DigitalTown owns more than 100,000 New gTLD domains

DigitalTown, Inc. (OTC:DGTW) provided a condensed update on the status of the SmartWeb initiative and the start of Blockchain tokenization of the Company’s domain name portfolio.

In May 2017, DigitalTown launched an initiative called SmartWeb “to make an Internet that is more intuitive, personalized and secure through the use of the new descriptive domain name extensions. Developed in cooperation with selected ICANN-accredited registries, each network of descriptive domain names is paired with an intuitive software platform that is connected through one single login that works across the entire network using a unified SmartWallet for managing shared services such as identity, preferences and payments. Each platform is designed to support Blockchain-based shared ownership and shared governance.”

From the update you can see below it seems that DigitalTown owns a little over 100,000 New gTLD domain names:

13,742 .CITY domains
3,441 .LAW domains
5,464 .FASHION domains
5,699 .FIT domains
5,830 .WEDDING domains
13,713 .WORK domains
2,000 .BAYERN domains
16,978 .BOSTON domains
27,465 .LONDON domains
5,494 .MIAMI domains
1,000 .NRW domains
(100,826 domains in total)

There must be other domain names except these above at NTLD Stats says that DigitalTown owns more than 135,000 domains. DigitalTown is the only registrant outside of China in the top 10 New gTLD owners.

DigitalTown explained how their domain name portfolio got so big: “DigitalTown’s domain portfolios were acquired on exceptionally favorable terms due to combination of the (1) the size of the portfolio acquisitions, (2) DigitalTown’s operating plan, and (3) strategic relationships with the registry operators. In December 2017, Minds and Machines (LSE:MMX), who operates a number of the most promising domain extensions, made a strategic investment in DigitalTown in order to accelerate market development of these domain networks as industry standards, e.g. LAW for the Legal profession.”

Here are all the details of the SmartWeb initiative:

.CITY Network
The .CITY network is the flagship of DigitalTown. The company currently controls 13,742 development-grade .CITY domains that map to major population centers around the world. The DigitalTown City platform provides a web-based SmartSearch engine where residents and visitors search, connect, share and shop local. The web platform integrates with mobile applications for iOS and Android that can be branded in the identity of each city. Austin.city will be featured at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival starting March 9 in Austin, Texas.

.LAW Network launches as Got.Law
One of the first vertical initiatives of DigitalTown was the legal vertical. This was made possible through the acquisition of the assets of JustLegal in November 2017. DigitalTown controls 3,441 .LAW domains mapping to major population centers with legal economies, e.g. Denver.Law and is currently rolling out legal service provider discovery portals in cooperation with independent attorneys and local Bar associations under the umbrella brand Got.Law. By using the Got.Law platform consumers can schedule appointments, complete live video consults, and pay lawyers.

.MENU Network launches as Smart.Menu
DigitalTown has partnered with the .MENU registry to create Smart.Menu, a turn-key platform that equips any provider of prepared foods with the ability to create an interactive and searchable Smart.Menu portal, including the ability to search down to the ingredient level. Patrons can also use the platform to book tables and place online orders with participating restaurants. Smart.Menu currently maintains searchable menus for 1.6 million restaurants.

.BIBLE Network launches as Your.Bible
Developed in cooperation with the American Bible Society (ABS), the oldest and largest Bible society in the United States, DigitalTown’s Your.Bible software platform empowers ministry organizations to produce easy to use websites for content and transactions.  The platform was released in January and is being marketed by ABS.

.FASHION Network
Currently in the concept stage, the planned development seeks to connect local consumers with peer-to-peer fashion marketplaces where they can rent and purchase used and new fashion directly from local providers. DigitalTown controls 5,464 .FASHION domains that map to major population centers. The platform is expected to launch under the umbrella brand name My.Fashion.

.FIT Network
Currently in concept stage, the planned development seeks to connect local consumers with fitness professionals in their community for online scheduling and purchase of personal training services and fitness centers. As of February 2018, DigitalTown owns 5,699 .FIT domains, mapping to major population centers. The platform is expected to launch under the umbrella brand name Get.Fit.

.SHOP Network
Currently in development, Smart.Shop enables merchants to activate their own branded merchant portal using the .SHOP domain extension. Consumers are able to search for products across multiple online storefronts and place orders using their SmartWallet on a single login. The platform is currently in development in cooperation with the .SHOP registry, with a pilot operating in London.

