Another registrar seemingly vanishes

An accredited registrar appears to have gone bust after its parent company failed.

ICANN has sent a breach notice to Nimzo 98, which while registered as an LLC in the US appears to be Indian-operated, saying the company has not paid its fees and the Compliance folk haven’t been able to reach management since December.

The notice also complains that the company isn’t providing a Whois service as required, which may be a polite way of saying that the entire web site is down — it’s not resolving properly for me.

Digging into the data a little, it seems Nimzo was the in-house registrar of a company called Houm that, according to its press releases, was operating some kind of privacy-oriented social network slash cloud storage service.

Part of Houm’s offering was a personal domain name, which came bundled as part of the monthly service fee.

When Houm seriously started promoting its service last year, it appears to have led to a spike in registrations via Nimzo. Most of its domains were concentrated in new gTLDs such as .live, .xyz, .earth, .world and .space.

Having consistently registered no more than a couple hundred gTLD names per month for years, there was a sudden spike to over 5,000 in July and 12,000 in August, peaking Nimzo’s total domains at 21,000 that month.

But then, in October, the registrar deleted almost all of its names. It went from 21,000 domains under management in August to 190 at the end of October. These were not grace-period deletes, so fees would have been applicable.

Houm’s web site at houm.me also appears inoperable today, showing a server error when I access it, and its Twitter account has been silent since last August.

ICANN has given Nimzo until May 22 to pay up or lose its accrediation.

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