The Anguilla internet domain (.ai) is becoming a lucrative asset due to the surge in AI popularity
The worldwide craze for artificial intelligence, also known as AI, is expected to contribute to 10 percent of the GDP of Anguilla, a British state. This is due to the fact that Anguilla’s internet domain is “.ai”, which coincidentally matches the abbreviation for artificial intelligence.
While $30 million in annual income may not seem like much compared to the investments and earnings in the field of AI, it is a significant amount for a small state with an area of 91 km2 and a population of around 14 thousand. This income is especially important for Anguilla, as its economy heavily relies on tourism, which has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Web hosting and domain registration companies, such as GoDaddy Anguilla, have to pay $140 for a two-year registration of .ai domains. Due to the high demand for AI-related domains, prices are increasing.
In 2021 alone, Anguilla earned $7.4 million from .ai domain registrations, and the revenue increased significantly with the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot. This launch sparked a global obsession with AI and led to increased investments in the field.
Vince Cate, who has managed Anguilla’s internet domain for several decades, revealed that registrations for .ai domains have doubled in the past year.
“Since November 30, things have drastically changed here,” said Cate.
Since 1995, Anguilla has been responsible for assigning web addresses with the “.ai” domain. The concept of country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) was introduced in 1985, giving countries a distinct presence on the internet. These domains, such as “.us” for the US or “.uk” for the United Kingdom, were originally used for websites related to the respective countries.
Over time, some ccTLDs, like “.tv” for Tuvalu, gained broader usage and additional meanings, especially when their abbreviations coincided with other terms, such as AI for artificial intelligence. This led high-profile AI startups, such as Stability.ai and Character.ai, to choose “.ai” domains for their websites. These cases significantly contributed to the economic success of Anguilla.
While experts predict a potential decline in the “AI gold rush” and a cooling market for .ai domains, the impact on Anguilla’s economy is already substantial. The income generated from these domains is expected to reach 10 percent of the state’s GDP this year, showcasing how a small Caribbean island can benefit from the global tech boom.