.WEDDING Network
The planned development seeks to connect local consumers with local wedding planners, while providing direct booking with local hotels, catering and related services.  As of February 2018, DigitalTown owns 5,830 .WEDDING domains mapping to major population centers around the world, e.g. Bali.Wedding, as well as premium domains such as Destination.Wedding, Christian.Wedding, Catholic.Wedding and Budget.Wedding. The platform is expected to launch under the umbrella brand name Your.Wedding.

.WORK Network
DigitalTown is currently exploring a development partnership with a developer of Smart employment portals that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and social media tools to match candidates to local job opportunities.  As of February 2018, DigitalTown owns 13,713 .WORK domains mapping largely to population centers around the world. The platform is expected to launch under the umbrella brand name Get.Work.

.BAYERN, .BOSTON, .LONDON, .MIAMI, .NRW Networks
DigitalTown is working with region-specific registry operators to bring DigitalTown to regional markets, while leveraging their local domain extensions. As part of these strategic initiatives, DigitalTown owns portfolios across,.BAYERN (2000 domains), .BOSTON (16,978 domains), .LONDON (27,465 domains), .MIAMI (5,494 domains), and  .NRW (1000 domains).  Geographic domains held are mainly the most common first names and last names for the region and intended for use as branded permanent digital addresses for residents of these cities, powered by DigitalTown.

Rob Monster, CEO of DigitalTown commenting on the SmartWeb progress explained, “The new domain extension economy will benefit greatly from a unified architecture that both streamlines adoption by merchants and publishers, but also empowers consumers to engage with these services on a frictionless basis. We believe that domain investors have greatly undervalued the potential of the new domain extensions to improve people’s lives, while also empowering businesses to more effectively compete. As with the .CITY portals, for cases where a single domain investor does not acquire a domain, we foresee potential for local vertically-focused Marketing Cooperatives that are jointly owned through Blockchain, Denver.Law, Seattle.Fit, Chicago.Menu, Bali.Wedding, Miami.Work, etc.”

About DigitalTown
DigitalTown, Inc. (OTC :DGTW) empowers Smart Cities to succeed in the Digital Age. The company provides turn-key hosted solutions to power “Digital Towns”, which improve Quality of Life for residents and visitors through locally owned solutions for economic development, civic engagement and digital inclusion for cities around the world. For more information about the company, please visit www.digitaltown.com.

Safe Harbor Language: Any statements contained herein related to future events are forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. DigitalTown, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update any such statements to reflect actual events.

For more information about DigitalTown, or to learn about pre-sale and partnership opportunities for the SmartWeb, visit on the web at DigitalTown.com or contact the company at info@digitaltown.com.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

43 comments

  1. Coming soon, 100,000 drops!

    • @Snoopy – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I am going to take a wild guess that you did not pick up BTC before it crossed the $100 mark. ? When it comes to the new TLD economy, there will be early adopters, late adopters and non-adopters. Our bet here is that pairing domains with platforms and then tokenizing them into shared geo-targeted networks is a viable way to scale the DigitalTown “Platform Cooperative” model. As for the renewals, it is worth nothing that we have renewed most of our .CITY domains. We’ll continue to work with the registries that have a strategic approach to market development. Some registries are certainly more strategic in their approach than others.

  2. And now look at ownership percentages in these TLDs:

    owned TLD TLD count Percentage
    13742 .CITY 43450 31.63%
    3441 .LAW 12051 28.55%
    5464 .FASHION 12982 42.09%
    5699 .FIT 16635 34.26%
    5830 .WEDDING 20521 28.41%
    13713 .WORK 210890 6.50%
    2000 .BAYERN 33323 6.00%
    16978 .BOSTON 21426 79.24%
    27465 .LONDON 85518 32.12%
    5494 .MIAMI 15337 35.82%
    1000 .NRW 19195 5.21%

  3. Yikes. Thats a lot of long term instability.

  4. @New.Life — We have bought al of our .WORK domains from the registry but we have bought premiums too — premiums for year one, we generally avoid premium renewals.

  5. @Rob Monster – So many domains, but anyway you are not able to grab all the names of cities, neither major nor small, for example in .CITY

    I also have many city names in .City

    I’ll try the other way using my domains:
    For tourists.

    Hotel.City -> names of cities

    Eat.City -> names of cities

    Taxi.City -> names of cities

    Mall.City -> names of cities

    Tour.City -> names of cities

    etc… etc…

    It’s easier to get all the services in .City than all the names of cities in .City

  6. The annual overheads for covering all these domains is just to expensive, Rob should know one solid .com can do the work of tens of thousands of pigeon quality domains to put it politely.

