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Cahn says .hiphop premiums could show up at auction next month

Kevin Murphy, January 26, 2022, Domain Sales

“Premium” .hiphop domains could show up at auction next month, according to RightOfTheDot.

The company is planning a “digital asset auction” for February 24 and boss Monte Cahn said in a press release “you may also see some .hiphop premium reserve names as well as some other premium TLDs.”

Cahn is a partner in Dot Hip Hop, along with JJN Consulting and DigitalAMN, the new company currently battling ICANN bureaucracy for the right to have UNR’s .hiphop registry contract reassigned.

Along with 22 other UNR buyers, DHH is waiting for ICANN approval of its purchase. ICANN is wary and/or confused by UNR’s representations about matching blockchain alt-root TLDs that accompanied the sales.

The company plans to lower the cost of .hiphop names to bring them to a wider audience.

DHH filed a Request for Reconsideration with ICANN recently, to speed up a process that has so far taken almost six months, but withdrew it when it became clear it had merely triggered another time-consuming bureaucratic process.

ROTD was formed to coordinate gTLD auctions, but is perhaps better known nowadays for selling left-of-the-dot domains, such as at its annual NamesCon conference live auctions.

The company is currently seeking lots for its February 24 auction, including high-value domains and NFTs. The deadline for submissions is February 17.

Monte Cahn revealed as third new gTLD buyer

Kevin Murphy, January 11, 2022, Domain Registries

Domain investor Monte Cahn has revealed himself as the third partner in the controversial acquisition of new gTLD .hiphop from UNR.

Cahn Enterprises named itself alongside already-reported consultant Jeff Neuman of JJN Solutions and publicly traded startup Digital Asset Monetary Network (DigitalAMN) as a partner in newly formed registry vehicle Dot Hip Hop LLC.

DHH bought .hiphop privately from Frank Schilling’s UNR last April at around the same time as UNR auctioned off the other 22 gTLDs in its portfolio, exiting the registry business.

Cahn founded the registrar Moniker, aftermarket pioneer SnapNames and gTLD auction coordinator RightOfTheDot.

RightOfTheDot’s Scott Pruitt has also joined DHH to lead marketing, Cahn’s press release revealed.

The new registry plans to lower the price of .hiphip domains, which currently retail for over $150 a year, as part of an effort to get broader adoption in the hip-hop cultural community.

The company is strongly pushing digital empowerment and “financial literacy” in an “underserved” community as a public benefit of its plans for the TLD.

The problem DHH continues to face is ICANN’s ongoing blocking of the transfer of .hiphop, and the other 22 UNR TLD contracts, due to confusion about the ownership status of matching TLDs on the Ethereum Name Service, a blockchain-based alt-root.

ICANN is fearful of alternative DNS roots which, if they ever gain broad appeal, in theory could break internet interoperability as well as eroding ICANN’s own uniquely powerful and uniquely lucrative authority over the DNS.

DHH’s Neuman recently accused ICANN of foot-dragging and retaliation over the delayed transfers, which is costing the DHH partners money while their legal status is in limbo and they are unable to sell any names.

ICANN’s top brass subsequently denied these accusations, saying the Org is merely following its established (and rather convoluted) appeals procedures.

While these procedures could delay approval of .hiphop’s transfer for another few months, forcing DHH to burn more capital, ICANN said it is “considering the potential impact on the requestor as we have been requested to do”, so it may cut DHH some slack.