New uses for domain names? Good luck with that.



It would be nice to find new uses for domain names, but there’s a reason nothing has come to fruition yet.

.XYZ’s new promotion comparing numeric .xyz domain names to bitcoin is certainly bizarre.

One of the pitches in Uniregistry’s promotional email yesterday was that cheap number .xyz domains could be used in ways domain names currently are not used:

Nominal overhead costs allow businesses and entrepreneurs to affordably register blocks of .xyz domains (e.g. everything between 1230000.xyz – 1239999.xyz or all dates between 01012018.xyz – 12312018.xyz), which can then be paired with Internet of Things (IoT) device serial numbers, used as vanity addresses for system networks, matched to phone numbers or identification numbers, traded as digital currencies, or repurposed for any other type of creative function.

Finding new uses for domain names is the only hope the domain name industry has for faster growth. Unfortunately, domain names as they are currently orchestrated under ICANN are now well positioned.

One example is the Internet of Things.

We have 40+ connected devices in our home including an oven, our garage door, locks, lightbulbs, window shades and more. It’s what my wife does for a living. (Listen to her podcast!)

There’s no use for a domain name for any of these devices. Believe me, I’ve tried to think of unique ways domain names could be used with connected devices. I see a role for registry technology but not traditional domain names.

The closest thing we have to a domain name being assigned to a device is having an email address assigned to a connected picture frame.

Even if there is a use for domains and devices like these it wouldn’t work well under the new top level domain name program. Between registry fees (25 cents) and ICANN tax (18 cents), it’s an expensive way to use domains.

I could see a .brand domain owner justify this from a branding perspective. The brand owner would also not have to worry about a third-party registry jacking up prices. Still…there’s little point to this.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love for a good use like this to come along. I just don’t see how unique second level domain names are a more efficient and effective way of accessing devices.



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