.icu Welcomes Mayuri Amin to the Team!

We’re growing! Welcome Mayuri Amin to the ShortDot team as our new Business Development Manager! She joins us with seven years of experience in the domain name industry; having previously worked at ConnectReseller, Qualispace, and Directi. Mayuri will be focused on Business Development and expanding our global footprint! She has a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Computer Engineering from SIES Graduate School Of Technology and loves everything to do with technology!

A few fun facts about Mayuri; She loves animals, claiming to have ‘cat-like’ reflexes (we’ll have to test this at the next domain industry event). 🙂 She loves cooking, and some of her favorite foods are cookies, donuts, chocolate and ice cream.

Our customers can expect to start hearing from Mayuri immediately. She will be making sure all of our registrar partners are up to date with what’s happening at ShortDot. End users will be able to hear from her as she contributes to our blog and lets you know all about her Computer Engineering experience!

ShortDot is currently the eighth largest new domain registry in the world. They own .icu and .bond. .icu is now the sixth largest new domain extension with more than one million domain registrations. .bond was recently acquired from Bond University in Australia and will be launching very soon!

How .icu Handles Abusive Domain Names

When we initially launched .icu in May of 2018, it was a brand new domain extension. We acquired it from the registry that had initially applied for .icu in ICANN’s first found of new domain extensions, and there was one domain in the zone, nic.icu. One year later, we have grown to over 800k domains under management, 295k of which have SSL certificates installed and nearly 100k have MX records attached. Any registry knows that while there are some great use cases in an extension there are also bad actors that do malicious things on the internet and they need domains to do that. Nearly every extension has had its fair share of abusive domains, and .icu is no stranger. We have a zero tolerance policy towards abuse, and while that does work, the challenge is often in identifying the issue. It is similar to playing a game of ‘Wack-a-Mole.’ When you discover a potential problematic domain and then take action, a few others pop up in its place. Our goal is to have a proactive approach when identifying potential or actual abuse and to take corrective measures quickly and accurately.

 

A few important things to know about abusive domains:

 

  1. Technically speaking the registrar has a relationship and an agreement with the registrant. While the .icu registry does ultimately control and have the final decision to suspend a domain, it is standard practice for the registry to refer any complaints to the registrar to give them a chance to reach out to the registrant and remedy the situation.
  2. Not all abusive names are abusive. Recently we had a case where someone registered a .icu domain, we flagged it as a potentially abusive domain and subsequently suspended it for sending a large number of emails that appeared to be spam. The registrant reached out to .icu and the registrar to let us know that they had a legitimate business and had misconfigured their mail server settings which caused some issues. This case was a great example of a false positive. The name was promptly restored once the situation was explained and the incorrect settings were changed.
  3. Not all reporting services are the same. There are quite a few publicly available tools that can be used to check a domain for malware, phishing, spam, etc. We have found that not all these services are created equal, and not all are as accurate as they seem to be. This tends to create some confusion when people are reporting issues, and when the registry or registrar are verifying issues. We have found that using a combination of services, checks, and other tools, along with a set of human eyes is the best way to be accurate.

 

What is abuse?

 

Generally speaking, any time a domain is sending SPAM emails, impersonating another site to get your login info, trying to spread malware or anything similar is considered abuse. It is tricky sometimes; however, because as the registry, we try not to get into the realm of being ‘content police.’ Meaning that sometimes when a website may “look” like it is doing something nefarious it could be entirely within reason. A great example of this is when it comes to adult sites. Child pornography is very clearly a violation of international law and our terms and conditions, so that is pretty clear cut, but when it comes to legal sexual activities, it is difficult to penalize one site over another because they are all catering to an audience and we aren’t here to get into the details like that. The main takeaway here is that when a name contains content or is involved in activities that we determine violate our terms and conditions, we will first refer the domain to the registrar where it is registered. Giving the Registrar time to reach the registrant and try to remedy the situation, and if that does not fix the issue, we may suspend the domain. When a domain is suspended, it is not deleted from the zone. It is put on a server hold so that none of the registrant’s DNS information can resolve. If they reach out to either the registrar or the registry notifying us that the issue has been resolved, we will investigate and could reactivate the domain.

How does .icu handle abuse?

The .icu Abuse Tool is actively patrolling the streets of the .icu namespace. While I’m not going to give any specifics, it is a secret recipe; I can tell you that it is designed to be semi-automated, is continually scanning the zone and uses a tiered escalation system to reduce false positives. Every domain in the .icu zone is examined on a schedule that our machine learning determines is necessary. Once a domain is determined to be safe, its next scan may be delayed to save computer resources and API calls. If a domain is thought to be risky it may move up the ladder for some more intense scanning and once we determine that a name is genuinely violating our terms and conditions we will follow the usual process of notifying the registrar, giving them time to work with the registrant and then taking action if we are not satisfied with the outcome.

