New domain name gold rush sets up possible battle for future of SMB finance



IIf you could have businessloan.com or businessloans.com as your website, would you jump at the chance to get it?

Obviously, the market for keyword-based domains has evolved over time. Couldn’t get the .com? You could have tried to get the less coveted .net or .org. Don’t like these? Today you can get .business, .deals, .financial, .loan, .loans or hundreds of other custom tlds. With so many choices, most experts in the field would advise that if you don’t have the .com version, so you don’t even bother to be cute with customizations for your brand or keyword, because customers will just be confused.

But recently, another domain name market has quietly gained momentum. It’s for something called .eth, a crypto address shortener based on the Ethereum blockchain called ENS. It’s not necessarily something one could use to build a website, at least not yet. Originally envisioned as a way to condense long, impossible-to-remember crypto wallet addresses into memorable words, users have started buying a bunch of keywords that may be familiar to unbanked readers. Just to name a few:

  • businessloan.eth
  • businessloans.eth
  • smbloans.eth
  • merchantcashavance.eth
  • ach.eth
  • syndication.eth
  • ready.eth
  • ppploan.eth
  • subscription.eth
  • brokers.eth
  • lender.eth
  • mca.eth
  • factoring.eth
  • funding.eth
  • backdoor.eth

At first glance, this might seem like a crypto vanity game, in which one could send crypto to your-name-here.eth instead of trying to type a long address like: 0x64233eAa064ef0d54ff1A963933D0D2d46ab5829.

But the ENS has much more potential than that. It tends to become the backbone of its identity in the coming web era called Web 3.0 (web3 for short). Instead of having to remember passwords for hundreds of websites, the identity can be validated through its digital wallet. Such a concept is not theoretical. It is already used.

EthereumTake seanmurray.eth for example. You can send him eth, bitcoin, litecoin or dogecoin, but at the same time he is connected to an email address and a URL (this one). In addition, it is linked to an NFT avatar (broker #7 from The Broker NFT collection) which is in this wallet. I can use it to place an online e-commerce order in 5 seconds without ever needing to enter any payment information, even though I’ve never visited the site before. It’s faster than PayPal and with fewer steps. I can connect it to my Twitter account, OpenSea, or use it to vote in an official poll without ever having to create an account on anything. The wallet is identity verification. The .eth name therefore has the potential to become the reference defining who or what we are on the Internet. Not theoretically. It is already happening.

Crypto is already starting to creep into the small business finance sector. In August, a finance company announced that it would start offering crypto commissions and finance due to the potential for speed. Far from being a gimmick, brokers have started choosing crypto payments over ACH or wire transfer because of how fast they would be. There is also no risk of chargebacks with crypto.

Currently, the owner of mca.eth has listed the domain for sale on OpenSea for 20 eth (about $60,000). That’s less than what MerchantCashInAdvance.com sold in 2011. Perhaps the value of an Ethereum Name Service domain is less promising than a high Google ranking website in 2011. But again, be alright ranking on Google is not that important. used to be. It’s impossible to say what impact, if any, Web3 will have on the small business finance sector in the long term, but for now there are those who are quietly buying names like ach and finance and syndication on the chance that they become something.

Last modification : April 25, 2022