    You are just burning money on renewals, I am sure you Donut boys down in Bellevue are all in it together so they probably give you a good deal.

    • @Ryan – You dot-com-forever guys are still playing yesterday’s hits. If you look around you will find that the geo domain guys are actively dumping their premium geo domains because they see the writing on the wall. If you own a .COM and someone develops a TLD to cater to that category, it is your cue to dump that name pronto. Check this out. The Estibot appraised value for Austin.com is $1.1 million. My all-in cost to buy all of the .city domains, including renewal costs and after-market purchases is a tiny fraction of that. In the meantime, we launched Austin.city and issued tokenized CityShares valuing Austin.city at $3.2 million. In other words, the DigitalTown economic model for domain development is vastly superior to the .COM model than the model that the dot-com-forever guys espouse. Sure, my model is harder to execute and most domain investors should not attempt it.
      Why not? To do it, you actually need to have vision, the ability to execute, and staying power. It is a life of 100 hour weeks, which people cannot endure for an extended period of time. So, you dot-com-forever guys keep playing yesterday’s hits while innovators move on to new gTLDs. I have no doubt that some of the gTLD investors will execute revolutionary business plans that make the world a better place. The dot-com-forever guys will likely rebut this statement but privately they are worried for good reason. Fortunately, they can buy some underpriced DigitalTown’s stock (OTC: DGTW) on the public exchange and secure a hedge position for the scenario that I just might be right. As for registry deals, yes, if you have vision, and are capable of bringing scale, there is a good chance that a registry will give you a deal. If you want help, buy them through Epik.com. For anyone not aware, I do lead both companies. In addition to being a might capable registrar and the leader in domain name leasing, Epik.com will also get you the best deal on a premium new TLD — we’ll happily match or beat any valid price for a premium gTLD and will almost certainly not be under-sold. Good luck!

      • As a CEO of a publicly held company, are you encouraging retail investors to purchase your over the counter stock as a hedge against .com portfolios? Not as an investment, but as a hedge??? Wow. I would be very careful what you say on public message boards.

      • RP – Sure, consult your investment advisor. The PR that Konstantinos posted has a standard Safe Harbor statement in it. There are no regulatory issues here as far as I can see.

      • What does owning a .com with a $9/renewal fee have to do with owning a penny stock that is paying CEO $1.27M/yr salary?

  7. Miami.Work … Nashville.Work … Nice!

    but my domain – WORLD.WORK

    …will cover all cities in the world with only one domain (!)

  8. I’ve been hustling in this business for the better part of two decades, and in that time I’ve developed a private, mental “hit list” of 20 or so colleagues, competitors, and other personalities who never cease to awe me. While many on my list are industry veterans and ‘household names’, I have to say that Rob Monster easily (and consistently) occupies one of the top two or three spots on my list.

    Suffice it to say that anyone who bets against Rob Monster does so at their peril. Period. He is fundamentally one of the good guys, and his approach to business is something akin to three-dimensional chess.

    (P.S. In the interests of proactively dispelling anyone’s conspiracy theory, this isn’t a ‘plant’ or a ‘paid review’ …he doesn’t even know who I am.)

    • Hi Tucker,
      Rob is very capable as you said. Epik is my favorite registrar at this time.

      DigitalTown is something else. I haven’t seen anyone succeed in doing a venture that includes thousands of “non-premium” domains.
      I hope he succeeds but if he does it would be a big surprise to me.

      • Konstantinos, your points are all very well taken, and I don’t disagree with your premise …the challenges are indeed formidable. But, if not Rob, then who?!!

        Time and again, Mr. Monster demonstrates an almost uncanny knack for strategically outmaneuvering obstacles in his path. He’s fun to watch, and I like to root for him (full-disclosure; I say this as a self professed card-carrying member of the ‘dot-com-forever’ club …of the thousands of domains in our portfolio, I can count on one hand the number that are NON dot-com — and most of those are dot-NYC’s!).

      • Purely as an aside, Konstantinos, I’m a huge fan of yours as well, and have been lurking on your blog forever and a day. You would likewise feature prominently on my private list of favorites, were I not blinded by jealousy over the fact that you get to live and work in Greece. Lucky bastard! :))

  9. Sounds like they’ve built a huge financial liability machine to me. Renewal liabilities will eat it alive.

  10. If this was a real company I’d be horrified…

    So what exactly is your business model of the day again?

