Home Community Insights We Sold A Whale ! AKA – Don’t Neglect The B Game!

We Sold A Whale ! AKA – Don’t Neglect The B Game!

We Sold A Whale ! AKA – Don’t Neglect The B Game!

We’ve had a crazy week. We sold a ‘Whale’. But if we had tunnel focus on or core objectives this would not have happened – Here is why:


What’s a Whale?

A whale is one piece of activity or entity in an ecosystem, that when it manifests, it dwarfs the impact of many other things, and its actions or manifestation can bring profound change or influence.

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Revisiting the core business of 9ja Cosmos.

The core business of 9ja Cosmos is to bring Web 3 Domain access to EMDE’s (Emerging Markets and Developing Economies and we have started with Nigeria First. We were first to create a Web 3 domain service for a country (Web 3 version of a ccTLD) and Nigeria was first to get one. (hence the brand 9ja Cosmos)

We also have two other brands – Afri Cosmos (aimed at the wider Africa), and GeoNaymz (as the container for Web 3 ccTLD services globally).


What’s the significance of Cosmos?

Cosmos represents something bigger and wider than Metaverse notionally, and from a technical/commercial perspective it means build out and aggregation strategies for communities around the core products.

We know more about the Nigerian market than Africa as a whole, so 9ja will be pilot for the Cosmos expansion strategy. It isn’t a level of deep localized intuition that we can hope to roll out globally, hence the Pan African brand will be much slower to realize, while the third brand, GeoNaymz is orientated differently.


So where does the ‘Whale’ fit in?

Well, strategically it doesn’t, but tactically, that is a different thing.

We have to leverage a blockchain node in order to participate in the process of acquiring TLDs (Top Level Domains) that fit our objectives.

Blockchain domains, aka Web 3 Domains, on Handshake, (the blockchain we use), all go through an auction system, and the winner of the auction will get the domain. Even though one entity can create the name, and start the ‘auction’ process, (as we did with .9jacom and .9javerse), anybody with node access can bid. A bidder has to win in the bidding process to secure the name, whether they authored the domain or not.

It is an advantage to be the domain author because tracking the process can be more deliberate, but it is by no means a guarantee.

While we are tracking auctions, we sometimes notice TLD’s passing through the ‘auction’ process, which have been neglected by the individual or entity that started them. This can be because they had a health emergency, an urgent business or social demand, or simply they partied too late the night before and forgot the next day!  Thousands of auctions happen simultaneously and individual ones distinguish themselves through bid activity.  Domain authors tend to be first in with bids. There is a chance if they abandon it, the auction can expire with little or no attention. If we see value in a name, albeit no relevance to our core business, we will put in a bid.

It isn’t an extra investment of time, if we are on the node to monitor our own auctions anyway.

Every once in a while we get very lucky. We don’t keep these domains that are not a good fit for our objectives – We ‘flip’ them.

‘Flipping’ is just the process of selling something off at more than was paid for it, in as short a time as possible. It’s important to point out this isn’t the same as speculating, since we have acquired the assets inadvertently in the pursuit of our core business, and paid nominal prices.

We are not hanging out on nodes especially to discover flipping opportunities, nor are we risking assets that could compromise our liquidity.

When a buyer comes for a big value domain, excited to pay top dollar for it without quibble, to take ownership without delay – This is very rare.  This is a Whale!

A crop from a secondary market schedule shows Web 3 domains in open market are generally very poor quality. 1000 HNS is about $22. Despite the relatively low cost compared to an ICANN TLD, such names with such poor IP are virtually worthless. Poor IP makes it almost impossible to secure revenue post the costs of the needful to achieve use case.

Don’t celebrate a battle when you have not won a war!

Any time there is a momentous success occasion linked to career or business, there is always a risk of over celebrating the success, and having a premature sense of arrival.

Those familiar with the music industry over a long period of time will know the phrase ‘One hit wonder’. The reason why they went on to never make any more was generally not down to lack of talent.

Readers who have been with me for many years will be familiar with my pivots to Igbo culture from time to time. Yoruba must be feeling neglected, so on this occasion I will pivot to a deity from Yoruba named Olodumare.

Now some believe Oludomare has this pot with a fathomless capacity that can never become exhausted.

Business is not Olodumare. There is no single act that can bring the realization of a pot of fathomless capacity.

Rather than languishing in it, what we now need to grasp is… that one is past tense.

We internalize the benefit so it becomes a vessel for production. We don’t focus on consumption at the earliest opportunity. We consolidate the process so going to the pot to put in becomes what is habitual, not taking out.

9ja Cosmos operates in the Handshake Ecosystem. Web 3 domains in this ecosystem are a huge success. As we can see, even a less common Igbo first name like Onyekachukwu as been snapped up in March this year. No hope for more known names… Ijeoma, Bamidele, Ekaete, Odion, Alero… and even less hope of internationalized names of Christian, Hebrew or Islamic extraction.

Two hours after ‘The Whale’, a ‘virtual’ friend in the Web 3 space,  who I have been talking for a few years,  said he was dumping all his domains… a massive number built over 2 years.

I generally ignore attempts to interest me in ‘collections’ of domain names. There are many with long stories attached to why they need to dispose of complete collections, and they will use the phrase ‘liquidate’.

I know what a liquidation is. The seller will get so many cents on the dollar of sourcing or manufacture cost, not retail or resell price. Most so called domain ‘liquidators’ expect fantasyland evaluations on their collections when they approach disposal.

I decided to entertain the discussion because we knew each other a while, he is also close friends with a group of folk that own the private node I use.  He had a ton of stuff. I could immediately see rare and now unfindable domains from the early days of domain ‘gold rush’ more than two years ago.

I was happy to offer him the ‘whale’ payment for the collection – even at that, it was still a steal.

He insisted on taking only half.

I close the article with a comment from Vitto Rivabella in a Tweet :

‘Learning Web 3 today, is like buying Bitcoin when it was $10’


Vitto Rivabella is at https://www.linkedin.com/in/vittorio-rivabella/

9ja Cosmos is here… Get your .9jacom and .9javerse Web 3 domains  for $2 at:



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