On June 13, 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — the entity that administers the domain system of the Internet — published the list of applications for the next generation of generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). The gTLD is that portion of a domain name that comes after the “dot” (such as .com and .org), and ICANN had proposed a vast expansion of the gTLD universe with the possibility that new gTLDs could be created featuring almost any string of letters. Still, most observers were taken by surprise when it was revealed that applicants had paid ICANN’s large application fee (more than $180,000) to file 1,930 applications for 1,409 potential new gTLD strings.

The potential new gTLDs broke down roughly as follows:

  • Approximately 650 for “.brands” and other closed or restricted domains, which would not be made available to the general public (e.g., .americanexpress);
  • Approximately 600 applications for unrestricted domains (e.g., .xyz);
  • Approximately 140 for geographic and community domains (e.g., .london, .catholic), many of them with restricted eligibility; and
  • 116 for internationalized TLD’s in non-Latin scripts (e.g., Chinese, Arabic, Cyrillic)

As of early 2015, dozens of the new gTLDs were already open for general registration of second-level domains, and more than four million domains had already been registered, with .xyz drawing the most registrants.

A number of the proposed new gTLDs would be of interest to financial institutions, specifically:

  • .bank;
  • .banque;
  • .credit;
  • .creditcard;
  • .creditunion;
  • .finance;
  • .financial;
  • .forex;
  • .insurance;
  • .investments;
  • .loan;
  • .loans;
  • .mortgage;
  • .save; and
  • .trust.

Click here to read the full article as seen in Massachusetts Banker.