July 7, 2017

ICAAN anticipating loss of 750 registrars over next 12 months

Over-saturation of the drop-catching market could lead to the closures of numerous registrars next year.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN) has estimated that around 750 registrars worldwide will become obsolete over the course of the next 12 months. The projection was declared by ICAAN VP, Cyrus Namazi while discussing the organization’s fiscal budget for 2018 at a general meeting in South Africa last week.

There are currently around 3,000 registrars in existence today, with most falling under the classifications of 400 primary registrar families. Industry experts claim that approximately two-thirds of all registrars are shell accreditations being governed by just three companies – Web.com, Pheenix and TurnCommerce.

These companies fork out millions of dollars annually on accreditation fees in order to get more connections to registries (for example, Verisign’s .com registry). A greater number of connections increase the chance to quickly register potentially valuable domains within a fraction of a second of their deletion. This practice is commonly referred to as ‘drop-catching’.

However, according to VP Cyrus Namazi, in the current industry climate, there are not enough worthwhile domain names being dropped in order to justify the number of accreditations the three companies own. He went on to elaborate:

With the model we have, I believe at the moment the total available market for these sought-after domains that these multifamily registrars are after is not able to withstand the thousands of accreditations that are there.

Each accreditation costs quite a bit of money.

If the three drop-catchers do begin the process of discarding registrars, it would most likely result in an extremely short shelf life for their accreditations.

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