How an 87-year-old Star Trek fan lost his Klingon domain to an NFT startup!
A science fiction enthusiast and fan of the classic series, Star Trek, is one domain poorer today. Thirty-two years after registering the domain name KlingonPlanet.com, it was taken away under the legal threats of a lawsuit filed by cryptocurrency and NFT start-up, KlingCoin.
The 87 year old Mark Dickman held onto the Klingon domain since 1990, which he registered while working as an assistant ENIAC operator at the MIT. The octogenarian retired computer engineer was able to register the domain by filling out an application form, then waiting eight months for it to be processed.
As many domain investors know, domain registrations was a manual process at the time.
“I kept this domain for more than three decades, using it for my email and as a repository of short clips from Star Trek episodes,” said Mark Dickman. “Then these crypto guys wanted to buy it from me, I told them ‘QI’yaH’ and asked for $50k a nice round number in the 1960s. I thought they’d leave me alone.”
The offer was made via the online brokerage platform, Domain Double Agents. The platform provides start-ups, CEOs, and people that want to hide their identity all while making lowball offers; all that the other party sees is a number and an aggressive prompt to close the deal. Failure to proceed results in follow-up emails that never end until the domain holder gives up or dies from stress-induced heart attack.
“Those sons of bitches said ok and I was then left shocked by the fact that I might have left a couple of hundred thousand dollars on the table,” said Mark Dickman, adding: “Tried to get them to come up to a half million as I want to move to Hawaii but they sent me a C&D via their lawyer. I said, fuck it, take the damn domain.”
Domain investors should be aware of the many ways an agreement can be binding. When an offer is made and the other party agrees, it’s a done deal. Here are some examples of a binding agreement:
- Saying “yes” from a hotmail account
- Texting “OK” with an emoji attached
- Getting on Zoom and nodding repeatedly
- Firm hand shake at the NamesCon after-hours party
- Promising to accept one’s cattle as collateral
One thing is certain: Mark Dickman is probably going to sleep better having sold the domain to the crypto / NFT start-up as domain renewal fees increase 7% annually at Verisign.
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