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Elon Musk just bought ‘X.com’ from PayPal for ‘sentimental reasons’

The domain name is a hark back to the days before Elon Musk became a billionaire.

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Before Elon Musk founded Tesla and other multi-billion-dollar businesses in solar energy and space travel, he founded an online financial services company X.com. The company went on to become PayPal, and net Musk oodles of money. In what is clearly a nostalgic move, Musk has reclaimed a bit of history by buying the now-defunct ‘X.com’ domain from PayPal.

The purchase was first reported by a blog called Domain Investing, and it was then confirmed by Business Insider. In a statement to the publication, a PayPal spokesperson said, “We are delighted to sell the domain X.com back to its previous owner, Elon Musk.” Musk, on the other hand, took to Twitter to announce that he has no current plans for the domain, and his decision was purely driven by sentimental reasons.

To understand the significance of X.com to Musk, let’s do a quick flashback. Back in 1999, Musk co-founded X.com, which was an online financial services company. A year later, his company was merged with Confinity, which ran a little-known money-transfer service called PayPal. While initially this merger was called X.com, in 2001 the company was rebranded to PayPal. A year later however Musk would leave the company after disagreements with other board members. In 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion, which in turn help Musk net around $160 million. ALSO READ: eBay and PayPal to split into two separate companies

When you look back, it is quite clear why X.com holds a sentimental value for Musk. It comes as no coincidence that he has stuck to the letter X in his other ventures – Tesla Model X and SpaceX. Neither PayPal nor Musk revealed how much it cost to buy the domain, but let’s just say, it must not have come cheap. But then again, Musk’s net worth is over $15 billion, and can very much purchase anything he likes — including old domain names.