Disqualify Hillary Clinton” website was quickly displayed on the domain name. The seller discussed the domain name on NamePros. Payoneer Joins The Domain Escrow Business In September, global payments company Payoneer announced that they were starting a domain name escrow service and employed former Escrow.com president Brandon Abbey to become a part of the team. The news was greeted positively by the domain community. Snapchat Acquires Snap.com, and Rebrands to “Snap” Snapchat is one of the world’s most popular apps, with around 150 million people using it each day and nine photos shared every single second. The billion dollar company made the decision to change the name of its organisation from Snapchat Inc to Snap Inc. This news was prevalent to the domain industry, since it transpired that Snap Inc had recently acquired Snap.com in anticipation of the name change. At the same time, Snap also acquired Spectacles.com for an undisclosed amount. Spectacles was unveiled as Snap’s first wearable tech product. Vivo Mobile Buys Vivo.com Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo acquired Vivo.com from Real Networks this year. Ranked as one of the largest sales this year, Vivo acquired Vivo.com for $2.1 million. The news was broken by George Kirikos via Twitter. Since the purchase, Vivo have switched from using VivoGlobal.com to Vivo.com and have been heavily promoting their brand during English Premier League matches. Another seven-figure sale was also uncovered by George: GoDaddy’s LA.com sale for $1.2 million. Google Buys X.Company Domain Name X is Google’s “moonshot factory,” which allows its innovative staff to work on fascinating projects such as Project Loon: a network of balloons traveling in space designed to give internet connectivity to people in remote areas. Up until late 2016, Google used SolveForX.com to host its website. Then, the news broke that Google had acquired the domain name X.Company in a private deal from its previous Chinese owner. This isn’t the first time that Google has used a new domain extension for one of its major websites. In August 2015, Google acquired abc.xyz to host Alphabet, Google’s holding company. .BLOG Launched In November, one of the most highly anticipated new gTLDs was launched by Automattic, the company behind the WordPress content management system (CMS). Automattic’s CEO, Matt Mullenweg, was interviewed by NamePros before the launch of .BLOG and did a great job of explaining why Automattic decided to launch .BLOG. Unfortunately, the extension came in for some criticism from investors due to .BLOG’s premium pricing. Fidel Castro Died: Fidel.com was Sold for $16,000 Fidel Castro, Cuba’s revolutionary leader, died in November 2016 at age 90. Coincidentally, the domain name Fidel.com sold just over a week before Castro’s death. As of writing, the domain name is owned by Finlead, who owns many other high-valued names. Does the death of Fidel Castro mean that Fidel.com is worth more now? HG.com Sells for Over $3.7 Million Recently, DN.com’s blog DNQueen.net announced the news that HG.com had been sold to a Chinese company that has been using wjhgw.com before this purchase. This domain sale was confirmed by DNJournal and is now listed as the largest sale of 2016.