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AI fever turns Anguilla’s “.ai” domain into a digital gold mine

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Aug 31, 2023

Enlarge / Thirst for the “.ai” domain has put Anguilla on the global technology map. (credit: Getty Images)

Anguilla, a tiny British island territory in the Caribbean, may bring in up to $30 million in revenue this year thanks to its “.ai” domain name, reports Bloomberg in a piece published Thursday. Over the past year, skyrocketing interest in AI has made the country’s “.ai” top-level domain particularly attractive to tech companies. The revenue is a boon for Anguilla’s economy, which primarily relies on tourism and has been impacted by the pandemic.

$30 million from domains may not sound like a lot compared to the billions thrown around in AI these days, but with a total land area of 35 square miles and a population of 15,753, Anguilla isn’t complaining. Registrars like GoDaddy must pay Anguilla a fixed price—$140 for a two-year registration—and the prices are rising due to demand.

Bloomberg says that Anguilla brought in a mere $7.4 million from .ai domain registrations in 2021, but all that changed with the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT last year. Its release spawned a huge wave of AI hype, fear, and investment. Vince Cate, who has managed the “.ai” domain for Anguilla for decades, told Bloomberg that .ai registrations have effectively doubled in the past year. “Since November 30, things are very different here,” he said.

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