Resource-poor and tourism-dependent, the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla could make $30 million this year thanks to its .ai domain extension. The explosion of interest in AI has turned this space into a veritable digital gold mine.
Anguilla is a small British territory in the Caribbean. Despite its modest size and population – only 91 km² and 15,753 inhabitants – the island suddenly became popular in the IT sector. The reason is its .ai domain zone, which is associated with the acronym AI (Artificial Intelligence).
Last year, Anguilla earned $7.4 million from registrations in its domain zone, but the situation changed dramatically after the appearance of the ChatGPT chatbot. This event sparked a wave of interest, investment, and even fear in the AI space. Vince Cate, who has run the Anguilla domain zone for decades, said registrations had doubled in the past year.
The .ai top-level domain was assigned to Anguilla in 1995. Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) were originally assigned in 1985, for example .us (USA), .uk (Great Britain) and .de (Germany). Over time, some of the ccTLDs, such as .tv for Tuvalu, have been used in a broader context.
That’s exactly what happened with the .ai domain zone, which has become a global icon for AI. Startups like Stability.ai and Character.ai have embraced it, making a significant contribution to Coral Island’s income.
Registrars like GoDaddy pay Anguilla a fixed amount – $140 for a two-year registration, and these prices are increasing due to high demand.