By: Joe Mcdermott
Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, appears on the radar of the tech world not due to its tropical allure, but for its internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD), .AI. Anguilla, by a fortunate twist of fate, holds the ccTLD that aligns perfectly with the current global tech trend – Artificial Intelligence (AI). As AI has risen in prominence and popularity, so too has the demand for .AI domains.
The demand for .AI domains started gathering speed around 2013, with businesses and projects related to AI vying to secure their cyberspace with a .AI address. The small island-cum-tech-hub caught onto this and turned it into a formidable income generator by holding auctions for expired .AI domains.
Come 2018, Anguilla began monetizing these expired .AI domains via a partnership with Dynadot, an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar and web hosting company. These auctions quickly gained traction, and they now take place monthly, letting the revenue flow continuously. As an example of the successful nature of these auctions, the sales in December 2023 alone brought in in excess of $400,000 to the country’s coffers.
The dynamism in the .AI aftermarket has been nothing short of phenomenal. According to Strategic Revenue, a tech blog penned by industry veteran John Colascione, in 2021, there were $1.2 million in .AI domain sales, which saw a minor dip to $900,000 in 2022, but that was merely the calm before the storm.
In 2023, .AI domain sales hit an unprecedented pinnacle, recording an astonishing $5.5 million in purchases. These record-breaking figures are only expected to rise even further once the sales report from the final weeks of 2023 is officially tallied.
The dawn of the New Year 2024 seems to have already heralded the promise of another successful run for .AI domain sales. In just the first week of January 2024, .AI domain sales figures have already clocked $360,000.
Given the recent rise in AI-based technologies and content generation across numerous industries, it’s evident that the explosive growth of the .AI domain is in no small part attributed to this trend. With adoptions centered around software such as ChatGPT and Google Bard, it seems quite plausible that 2024 is destined to be a record-setting year for .AI domain sales.
Could 2024 be the year sales of .AI crack the $10 million mark? If sales trends stay the course, we may very well see .AI domains shatter records in 2024 by breaching the landmark figure of $10 million in sales.