By Duane J. Higgins, ceo
xtradot.com and tagline.tech
The first commercial Internet domain name, in the TLD (top level domains) .com, was registered on 15 March 1985 in the name symbolics.com. Ironically just now, nearly 30 years later, we are in the process of leaving the infancy of the "domain name economy" and experience.
We have the ongoing release of (upwards of 1000) new domain name (GTLD) extensions
and we have new applications and uses that will follow. Domain name
values, uses and applications will certainly be effected in many
expected and unexpected ways. We are witnessing first hand the biggest domain name expansion in the history of Internet.
It's interesting that many naysayers have speculated for years that domain names will go the
way of the Dodo bird (which is of course extinct) but that just isn't
going to happen. Speculation regarding the demise of the domain name
is going on its second decade now. With various theories as to what
application will replace them. Fortunately, the naysayers arguments are
ringing just as hollow as ever. Domain names are critical to the
smooth functioning of the Internet and they will do nothing but get
more relevant, critical (and valuable) to all aspects of the Internet.
Domain names represent the human end of the Internet. They are identifiers that are needed for location and for communication. We would have no consumer Internet without them. Domain names are as integral to the Internet as personal names are to human relationships, communication and existence.
How many domain names are now registered? Apparently, the total number
of domain registrations has recently climbed well over 314 million.
Seems like a lot doesn't it? Let me ask you something. How many people
are in the world right now? I'm not exactly sure however I know that the
number is north of 7 billion people. According to Worldmeters.info the population in the world is currently growing at a rate of around 1.14%
per year. The average population change is currently estimated at
around 80 million per year. Projections are for population growth to
continue (not shrink). Projections also predict that the world population will hit 10 billion within the next half century.
Now let me ask you something else. What if owning/registering a domain name became as common as having a phone number or email address? Is
that possible? Of course it is. With the ongoing release of the new gTLDS (Global Top Level Domain Names) into the wild-the fact is that
this scenario is certainly possible. The fact is that no one
knows what all of the potential applications will be for domain name
extensions and especially with the release of the new GTLDs.
Now factor in the continued trend of domain name investment and speculation which has always been a large part of the domain economy. How many domain names do some speculators own? The answer is that there are already millions of domain speculators and some individually own millions of domain names.
There are many lower scale speculators who own hundreds of thousands
and thousands of names each. There are thousands of domain speculators
of own hundreds or a handful of names. Do you think that speculation will continue or even ramp up? Of course it will.
How many domain names will be registered in 5 years? 10 or even 20? It's very possible that in a very short period of time were going to be counting the number of registered names in the billions. Everyday uses and applications are certainly to become more commonplace and widespread.
The new domain economy is descending upon us and no one knows how it will land.
What will the domain names' place ultimately be in our everyday lives?
What will their uses and applications be in our society? How much will domains be a integral part of our daily lives?
Only time will tell.