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This Caribbean archipelago has a new treasure: its .ai domain brought in $32 million in 2023

© sabrinafabri/Pixabay

In part, thanks to artificial intelligence, Microsoft became the second company in the world to exceed $3 trillion in capitalization, after Apple, at the start of the year. And more recently, the company Nvidia also crossed this symbolic threshold, thanks to its sales of chips dedicated to AI. But the race for artificial intelligence does not only benefit technology companies. For its part, Anguilla, a 102 km² archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, generated nearly $32 million in 2023, thanks to this race. According to the New York Times, this represents 10% of the GDP of this small territory which does not exceed 20,000 inhabitants.

An estate worth gold

Anguilla is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. And if it is more specialized in tourism than in tech, it has the chance to control the .ai domain. This is its national top-level domain (like .fr for France). However, with the emergence of generative artificial intelligence, the demand for web addresses (URLs) ending in .ai has exploded. Moreover, among the domain names that use the Anguilla domain, there is x.ai, Elon Musk's AI laboratory, or even meta.ai, the address of the chatbot competing with ChatGPT which has was developed by Meta.

“Some people are talking about a windfall”, Anguilla Prime Minister Ellis Webster said, according to a New York Times report . “We just call it God smiling on us.” .ai domain names have always been a source of revenue for Anguilla. However, according to an article by Flavien Moreau, economist at the IMF, the number of domain name registrations increased from 144,000 in 2022 to 354,000 in 2023. And if these registrations only represented 5,000 domain name registrations in 2023. nbsp;% of government revenues in 2022, they represented 20 of these revenues in 2023.

A chance for this archipelago heavily affected by COVID

Anguilla, which depends on tourism, has been heavily affected by the COVID crisis. As a result, this increase in revenue generated from .ai addresses comes at the right time. According to the NYT, the money generated through the race for artificial intelligence has made it possible to provide free healthcare for citizens aged over 70, and to invest in the archipelago's infrastructure.

Anguilla can earn anywhere from $140 to several thousand dollars, for registering an address. And if, for the moment, we do not know how long this rush for .ai addresses will last, the archipelago still expects to generate large revenues thanks to its domain in 2024.

In any case, this is not the first time that a small territory has suddenly generated large revenues thanks to its domain. For example, in 1998, the Tuvalu archipelago earned $50 million by granting a Canadian company the right to manage its .tv domain.

  • With the race for artificial intelligence, the demand for addresses ending in .ai has increased significantly
  • Ce domain is managed by Anguilla, an archipelago located in the Caribbean
  • Thanks to the race for artificial intelligence, .ai addresses have generated more than 32 million dollars for the archipelago in 2023

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116