    Whos money is being used to buy all this junk? Last thing you purchased was a mobile app to connect cities how does dot bible fit into that overall strategy? Dot BAYERN? lol

    Insanity

    Utterly.

    • @Bill – In case you missed it, the registries provide Market Development Funds to be part of the SmartWeb initiative. Their investment does substantially offset domain acquisition costs and to some extent funds software development that power these platforms. In other words, these registries wisely go beyond passively depending on the registrar channel to promote their domains as a de facto standard for their respective verticals.

      On Tuesday I gave a talk in Orlando to ~200 Convention and Visitor Bureau execs introducing them to working to bring DigitalTown to their cities as part of an interoperable transaction platform. By way of primer, you can see the slide deck here:

      https://www.slideshare.net/robepik/digitaltown-connect-travel-leadership-summit-february-2018

      If you are coming to SXSW next month, in Austin, you can see the platform in action there. We launched there last month with great response following coverage by the NBC affiliate:

      kxan.com/2018/01/09/new-austin-based-cryptocurrency-encourages-investment-in-local-businesses/

      As for our mobile app, it is looking pretty good. You can download the Austin.city app on iOS or Android. It is branded in the identity of the city but roams globally. The CityInformation acquisition gave us 11,500 mobile app handles, some capable engineering resources, and an installed base of more than 3 million downloads from 2017. It gave us a useful head-start for having a compelling local-first mobile strategy with some defendable moat in the form of the app handle portfolio. That deal was described here and yes it was a great deal:

      https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/11/01/1172016/0/en/DigitalTown-Announces-Acquisition-of-City-Information-B-V.html

      As for .BAYERN, there are 1100 cities, towns and villages in Bayern. The Prince of Bayern is on the Board of .BAYERN. If the State of Bavaria embraces DigitalTown as their digital operating system for connecting cities for peer to peer transactions, that would be a notable achievement and one to replicate in other regions of the world.

      • Why would having a bunch of zero value dot bayerns (lol) cause anyone to adopt digital town in any shape or form??

        You have a ‘app handle defendable moat’ ….

        Rob stop playing games with other people’s money. You game no clue. Zero. Thank the star fairies your stocks somehow only down 50% this year.

        You need to stop this insanity.

  11. You have an uphill battle and unfortunately you won’t make it to the top of the hill.
    even if you were able to market your .city names you it people like new.life and his group of .city names that are as good or better.

    You should have gone the subdomain route. that way you would not have to worry about renewals and competition directly benefiting from your efforts.
    Example geo.citydoctors.com or geo.suburbandoctors.com , problem is are you able to Aquire a group like geo.suburbanlawyers, geo.suburbandirectory, geo.suburbanre.com, geo.suburbanyp.com, you really just have two options either Suburban or City.

  12. This company is the US housing loan market circa 2007. Once these gtlds renuew, and they will at standard pricing this entire venture is lights out. Rob ‘won’t stop the nadness’ Monster what will you do when 99.9 of these gtlds have not made a cent for you but the annual fees come in?

    Hopefully Epik pays Digital Town shareholders back as Epik is the only winner out of all this epic stupidity.

  13. DigitalTown’s initiatives should not be judged as if they were using the same old passive, inbound business model that most domain investors rely upon to pay their renewal fees. Why not? Because DigitalTown is establishing new sales, distribution, and revenue channels to reach end users.

    The existing sales and distribution channels that have been established by nTLD registries rely on registrars. DigitalTown is different. Through their partnerships and other distribution channels, they are pulling the stones out of the fields for the rest of us with end users. If DigitalTown is successful in its partnership and distribution efforts, then it will raise the profile of nTLDs generally.

    I am not a customer of Epik or DigitalTown, but as an investor in nTLDs, I believe that I have a stake in the success of DigitalTown’s initiatives.

    To the “concern trolls” who “worry” about DigitalTown’s renewal fees, I say: Worry about your own renewal fees. DigitalTown is not your business. This is not your money and these are not your domains.

    The urban-efficiency initiatives of DigitalTown, in their other product and service offerings, stand in contrast to the “smart city” offerings of Huawei and some others in that space, offerings that translate “smart” as surveillance and crowd control. DigitalTown gets it. They understand cities and they genuinely want to make them better. Domain names are just one tool in that process.

