Michael Berkens is the real owner of the domain Home.nyc

You probably read about the glitch that allowed Home.nyc, a domain that was supposed to be auctioned on Namejet, to be registered for $30.

But do you know that Michael Berkens of TheDomains.com is the real owner? Well, you do know.

I didn’t even know before Friday where Mike was living but I found out by looking at whois of TheDomains.com: Florida. So according to .NYC nexus he can’t register a .nyc domain.

So Michael Berkens is using a “proxy” owner living in New York to be able to register .nyc domains. This is legal. I think…

A combination of events the day that Home.nyc was registered got me thinking and together with a few findings proved to me that the current owner is a proxy.

  • Someone on TheDomains.com noticed that the domain Home.nyc was available to register for $30.
  • A few hours later Mike wrote a comment that the domain was registered. By him obviously.
  • The domain Home.nyc was registered in Mike’s favorite registrar.
  • I emailed the owner of Home.nyc and never got a reply.
  • The proxy owner is not a domainer.
  • The proxy owner owns 400+ .nyc domains and some were won in the auctions during the .NYC launch.
  • The owner is somehow related to Mike. I will not mention her name here but it is pretty easy to see whois and find a connection(s) to Mike using Google.

Just to be clear. I am not saying that Mike can’t use a proxy. And I am not saying there is something wrong with the Home.nyc registration like someone implied. The commenter on TheDomains.com could have registered the domain but being outside New York he passed. Mike saw the opportunity and acted before anyone else. Maybe 2 or 3 hours (or more) passed while the domain was available. Nothing wrong with acting fast. Congrats to Mike!

BTW this is not the first time that Michael Berkens got a deal on a New gTLD domain. Back in July when .Tube was released he managed to register many 1-letter and 1-number for $30 each. The backend provider that did the mistake was again Neustar. But at that time the .tube registry decided to take away the domains from Mike. .NYC decided otherwise.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.


  1. Does .NYC allow proxy registrations? Many ccTLDs, such as .CA for Canada, do not.

  2. Konstantinos

    The headline is false.

    The legal owner of the domain is Rachel Cugini who is one of my nieces.

    She is 40+ something years old has lived in NYC all her live.

    She is married with two children and owns her own home in Staten Island for over 10 years.

    She is a realtor in NYC with Coldwell Banker.


    They are her domains.

    She owns other domains for many years.

    So does my other niece and my sister, so does my step son and daughter who have all asked me for domain advice for many, many years.

    Not unusual for someone in the domain business to have family to register domain names.

    Could have easily had one of 10 domainer friends who live in NYC buy domain names for me if I wanted to.

    • Michael I know who she is. You didn’t have to publish all her info.

      I still believe the domains are yours. Not sure why you deny this. Even the style of the registered domains is yours.
      There is other proof that I did not publish.

    • Of course you replied like a lawyer saying that she is the “legal” owner. Of course she is. And no one questioned her existence if that is why you posted all her info.

    • Seems odd it’s registered at Hexonet. Why wouldn’t she fwd the domain?

    • This lady and Bekerns seem to have similar keyword registration styles, only a small sample of this low activity real estate agents crafty registrations.

      Expanded Advanced Keyword
      email: rn214@aol.com

      There are 406 domains associated with the email field within Whoisology’s September 2016 archive.
      Click any of the domains below to view the specific details of each domain name.

      Administrative Registrant Technical Billing














































    • The keywords are really diverse and read like you’d expect from a domainer. GetHigh, BasketballTickets, FineDining, etc.

      But what I find most strange is if the only domains registered to this person are all .nyc. Why only .nyc? Seems like a very strange investment for someone to make and spend $10k on if they don’t even own .com domains.

      • I know Mike’s taste. I have been competing in New gTLDs for 2.5 years now with him. He also likes adult names and “the” names. All these are in the 400+ portfolio.

      • 10k? Most of those were early, pre launch pre registration which ranged from 70$-90$ a pop. And a lot of those domains were won on the auction. 100-200k is a lot closer to real amount.

  3. It seems to be a perfect domain name for a real estate agent in New York. Congrats to the owner.

  4. Obviously the name is hers, if she is a real estate agent she is not sitting on the computer watching domains all damn day, nobody outside our little world actually cares about domains, let alone gtld’s that have fallen from grace in a split second glitch.

