08

Dec '23

Tiny island of Anguilla earns $2k per person for .AI domain – The Independent

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Elon Musk’s AI start-up xAI is among those buying domain names from Caribbean island
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The Caribbean island of Anguilla has a population of less than 16,000
The picturesque Caribbean island of Anguilla is earning millions of dollars every month from AI companies after its .ai domain surged in popularity.
The British Overseas Territory, which has a population of less than 16,000, is projected to earn $45m in revenue from sales by the end of next year due to the success of its country code domain extension (ccTLD).
Anguilla has held the .ai domain since 1995 but interest began to grow following the launch of the viral AI chatbot ChatGPT last November.
The renewed interest in the technology prompted a flurry of investment in the artificial intelligence industry, with a number of new startups entering the space.
Among those establishing an Anguillan domain is Elon Musk’s AI startup xAI, which launched its Grok chatbot from its X.ai web domain last month.
The tropical island of Anguilla has held the .ai country code domain extension since 1995
The OpenAI competitor is currently seeking $1bn in equity financing, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week.
Anguilla’s commercial registry reports that companies are registering 21,000 new .ai domains every month, with the government earning significant sums for more popular domains.
In October, the domain name marketplace Sedo reported that its largest sale was You.ai, which sold for $700,000.
A recent report from web hosting firm Fasthosts claimed that the revenue stream had the potential to fund “the entire government” and eliminate all taxes for residents of the island, however, the Anguillan government has already stated its intention to invest the money to boost its economy.
Fasthosts’ report noted: “The over-reliance on a single revenue stream poses risks as fluctuating trends in technology could impact the demand for .ai domains, which would require a more diverse approach to long-term economic stability.”
The government said the funds would be used to “generate revenue, assist residents in accessing government services, assist local businesses, promote tourism, and market Anguilla globally, in the aims of attracting innovation and local investment to help kickstart the economy in a way that will drive prosperity, and educational opportunities”.
It is not the first time a country has prospered from a fortuitous domain name, with the Pacific island of Tuvalu netting $970m in profit in 2014 after selling its .tv suffix to Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch.
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The tropical island of Anguilla has held the .ai country code domain extension since 1995
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The Caribbean island of Anguilla has a population of less than 16,000
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Joker
Joker

Joker has been buying and selling domains since the late 90's. He has worked with many portfolios and investors over the past decade as well.

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