    • Yeah my fees are pretty manageable thanks for the mindless schill post…

      Explain how digital town does ANYTHING. Show how dot fit makes a city smarter lol

    • @Anthony – Belated thanks for the kind words here. I imagine there are not that many domain investors who are falling the “Smart City” movement and therefore don’t grasp why the SmartWeb is potentially useful to the new TLD economy. The fact is that most consumption is done in cities, and that will continue to be the case, both online and offline.

      DigitalTown’s focus is on making thriving, sovereign cities where residents and visitors co-create quality of life for all stakeholders. Cities want citizen engagement but they don’t know how to get it in a sustainable or cost-effective way. Engagement requires attention, and most cities don’t have a stake in the digital attention economy. That is the core problem we are working to solve.

      The solution works for cities of any size, and can be either citizen-led or municipal-led. By making the platform self-funding through crowdfunding and transactions, every city can afford it. By making the platform a standard, every city becomes interoperable.

      For anyone wanting to understand the challenges of cities, and how DigitalTown aims to solve them, the company brochure explains this in detail: https://digitaltown.com/brochure

  14. Active thread here.

    When I first met Bill Karamouzis, I never pictured him that he would some day turn out to be an angry, illiterate, troll who would be prone to late-night manic episodes. Go figure. Truth be told, Bill is one of the harder guys to pray for. Every now and then his “troll” persona emerges and I am reminded to do so! 🙂

    As for the strategy for developing new TLDs, a few clarifying comments on why we use domains and not subdomains:

    – Tokenization: For anyone who does not grasp this yet, this is the crux. The platform called Austin.city has been tokenized. The domain, mobile app, and software are bundled as unified solution for which there are logical stakeholders. In January, Austinites bought Austin.city CityShares at a valuation of $3.2 million. It validated a key hypothesis. As the product is further refined, merchants come online, and marketing partners are brought on, we’ll increase and then expand that CityShare model. I don’t need to run the experiment as to which one will work better: Austin.City or Austin.Digitaltown.Com. Subdomains is a nice marketings hack, but they are not assets.

    – Branding and Brand Recall: We are working with various marketing partners to test out local advertising. For example, billboard advertising for Denver.Law can be useful to draw attention to a marketing cooperative comprised of independent lawyers in Denver, who have been priced out of the Google CPC market by deep-pocketed law firms. Another example we are exploring in Miami is to partner with rideshare drivers to add promotion of My.Miami through magnetic signs which can be purchased for as little as $2 a piece. The average rideshare driver in Miami waits 15 minutes between rides. When not driving, drivers can be helpful in recruiting local merchants.

    – Permanent Digital Address: At DigitalTown, we believe that in the very near future, a lot of people will own a permanent digital address. For example, someone in Miami named Hector can claim Hector.My.Miami for free but for a few dollars more can be Hector.Miami. With a permanent digital address powered by DigitalTown, they no have a permanent URL, which is easy to remember whether to send a secure message or to get paid, including in crypto currency. For example, many rideshare drivers and gig economy workers are now upselling their services using Rideshare as lead-generation. Instead of a phone number, remember Hector.Miami. .TEL had the right idea:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCUvx4TvG90

    – MDF, Strategic Investment, Rebates and Trade Credit: The new TLD economy needs innovators to breathe life into the new namespace. The registrars are not going to carry the water and the registries know it. Fortunately, registries have various tools at their disposal to create aligned incentives in advancing the agenda of seeing their TLDs mass developed in coherent ways whether through organic development, partners or acquisition. We have carved out some namespace for executing various local-first applications that can be locally branded. I believe registries with vision will be greatly rewarded when their TLDs become the de facto standards in their industries.

    When it comes to .BOSTON, .MIAMI, .LONDON and .BAYERN, we bought the most popular GA-priced first names and last names. We also have data supply deals with WhitePagers and PeopleFinders. Miami will launch next month as My.Miami. The Miami City council already approved the deal to work with DigitalTown whereby every citizen is eligible to get a free SmartWallet and every merchant is eligible to get a free storefront. We are recruiting community leaders, most of whom are initially paid only in CityShares. We are developing tools and processes to empower them to be effective local champions for a revolutionary movement.

    The fact is that every day, cities are announcing projects to empower citizens with software tools on web and mobile. With a few notable exceptions, such as Estonia and Dubai, most of the municipal software is crap and goes unused. Worse, cities are reinventing the wheel and in the process creating silos when the world wants interoperability. DigitalTown envisions a world where cities are able to interoperate, i.e. your login and app in Austin, works in Boston, and vice versa. This will not happen overnight but I submit it is inevitable. We can have it through grassroots leadership, or it will come through global dictatorship. I prefer the former path but it is coming.

