Anguilla, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean with a population of approximately 16,000, is poised to earn up to $30 million this year from its unique “.ai” domain name. This domain has become increasingly popular among tech companies, especially with the rise in AI technology.
Tech Giants and Startups Alike Seek .ai Domain
Major tech companies such as Elon Musk's xAI, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, along with numerous startups, have secured .ai domains. Vince Cate, who has overseen the domain for Anguilla since the 1990s, mentioned to Bloomberg, “things are very different here” since the public launch of ChatGPT last November. He noted that the number of .ai registrations nearly doubled in the past year, reaching a total of 287,432.
amazing. the .ai domain name is assigned by the Caribbean nation of Anguilla 🇦🇮 since the 1990s.
now the country is expecting $30m from domain name registration fees in 2023 💰
— Venkat Ananth (@venkatananth) September 2, 2023
Economic Impact on Anguilla
The potential revenue from the .ai domain could account for about 10% of Anguilla's total GDP. For context, in 2021, the island's GDP was reported at $288 million. This surge in domain registration revenue is a significant boost for an economy that has traditionally relied on tourism, especially considering the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Comparison to Other Country Domains
Anguilla isn't the only country benefiting from its unique domain name. Tuvalu, a Pacific island nation with a population of 11,000, has seen financial gains from its “.tv” domain, which is popular among video-centric websites. In 2019, Tuvalu earned $7.1 million, approximately 8% of its government's total revenue, from leasing the domain.
While the current demand for the .ai domain is high, some experts anticipate a potential decline in the “AI gold rush.” However, the current impact on Anguilla's economy is undeniable, showcasing how even a small Caribbean island can capitalize on global tech trends.