What you should know:

  1. If you are receiving spam from a .icu domain, come across a phishing site or other potentially malicious .icu domain report it to us by visiting www.nic.icu/reportabuse. We monitor these messages continuously, and that page feeds directly into our abuse tool so even if we don’t get to a report for a few hours our system picks up what is submitted there and will escalate the domain into a higher priority so that we can get it on our radar quickly.
  2. When folks report abusive domains, they often think there will be an instant response. Or that the domain will be instantly suspended. I can tell you with certainty that outside of legal notice from a Law Enforcement Agency, or us being able to very clearly determine, at our sole discretion, that a domain is in violation we will not be making any instant decisions. An example here would be for Child Pornography. Some services can quickly identify whether or not the content is illegal, some organizations protect the rights of children that work to notify registries, and if we receive a report of Child Pornography on a .icu domain, we take it very seriously and will likely be taking swift and decisive action.
  3. When we receive a report from the general public, we will always handle it appropriately, but we may not communicate with the person that sent in the report. This could be because of privacy laws, time and resource constraints, or many other reasons. However, it is essential to know that all reports are taken seriously and handled appropriately.

In closing, .icu is a domain extension like all of the rest. We have tons of great domains under management, and with a high volume of registrations will come a small amount of abuse. We aren’t here to judge the content on a domain, unless it is illegal, speculate on why someone would register a particular string and what they could do with it or make any other qualitative assumptions about the usage of a domain. We are here to maintain a healthy and growing namespace for .icu and take necessary action when appropriate.

Recent .icu Registration Trends

.icu has been growing quickly in the past couple of weeks. We took a deep dive into the numbers so that we could better understand where this completely organic growth was coming from and if there was anything we could learn from it.

.icu currently has more than 280k registrations from 55 registrars in more than 100 countries around the globe. Recently we have seen large orders coming in for LLLL, LLL, NNN, and NNNN .icu domains. We assume this is from the domain investor community but because of WHOIS privacy and GDPR it is impossible to be sure.

By the numbers (accurate as of 12/31/2018):

 LLL.icuLLLL.icuNNN.icuNNNN.icuChinese 'Chips' - Does not contain a,e,I,o,u,v
Total Registered4,07388,3152462,55232,226
Total Possible17,576456,976100010,000160,000
Percentage Registered23.2%19.3%24.6%25.5%20.1%

As you can see there are quite a few possibilities left if you are looking to register any of the above combinations. As a registry, we look at numbers for registrations like these because they are a good indicator of how different customer segments are accepting a new domain extension like .icu. We are just under seven months old and, based on the above numbers, are seeing quite a bit of interest from domain investors.

It Has Been Three Months Since .icu Launched, and We’re Rocking It!

Lars Jensen and Kevin Kopas at the .icu Launch Party during the ICANN GDD event in Vancouver, May 2018

.icu has now been live and available for end-user registration for 90 days. And we have some milestones to talk about!