    As for the renewal pricing, some registries will work with large domain investors that are advancing their agenda. In fact, we generally only work with registries that have a strategic view towards the relationship. Donuts is the exception. The relationship there is largely tactical and so we dropped ~10,000 .city domains rather than pay the full $13 GA renewals for cities where we are not launching DigitalTown anytime soon. The same principle will apply to any other registries. We are investing in relationships that will lead to industry standards, e.g. .LAW for Legal, .WORK for employment search, etc.

    As for our stock price, the way I look at it is that in the short-term, the stock price is a perpetual option. For $0.20 per share, an investor as a perpetual option that the stock is $20+ later. I am also putting my money where my mouth is, not only receiving most of my compensation in stock but even converting salary to stock. Other insiders have done so from time to time. I am betting that we are right. Anyone who thinks we are wrong is invited to short the stock. I think that would be insanity but since there are few sellers at $0.20, it might be possible. If anyone does it, just be prepared for uncapped losses in case of a short squeeze.

    At the end of the day, I freely acknowledge that what we are doing is incredibly difficult. It is hard generally. It is even harder as public microcap. However, when I signed on as CEO of a pre-existing public company in May 2015, it came with the expectation of making a go of it. I liked the brandname DigitalTown, and I have been fortunate to assemble a fantastic team of capable people who are committed to restoring local economic sovereignty through an innovative use of mostly mature technologies that empower any city to search, connect, share and shop local. While, I do expect challenges, I do still like our odds!

    • The sad thing you don’t realize is as the CEO of a OTC company you have the responsibility to communicate the company vision. When the former CEO of Yahoo couldn’t answer the question, ” what is Yahoo?” she essentially failed at her job. When someone asks you what they do using their real name its not called trolling its called asking a question.

      I have a big problem with your company buying gTLDs to line the pockets of your other privately held company Epik. Which I don’t think is even close to ethical. You use domaining, this blog and others to further this agenda. Not sure who is paying the bill for all this junk but Im certain you’ll be the one needing the prayers if your shareholders ever found out.

      Whenever you are cornered you fall back to “praying” for people. Don’t pray for me Mr Self Righteous just answer the questions. Why buy all these domains if your only plan is to drop them once the renewal fees come up?

      What is your business plan now? Do you have one without looking at what is trending on Twitter this week?

      Dot bible, dot fit, dot fashion, dot bayern (lol) come on now….

      • – I pray for angry people. Usually it is a private matter and it works faster. You are a hard case though. 🙂 By any objective read, your tone is that of a troll.

        – Epik provides DigitalTown with very good pricing and favorable terms, including trade credit. It has not been a lucrative arrangement for Epik.

        – The shareholders are involved. We have an annual shareholder meeting. Our last one in December had ~200 folks in attendance. They are generally happy.

        – Our accounting is super conservative. We expense all software development and domains purchased. We have written down most of the acquired assets.

        – As for the business model, we power local transactions for local merchants and peer to peer. Download the Austin.city and pay someone $1. It is easy.

        – As for the stock price, sure I would like it to do better, but it is not my focus. Smart money can buy more now and have more upside later. Risk-reward.

        Honestly, I think you are a party-pooper. I don’t get it, but for each his own. If this works like I think it can, it will change the world. If it fails, we tried hard.

  15. Prayer to the folksy approach… you’re a smooth talker bud, but no one is buying what you’re sellin’

    You answered everything… EXCEPT OF COURSE…. the question about what your business model really is.

    You say,” As for the business model, we power local transactions for local merchants and peer to peer. Download the Austin.city and pay someone $1. It is easy.”

    How does one download that website? That website is just a collection of portal scripts.

    You say, “– Epik provides DigitalTown with very good pricing and favorable terms, including trade credit. It has not been a lucrative arrangement for Epik.”

    But what you mean is YOU provide Digital Town with good terms? Im guessing you could provide it at zero cost since you own that company could you not?

    Party pooper hun? Yeah guess the bouncing from one conference to the next free gravy train had to end some time pal time to start refunding peoples money.

    • @Bill —

      By “download”, in case not obvious, I was referring to the mobile apps. For example, for Austin the app is called Austin.city. The generic app for any city is called DigitalTown Smart.City.

