Escrow.com Has Bumper 2018 With 57% Growth As They Continue To Build The World’s Best Escrow Service

Today we have another instalment in our Q&A series, this time with Escrow.com. Escrow.com had a bumper year in 2018, with a 57% increase in domain transactions, but this was slightly tempered by the scammers and fraudsters online, while the “the regulatory environment is growing more complicated and challenging every day.” Looking forward, Escrow.com is aiming to “build the best online escrow service in the world. One of the greatest opportunities Escrow.com has is to get better and more efficient at what it already does well.” They also see dot-com remaining “king” of the TLDs and “domain names are as relevant now as they have ever been.”

Escrow.com provides escrow services, including to the domain
name industry, holding money until both parties agree it should be released
such as when a domain name is transferred following a sale, avoiding banks and lawyers,
while providing certainty that payment will be made.

Domain Pulse: What were the highlights, lowlights and challenges of 2018 in the domain name industry for you?

Escrow.com: While the Escrow.com team values each and every
domain transaction that it facilitates, the million-dollar-plus domains do tend
to grab our attention. In 2018, Escrow.com saw a 57 per cent increase over the
previous year of domain transactions worth over $1 million that closed on the
platform. This figure reflects the broader volumes of transactions that
Escrow.com saw in 2018, which suggests a healthy and liquid domain market.

Lowlights involve the various scammers and fraudsters that
invariably try to take advantage of others via the internet. Fortunately,
Escrow.com has industry-leading security and quality assurance mechanisms in
place to protect users against such individuals.

As for challenges, the regulatory environment is growing
more complicated and challenging every day. However, Escrow.com is working very
hard to meet and exceed these obligations, and to help our users navigate
through the steps they need to take to stay safe, secure, and compliant.

DP: GDPR – good, bad and/or indifferent to you and the wider industry and why?

Escrow.com: Escrow.com is, of course, entirely GDPR
compliant. However, it should be noted that, being a financial service
provider, GDPR tends not too much of an effect on Escrow.com’s day-to-day
operations.

More broadly, GDPR may sometimes make it more difficult to
access information about domain name transactions on services such as WHOIS, as
records of some domain owners will no longer be readily available under the
GDPR rules. This could have the effect of making it harder to verify if someone
owns a domain name or whether a transfer actually takes place.

DP: What are you looking forward to in 2019?

Escrow.com: Despite some gathering headwinds in the global
economy, the Escrow.com team hopes that the domain industry maintains the
momentum it saw in 2018. Nevertheless, the domain economy and the broader
global economy operate independently of our business, so Escrow.com will
continue striving to build the best product and service it can. To this end,
Escrow.com looks forward to working with its customers and partners across the
globe.

DP: What challenges and opportunities do you see for the year ahead?

Escrow.com: The global economy has the potential to present
a challenge in the year to come. However, it is not expected that this will
distract Escrow.com from its mission to build the best online escrow service in
the world. One of the greatest opportunities Escrow.com has is to get better
and more efficient at what it already does well. Having dealt with some
significant technical legacy over the past couple of years, it is expected that
the improvements to the Escrow.com system to be more customer focused will soon
become evident to everyone who uses Escrow.com in some capacity.

DP: 2019 will mark 5 years since the first new gTLDs came online. How do you view them now?

Escrow.com: As Escrow.com is a supplier to the domains
industry, it doesn’t particularly matter too much which extension a domain
claims. That said, dot-com domains are still king and make up a vast majority
of Escrow.com domain transactions.

DP: Are domain names as relevant now for consumers – business, government and individuals – as they have been in the past?

Escrow.com: Absolutely, domain names are as relevant now as
they have ever been. The world population continues to grow year by year, the
percentage of the population online continues to increase with it, and the
usage of online services by those online continues to increase as well.

This all points to domains increasing their relevance over time. For both individuals and businesses, the value of being discoverable online shows no signs of abating.

Previous Q&As in this series were with:

  • EURid, manager of the .eu top level domain (available here)
  • Katrin Ohlmer, CEO and founder of DOTZON GmbH (here)
  • Afilias’ Roland LaPlante (here)
  • DotBERLIN’s Dirk Krischenowski (here)
  • DENIC (here)
  • Internet.bs’ Marc McCutcheon (here)
  • nic.at’s Richard Wein (here)
  • Neustar’s George Pongas (here)
  • CentralNic’s Ben Crawford (here)
  • CIRA’s David Fowler (here)
  • Jovenet Consulting’s Jean Guillon (here)
  • GGRG’s Giuseppe Graziano (here)
  • Blacknight Solutions’ Michele Neylon (here)
  • Public Interest Registry’s CEO and President Jon Nevett (here).

If you’d like to participate in this Domain Pulse series with
industry figures, please contact David Goldstein at Domain Pulse by
email to david[at]goldsteinreport.com.

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