  1. 64,000 Registrations – We now have over 64k registrations! This equates to more than 700 domains registered every day! We have set up www.InTheWild.icu for you to see how people are using these names. There are so many use cases for .icu domains and it is easy to see that the openness and accessibility of the extension are paying off. We love watching registrations come in to see what new and creative ideas people have for .icu domains.
  2. 50th Largest New Domain Extension – .icu is now the 50th largest domain extension on the planet! Sure there are older extensions that have millions of registrations however given the fact that .icu is just three months old this is a huge achievement! We check the site www.namestat.org which analyzes new create data for all registries and ranks them based on daily and overall numbers. Putting this number in perspective; there are over 1000 new domain extensions (not counting country code and legacy extensions).
  3. 82 Countries – .icu has registrations in 82 countries. We have always said that .icu is language agnostic making it the perfect global domain. People around the planet are noticing .icu, shorthand for I See You, and they get it. Folks are registering .icu because they like that it is short, accessible, and global.
  4. Live Sites – One of the most important metrics when evaluating a new domain extension’s success is the number of live sites or end users that have actually built something on their domain. 
    1. Key categories where we are seeing development:
      1. Cryptocurrencies – There are quite a few crypto blogs, news sites, and pricing platforms already launched. There is even a new crypto coin that is using a .icu name at www.lumo.icu. Additionally, there are blockchain startups starting use our extension, one is Vestige.icu, which is using blockchain to improve food traceability. To see more live .icu cryptocurrency sites visit
      2. Personal Sites – People are consolidating their social media profiles, building personal and professional profiles and showing off their talents with .icu names. Great examples of personal sites can be found at link.icu/HOdg8
      3. Internet Tools – One of our initial plans was to create a link shorter using a .icu name because of how short it is, recently an end user launched www.link.icu and we are using that for all of our links now! See more internet tools developed on .icu domains at link.icu/YL40C
    2. Another great indicator of live sites is the Alexa ranking. Amazon maintains a list of the top million sites in the world and right now there are 99 .icu domains on that list. That may seem like a small number but it puts .icu in the 92nd percentile of all other domain extensions with Alexa ranked sites.
  5. Trademark Clearing House Claims Period Ends – TMCH is a system mandated by ICANN that makes trademark holders aware when someone else registers a domain that contains one of their trademarks. For the first 90 days of a domain extensions launch registrars are required to notify the registrant that they are registering a domain and then notify the trademark holder that the name has been registered. It is important to note that this does not take any ownership away from the registrant if they maliciously register a trademarked term but more to notify the registrant that it could be an issue. As of 90 days this notification requirement is gone. If registrants register trademarked names they may still be open to legal repercussions however with the notification requirement gone it makes it a little easier to register names. For more info about TMCH visit ICANN’s page or the official TMCH site.
    1. An example of this? As the .icu registry we use the domain www.now.icu, this was a name that we needed for registry use. When we registered it through RRP Proxy the trademark owner was notified that we registered it. We aren’t using it in an infringing manner so are able to continue owning it.

We are excited that all of the above had been achieved in just 90 days of launch and we can’t wait to see where the next 90 days and beyond take us. In the next few months, you can find the .icu team at a few international events. We will be at Merge (Orlando, Florida), Cloud Data Expo (Singapore), and ICANN (Barcelona). If you are interested In learning more about .icu please reach out to us at sales[at]nic.icu and we would be more than happy to introduce you to the extension, go over our plans and see how we can work together.

Thanks for your support!

.icu Team

All stats, references, and links were accurate at the time of publishing.

These Language.icu Names Are Still Available!

English.icu was registered today and that got us thinking… What other language.icu names are still available for registration.

We went over to (http://www.asimolinguistics.com/top-rank-100-languages-world/) and pulled a list of the top 50 languages on the planet. Here are the languages, their country of origin, an approximate number of people that speak that language and the domain availability.

Spoiler alert! There are TONS of options for you! If you’re a teacher, an anthropologist trying to save a language, someone creating a blog or just have an idea for a new website that is language specific there is bound to be a name here that will fit your plan.

 

Happy Searching!

 

RankLanguage NameCountryPopulation.icu DomainAvailable?
1CHINESEChina 885,000,000 CHINESE.icuYes
1MANDARINChina 885,000,000 MANDARIN.icuYes
2SPANISHSpain 332,000,000 SPANISH.icuYes
3ENGLISHUnited Kingdom 322,000,000 ENGLISH.icuNo
4BENGALIBangladesh 189,000,000 BENGALI.icuYes
5HINDIIndia 182,000,000 HINDI.icuYes
6PORTUGUESEPortugal 170,000,000 PORTUGUESE.icuYes
7RUSSIANRussia 170,000,000 RUSSIAN.icuYes
8JAPANESEJapan 125,000,000 JAPANESE.icuNo
9GERMANGermany 98,000,000 GERMAN.icuYes
10WUChina 77,175,000 WU.icuNo
11JAVANESEIndonesia, Java, Bali 75,500,800 JAVANESE.icuYes
12KOREANKorea, South 75,000,000 KOREAN.icuYes
13FRENCHFrance 72,000,000 FRENCH.icuYes
14VIETNAMESEViet Nam 67,662,000 VIETNAMESE.icuYes
15TELUGUIndia 66,350,000 TELUGU.icuYes
16YUEChina 66,000,000 YUE.icuYes
17MARATHIIndia 64,783,000 MARATHI.icuYes
18TAMILIndia 63,075,000 TAMIL.icuYes
19TURKISHTurkey 59,000,000 TURKISH.icuYes
20URDUPakistan 58,000,000 URDU.icuNo
21MIN NANChina 49,000,000 MINNAN.icuYes
22JINYUChina 45,000,000 JINYU.icuYes
23GUJARATIIndia 44,000,000 GUJARATI.icuYes
24POLISHPoland 44,000,000 POLISH.icuYes
25ARABICEgypt 42,500,000 ARABIC.icuYes
26UKRAINIANUkraine 41,000,000 UKRAINIAN.icuYes
27ITALIANItaly 37,000,000 ITALIAN.icuYes
28XIANGChina 36,015,000 XIANG.icuYes
29MALAYALAMIndia 34,022,000 MALAYALAM.icuNo
30HAKKAChina 34,000,000 HAKKA.icuYes
31KANNADAIndia 33,663,000 KANNADA.icuYes
32ORIYAIndia 31,000,000 ORIYA.icuYes
33/35PANJABIPakistan and India 56,000,000 PANJABI.icuYes
34SUNDAIndonesia 27,000,000 SUNDA.icuYes
36ROMANIANRomania 26,000,000 ROMANIAN.icuYes
37BHOJPURIIndia 25,000,000 BHOJPURI.icuYes
38AZERBAIJANIIran 24,364,000 AZERBAIJANI.icuYes
39FARSIIran 24,280,000 FARSI.icuYes
40MAITHILIIndia 24,260,000 MAITHILI.icuYes
41HAUSANigeria 24,200,000 HAUSA.icuYes
42ARABICAlgeria 22,400,000 ARABIC.icuYes
43BURMESEMyanmar 22,000,000 BURMESE.icuYes
44SERBOCROATIANYugoslavia 21,000,000 SERBOCROATIAN.icuYes
45GANChina 20,580,000 GAN.icuYes
46AWADHIIndia 20,540,000 AWADHI.icuYes
47THAIThailand 20,047,000 THAI.icuYes
48DUTCHNetherlands 20,000,000 DUTCH.icuYes
49YORUBANigeria 20,000,000 YORUBA.icuYes
50SINDHIPakistan 19,720,000 SINDHI.icuYes