      Although domainers are mainly focused on the websites, apps will be critical as 50% of all digital media is now being consumed on apps, and apps are more likely to be used habitually, notably as a Smart Wallet but also as a Smart Agent.

      As noted elsewhere, from next week, if you access a site in our network, the system will prompt you to install the app appropriate for your mobile operating system. These are native apps. The apps are generally being updated every 2 weeks.

      DigitalTown makes money by (1) licensing the platform to local licensees or through sales of CityShares to accredited investors, (2) transaction fees from merchants who sell on the platform, and (3) sale of domains and branded digital identity products.

      As for conferences, we have exhibited at a number of these targeting trade associations, municipalities, chambers of commerce and the domain industry. Given our multi-stakeholder approach, I think those investments in brand awareness will prove to be astute. We’ll see.

      There is a lot of substance here, and more on the way. The scope of the project is exceedingly vast. The thesis to be tested in Austin, e.g. as SXSW, as well as in Miami, with the upcoming launch of My.Miami, is that we can activate a true local-first movement. Again, not easy but I like our odds.

  16. After reading the article and the comments, as well as browsing austin.city, it seems to me that this project is too ambitious and broad, and may fail because of that.

    The CEO should consider a change in strategy, focusing on what is most innovative and useful, and focus on that only.

    Also – it is not completely clear who is the target audience. Some features like the city shares seem to be targeted towards residents of the city, while others like hotel reservations seem to be targeted to visitors.

    In my mind, either focus on a small subset of features and be the best in them, or risk failing by running out of money.

    Just my humble opinion.

    • @Anon – The goal is to create life-enhancing and habit-forming user experiences, notably around the mobile apps. To broadly store “buy local” and ‘buy direct” as a behavior, the mobile app has to ultimately become a trusted smart agent for navigating cities, both as resident and visitor, answering questions like where to go, what to do, where to stay, how to pay, what to eat and who to meet. A resident should be able to locate any fellow citizen or local merchant, and engage or transact.

      The apps are available on iOS and Android. You can experiment with the mobile app by downloading either the App called Austin.city, or DigitalTown Smart.City. In either case, the mobile app roams to other cities. Starting in the middle of next week, if you visit one of the city portals using a iOS or Android device, the website should prompt you to download the appropriate app. Also, from next week, merchant tools for easy onboarding of businesses of all types are to be live.

  17. @Rob Monster – GOOD LUCK with your project!

    I hope that all New gTLD will be more recognizable and this will increase their value and use.

    • @New.Life – Thanks for the kind words.

      We are on the lookout for local Community Leaders. Anybody who is passionate about restoring local economic sovereignty can contact us about bringing DigitalTown to their city.

      There are also opportunities for locals to be granted larger amounts of CityShares in their cities by contributing their talents either as individuals or as businesses.

      The tools to support local Leadership are maturing quickly in to support a scalable global movement that does not depend on a centralized headquarters to substantially guide its work.

      If we do this right, the platform can go global without having to raise a vast amount of capital but instead, substantially adopting principles based on platform cooperatives.

      Input is welcome from anyone. Input can either be submitted from the site, on the mobile apps, or via email to info@digitaltown.com.

      For folks who want to try to build their own applications, the developer toolkit can also be found here:

      https://digitaltown.com/dev-toolkit

      There are also CityShare grants available for developers who build applications under the Innovation Fellowship program announced last month.

  18. “As for the business model, we power local transactions for local merchants and peer to peer. Download the Austin.city and pay someone $1. It is easy.”

    But what happens if cryptos such as verge coin or whatever crypto becomes mainstream?

    Good luck and i hope you success in whatever venture you undertake

    • @Bradley – Great question, and thanks for the kind words.

      The DigitalTown SmartWallet will hold cryptos. The details are being worked out but if you look at the SmartWallet on web or mobile, you will see that the wallet already supports most major fiat currencies. Shortly, the SmartWallet will also support major cryptos, including the ability to transfer them instantly.

      Redemption of cryptos to outside of DigitalTown will require a seller to go through a one-time KYC/AML process. You can already see how that process works — it is powered by an Israeli company called Tipalti which also allows local redemption of proceeds in more than 200 countries and territories as well as local compliance with tax authorities.

      The point here is that someone is going to make it easy to do peer to peer transactions, including the ability to pay for a pizza with CRYPTO, etc. Right now the race is wide open as to which solution will serve as the Crypto wallet that will be used for local commerce. The foundation for being that company will be TRUST, both between users but also with the wallet company itself!

