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XBT.com, one of the web’s most desirable domain names, is up for sale. Its current owners, XBT Holding SA, are seeking 200 BTC – or about $2.9 million – for the site. The domain is coveted partially because XBT is the abbreviation that many institutional trading platforms use for bitcoin, and also on account of the site’s notoriety, having been linked to the hacking of the US Democratic Party.
Buy XBT with BTC
It’s not often a three-letter dot com domain goes up for sale, but when it does, it’s guaranteed to command a premium price tag. XBT.com is of particular interest to bitcoiners, given that the letters XBT are synonymous with bitcoin in some circles. This connection accounts for why the web hosting company in charge of the domain have elected to capitalize on the bitcoin boom and price the domain in BTC.
200 BTC is the starting bid for XBT.com, whose holding page currently shows a “buy now” button or the option to place a bid, complete with the price of bitcoin in real-time, denominated in XBT. There’s more to the site than a cool name and a convenient bitcoin connection though: the backstory to XBT.com is the most enthralling part of the whole affair.
The homepage of XBT.com
Buzzfeed, Trump, and the Damaging Dossier
In January 2017, Buzzfeed published a story based on information supplied by research group Fusion GPS. It contained a series of allegations about XBT, the Luxembourg-based company currently selling the domain of the same name. XBT, in conjunction with its Webzilla subsidiary, had been complicit in stealing data from the Democratic Party including a damning dossier on Donald Trump, the allegation went. XBT’s former CEO Aleksej Gubarev was named specifically in the report, supposedly abetted by Russia’s Federal Security Service.
XBT and its then-CEO bitterly contested these allegations, but the cat was already out the bag, and the company’s reputation and finances took a hit. Gubarev and XBT took Buzzfeed to court over the story, in a case which is still ongoing in a Florida court. XBT and Buzzfeed have been sniping ever since, with the Luxembourg-based company filing a response to Buzzfeed’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed entitled “Six Ways BuzzFeed Has Misled the Court (Number Two Will Amaze You) … And a Picture of a Kitten”.
Bloomberg quotes Gubarev, via his lawyer, as saying:
This domain has way more value in the hands of someone in the cryptocurrency business. Also, the brand name of XBT has severely suffered due to the false allegations in the dossier, and we are considering re-branding as the result of the reputational damage.
XBT’s loss can be one bitcoin entrepreneur’s gain, but they’ll need to dig deep for the privilege. Aside from the 200 BTC asking price, the auction requires a deposit of $10,000 or 0.5 BTC just to eligible to bid. With no bids received so far, it remains to be seen whether XBT will succeed in shifting one of the web’s most infamous domains.
Do you think XBT.com is a desirable bitcoin domain? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and XBT.com.
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