.icu Names Can Now Be Listed For Sale At Sedo!

The .icu registry is happy to announce that domain investors can now list their names for sale using the globally recognized Sedo sales platform. Sedo is a global leader for aftermarket domain sales.

While we hope to see usage on the .icu domain extension, it is also important for a registry to foster a healthy aftermarket sales space. Some of our existing live sites include: WTFSkins.icu, Travel.icu, CUInThe.icu, UpInTheAir.icu. As more names are registered, they will eventually be sold on the aftermarket leading to more live websites with .icu names. The possibilities to the left of the dot are truly endless!

As investors list .icu names on Sedo we expect to begin to see aftermarket sales similar to other new top level domain extensions.

A list of their recently reported sales can be found at NameBio.com

Here is a video showing you how to list names for sale on Sedo.

 

For more information feel free to email the .icu registry at Sales@nic.icu or reach out to Sedo directly at www.Sedo.com!

The .icu Brand Ambassador Program is Launching!

.icu is excited to announce that we are starting a Brand Ambassador Program!

.icu is launching Brand Ambassador program. World most successful private entrepreneurs are representing the core mission of .icu which is Global, Successful and Visible.

Our brand ambassadors are giving global visibility to .icu and promoting our pioneer program.  Brand ambassadors drive results through the communication in social media and hosting .icu in offline events and trade shows.

Apart from giving the visibility to .icu our brand ambassadors program is designed to inspire motivated entrepreneurs, expand networks and global exposure of .icu community, and increase deal-flow between entrepreneurs and their customers.

Our Brand Ambassadors are world leaders – the most successful businesspeople who lead by example and illustrate .icu values.  Our Brand Ambassadors empower .icu community to become leaders and rally around a shared passion for running a successful business 24/7.

Want to become .icu Brand Ambassador? Contact us here

 

.icu Contracts with CentralNic to Provide Technical Backend

.icu will be utilizing CentralNic as our technical backend service provider. Our team of industry veterans constantly thinks about registrars and how we can make life easier for them. The domain market is filled with extensions, service providers, hosting companies and more. At .icu we know that registrars are inundated with all of these distractions while trying to run a profitable business in an industry where margins are constantly being stressed.

While there are plenty of very good backend service providers we chose to go with CentralNic for a few key reasons.

First, registrars tend to love them! The onboarding process from when a registrar signs the .icu registry/registrar agreement (RRA) to when the domain extension is actually live on a registrars sales system is very short. Our RRA is very straightforward and is available in the CentralNic control panel. With the simple click of a box for the RRA and some onboarding testing of the api calls registrars are all set!

The other main reason for our choice of CentralNic was that they are great to work with from a registry side. Not everyone is super familiar with how a registry works but we know! There are quite a few moving parts that we must work into our day to day business. Weather it is an ICANN request, planning travel to one of the industry events, helping registrars position our extension or one of the million other tasks we have it is important that we have a stable backend that is there to scale as we grow and can work with us along the way.

If you are a registrar interested in selling .icu domains click here to submit a request or simply login to your CentralNic control panel and add us!