      The reason why it will be possible for transactions to be instant on DigitalTown, and for it to be practical and safe to transmit cryptos that are immediately accessible is because the hashes that represent the cryptos will be tokenized while the hashes themselves will be held in cold storage by DigitalTown. What matters to the user is that they have X number of BTC, Y number of ETH and Z number of LTC, etc.

      The crypto hardliners might cry foul about having their cryptos held by a proxy in cold storage. However, what apparently escapes their minds, is that the reality is that most shareholders don’t hold their own physical stock certificates for companies where they own shares. They rely on what is called a transfer agent, or they rely on the broker. These folks have a fiduciary duty to safeguard the certs on behalf of the shareholder. I believe we’ll have the same here with cryptos as we transition from the wild west phase. This is just like how most domain investors rely on a registrar to hold their auth codes. For example, Epik has never lost a customer domain. Never. I believe this is the same. It is a trust relationship with people and processes whose job it is to protect their (crypto) assets.

      At the end of the day, for cryptos to go mainstream, someone needs to make cryptos useful in local commerce for routine (tiny) transactions at point of sale as well as peer to peer micropayments. There is no time for “proof of work” in that transaction which means that someone has to “vouch” for the sender that they have the associated asset being transmitted. In effect, DigitalTown becomes the escrow agent in that crypto transaction.

      As for whether or not DigitalTown will have its own crypto, initially we have CityShares for every city. We will soon also have “CityTokens” which are high velocity tokens designed to incentivize desired behaviors, e.g. recruiting members, recruiting businesses, contributing content, volunteering, etc. The tokens have badge/status value, but more importantly they will be desired by merchants to pay for ads and to send sponsored messages. For merchants, they are like Ethereum “gas”.

      This is still a work in progress but you can read the WhitePaper. In case you have yet to come across it, you can read it here:

      https://digitaltown.com/blockchain.pdf

      Hope that helps. Feedback is welcome.

      • You are so lost its concerning.

        Look up litecoin… or bitcoin on lightening network… no one needs or wants to have digital town hold their coins. In fact why on earth would you think your team has the technical knowledge to even pull that off? You know other firms do this as their only concern with only people trying to secure that process and they still fail. The fact you think a bunch of contracted freelancers could pull it off is scary and shows your complete lack of technical self-awareness needed to pull it off.

        You need to stop with the BS, austin.city is a mobile website, no one is going to pay a dollar to download that app. Why??? Why would anyone do that?

        As for your 3.2 million dollar valuation, how do you get that? You dont sell those tokens or coins or whatever you call them. You give them away for free and they are still not all gone. They have no utility and no value. So how is any of that worth 3.2 million hah whats wrong with you????

  19. @Bill

    Comments:

    – As for being “lost”, I can assure you that you are the lost one. (Hint: Luke 15).

    – While DigitalTown is certainly a very difficult project, it is doable. Sure, there are gaps, but they are being closed rapidly by an industrious and capable team, including partners and vendors.

    – The city mobile apps are free to download. I am not sure where you got the idea that someone has to pay for them. Users can use them to pay merchants or make peer to peer payments locally and directly.

    – The engineering work is done almost entirely in-house with the primary technical center in Vancouver. These are some of the more capable guys I have ever worked with. ICYMI, I built multiple significant software businesses.

    – CityShares for Austin.city are being both claimed for free by citizens and sold. The valuation at which they are being sold is $3.2 million. Each CityShare is an assignable fractional interest in the perpetual license of the platform for a population of more than 2 million.

    Thanks for your continued fascination with DigitalTown. If you are coming to SXSW, stop by Capital Factory, attend our talk or watch the Austin.city documentary being produced by trendwatcher WGSN. In the meantime, please keep the feedback coming. 🙂

  20. You’re the one that said you pay to download the app. Did you forget or was that last comments business model?

    As for the city shares/tokens/town tokens sale… you are giving something away for free and people still have not taken them all up FOR FREE yet you claim this is somehow worth 3.2 random dollars….

    HINT watch the YouTube clip I posted.

  21. Hello Konstantinos,

    We have not checked in for a while, and when I did , I ran into this Incredibly Farcical Business Guise. We are not buying any of the Digital Town Illusion. Somewhere along the line, and soon , this whole G farce will come tumbling down. When will people wake up and stop drinking the G Kool-Aid ? JAS
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master ) http://www.UseBiz.com

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