    He can’t answer that question as it will make him look like a black sheep, all good.

    K how about a Adam Dicker update, he is developing so called websites, and doing seo work again.

    • Adam is an unstoppable scamming machine. Seems like he is addicted. He needs professional help before he finds himself in prison or beaten up by the side of the road.

      • I have a feeling his has a gambling problem, there was no question he had some good domain names, he did sell 3500 4L chips right before they took off, losing about $900K in potential profits.

        He invested in like 30,000 .ca which sell as fast as molasses moves, even after the reputation repair, and cord bank businesses he is still coming out negative.

        Some serious bad habits in play at satans playhouse there.

      • Maybe in the near future we will see him in “wanted persons” on the Interpol site.

  5. the fact she owns 400 domains makes it sound kinda bad. what is a realtor doing with 400 plus domains?

    anyways, if what you say is true or not there are many people doing this.

    mike: when are you going to realize you are rich as balls, achieved what 99.% of domains can only dream of and no longer need to buy domains?

    • I agree if I cashed out with $35M with Godaddy, plus all the other Chinese sales that year, I wouldn’t be sitting at home watching the drops, and bidding against mom and pop domainers trying to catch a few bucks, here, and there.

      Almost hilarious

  6. Fascinating that someone who still uses an AOL email address, would have the pure insight to register home.nyc at hexonet

  7. I like to read thedomains.com but if Michael doesn’t stop talking rubbish like this and try to convince people that she with other work is faster in domaining than full time domainers, she chose hexonet etc I will lose respect for him quickly.
    This all situation is very fishy anyway.

    Thank you Konstantinos for posting.

  8. This lady is so concerned with .nyc, she let her own .com lapse, and not renew

  9. I am not sure what all the fuss is about. I find it admirable that Mike has been a mentor to his family members regarding domains. He has clearly done well for himself and has passed his knowledge on to his family, again that is admirable… I have never met or spoken to Mike and as a regular reader of domain blogs/forums I have never found Mike to be malice or act in bad faith in any shape or form. Please, everyone take a walk and listen to the birds, smell a flower or hug a child. There are plenty of fish to fry in the domain space and Mike is not one of them.

  10. I think the worst part of it is Berkens is thinking everyone is a fool to make us think some low level real estate agent who doesn’t even own her own .com domain name, as it sits deleted, and has no website of her own is a keen domain investor.

    So you are using your family as a proxy to register .nyc, yes it is frowned upon by neustar, but you seem to have covered your ass, so whatever.

    Just come out and say it, or keep quiet, no need to put up someones resume to prove otherwise, we all know you have you hand in this cookie, whatever, just own it.

  11. @MB,

    So, you are Italian ?! 🙂

    congrats to you…r niece, it’s a bombastic name.

  12. I own far far better domains in .miami and I am not a professional domainer
    All my .miami domains would be worth millions if they were .com
    Michael B. give me an offer and I will consider selling them

    • There is a reason why they are .miami …..

    • Your best to get in touch with Berkens .miami cousin, but I don’t think .miami has restrictions like .nyc

      These kind of guys don’t hand out their dollars, to guys like you.

      Most Wanted Domains withheld from New York residents, is there an award for that?

  13. I can’t believe the witch hunt , and the assumptions that are made , Mike has done so much for the domaines community. He has never been dishonest and doesn’t need to be , these crazy comments like why does he keep investing is silly, lots of people enjoy their work , he has been successful , why would he stop ? It’s fun for him. And what right does anyone have to say to anyone , stop trying to make money . As far as saying the are his , he said they aren’t , I believe he certainly suggested to her , hey this could be an oppertunity for you , and by the way I use hexonet , they are good to me . He could of even given her a list or used her account and his knowledge to help her. Again mike is an honest and giving guy with his time and help , I think it’s pretty dumb to make these accusations .

    • Of course he can do what he wants but these .nyc domains are his. He said “legally” are hers. Agreed.

      BTW Hexonet is one of the worst registrars around. Good at dropcatching and New gtlds but bad at anything else. Support is rude. They have deleted domains before they expired, charged my card twice, their system fails frequently, they have bugs they never fix, during the weekend there is no one to be found and the list is endless. Only have 10-15 domains with them at any time.

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