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What’s really behind .xyz, domains that want to be the .com of the future and succeed among scammers and web3

In 2011, ICANN, the organization that manages Internet domain extensions, began a process to initiate new gTLDs, which are generic topdomain extensions. In practice, the already well-known .com, .org and .net would become new companions.

11 years after we started this process, we are used to seeing domain names ending with extensions such as .pro, .info or .online today. Its weight is still negligible compared to raid .com, but it turns out that among these new domains, in principle, it is not among the most popular in pools. we talk about Fields ending in .xyzCurrently used by more than 4.8 million websites worldwide, some under the umbrella of big tech companies, down to others that do not pass any anti-spam filters.

According to Xataka Daniel Negari, CEO of the company with the same name behind them, .xyz domains that were born with a profession that was not the least bit ambitious to “become the new .com” are gaining ground on the termination board. It is based on three levers: the trust of some big companies, then a derivative for the crypto world, and aggressive promotions that make them one of the most used terminations, sometimes for criminal purposes.

An explosion directly related to a company

Before creating his .xyz management company, Negari made his fortune by buying and selling space in the very early days of the internet and investing his income in real estate. Negari, who studies business at the University of Southern California, says he always had the idea to initiate domain termination of his own, and jumped on it when ICANN initiated the process.

Over the past two decades, ICANN has opened the process several times to search for and launch new domain extensions. The ultimate goal: to reduce competition and the rise in prices that could mean that the entire Internet will continue to be built on original terminations, thereby “facilitating competition between registrars, paving the way for greater consumer choice,” the institution itself explains. .

Any public or private legal entity that offers sufficient guarantees that it will then be able to properly operate these terminations may apply for these programs. Almost no limitations About which endings to request, except those that are currently operational, constrained by geolocation (from our .es to Tuvalu’s .tv) or terminations that try to forge a registered trademark (at least for now, we’ll never see a .cocacola). .

A group of experts then reviews the proposals and approves or rejects applications regardless of the maximum or minimum number. Thus, hundreds of finishes have been created to date, with the difficulty of standing out among so many proposals. We approached someone in the industry to explain the space termination management decision process. Xavi Idevik is the marketing director for DonDominio, a Spanish domain name registrar.

“From the outside, the process of creating and managing a domain termination may seem complicated, but it is not. At its origin, any legal entity can suggest to ICANN the existence of a new domain termination, then evaluate it and pass through different filters, resulting in .xyz being approved. period, longest everMore than 500 new domains have been confirmed,” he explains.

Negari recalls that when he started the process, “people all over the world needed more options and made an effort to create websites with simple and easy-to-find addresses, but it was too complicated.” lots of .com domains already registered.

But what does “xyz” mean?: “We finished the alphabet with ‘xyz’, and I thought we should end domains with the same new termination that will bring digital natives together”, explains XYZ’s CEO, to get more later for benefiting from the success of this termination. Currently managing total from 23 domain extensions these also include: .college, .rent, .monster, .baby, .security, .protection, .theatre, .cars, .car, .auto, .beauty, .homes, .boats or .tickets.

Today, after 8 years, .xyz is the most successful new domain extension, eighth overall in the rankings, including country-specific extensions, and fourth among new and legacy generic domains; just behind the podium, still very prominent, all made up of .com, .net and .org according to Namestat data.

Backed by Google, Jack Dorsey and the crypto world

Some of this growth is based on bets from big tech companies. In 2015, the search engine company put that domain on the map by hosting one of its corporate websites on abc.xyz, after changing the name of its parent company from Google to Alphabet.

Others, like the delivery service website Starship.xyz, would come later. autonomous robots The initiative created by the founders of Skype; or more recently, after Jack Dorsey left Twitter, Square Inc. and Square Crypto’s decision to change its brands to Block.xyz and Spiral.xyz is to bring all their initiatives together at the intersection between online payments and the crypto world. On another level, but within the same ecosystem, Kevin Rose, a well-known investor, started his podcast on Proof.xyz, which focuses on the NFT market.

All extensions managed by XYZ

All extensions managed by XYZ

According to the data provided by MrDomain regarding the registrations on its platform, its presence and acceptance in Spain is lower for now, despite being one of the areas that has grown the most in percentage compared to previous years. “We currently have around 300 registered .xyz domains, which is very low compared to 200,000 for .coms, but they are growing at a rate of 150% per year since 2018,” Idevik says.

XYZ’s CEO, with his obvious growing connection to the crypto world and Web3, takes advantage of a growing ball in his favor: “.xyz domains are designed for any website anywhere, a true public end. no special meaning to the right of the point. The brand or domain name to the left of the dot is completely meaningful. But that doesn’t mean that .xyz doesn’t make sense to use in the world of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, metaverse and web3 because it’s completely generic and can be used for anything. We are happy that it has become synonymous with everything.”

Along this path and seeing the demand, they also tried to approach the crypto world. .xyz was a pilot domain for Ethereum Name Service (ENS) integration and has released Eth.xyz, a shortener that helps convert ENS hosted profiles into shareable URLs for any browser. The result is a website that displays the addresses of the following. wallets cryptocurrencies and NFT collections in a more accessible way. Paris Hilton, for example, uses it.

The dark side: pscammers and lawsuits

But part of .xyz’s success also rests on another pillar: overly aggressive promotions, often used as bait domains for scammers and other types of online scams.

“After the launch of so many new domain extensions in 2014, there were a few questions in the air: How would they get noticed? Which would stand out? Many of them do aggressive promotions, especially .xyz, to start gaining market share,” says Idevik.

Xyz Ethereum

This has led some registrars to give the .xyz extension, for example, when you buy a .com. But it also led to the deliberate purchase of random .xyz domains to be used as support for scams. Some of these promotions were particularly popular. For example, 1,111B class .xyz domains in 2017 Priced at $0.99 per year and regenerates the same amount.

There was little that could be used except for technical testing or for nefarious purposes. They were 6, 7, 8 and 9 digit numeric combinations between 000000.xyz and 999999999.xyz.

Negari, CEO of XYZ, defends this action today as a marketing resource to position himself on such a competitive industry map, while also reaffirming the “company’s mission”: to make an Internet domain accessible worldwide” and “this low Even though prices pose a risk” abuse prevention “Performs rigorous and rapid removal of suspicious space allocations.”

Idevik argues that such prices have resulted in some of these areas being used to attempt crime. Their company is from MrDomain, but today they say both they and other registrars have mechanisms and filters to prevent questionable purchases.

This was not the only controversy surrounding .xyz. Negari and his company’s colossal effort to end the heirs of some increasingly saturated .coms led to a 2015 lawsuit against the dev .com or .net registrar, Verisign.

This case was perhaps the first major indication that Verisign was concerned about the impact of new TLDs on the hegemonic .com, as well as yet another leverage of exposure for .xyz. Argument of XYZ and Negari they discredited the termination domain and inflated the company’s success with marketing campaigns. The courts rejected the case and agreed with XYZ, who received the court costs as compensation in 2018.

Of course, there is still a long way to go before .xyz, or any other domain, can be a realistic alternative to .com and be as important as the Internet’s imagination. But for now, .xyz remains by far the most recorded new gTLD, with an average of 10,000 new registrations per day.

Source: Xataka

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