AI has made a lot of people very rich over the past couple of years, but for one small Caribbean Island it’s been transformational. So much so that Anguilla now generates around a third of its government’s revenue from AI—without writing a single line of code.
Back in the 1980s, when the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority was dishing out the geographic two-letter domains, Anguilla had the good fortune to be awarded .ai. That good fortune has turned into an actual fortune, with a huge influx in domain registrations over the past couple of years that have massively boosted the island’s economy.
The boom in .ai domain sales was triggered by the arrival of ChatGPT in November 2022. “In the five months after that, our sales went up by almost a factor of four,” Vince Cate, who manages domain registrations for the Anguillan government, told IEEE Spectrum. “Then they sort of leveled off at this new, much higher level. It’s just wild—we’re already like a third of the government’s budget.”
The island is earning around $3 million a month from .ai registrations, according to Cate, but he predicts that figure will at least double as domains come up for renewal. “We do the domains for two years, and so all of our money now is new domains,” he said.
“And if we just stay at this level of $3 million per month for new domains, when the renewals kick in a year from now, we’ll just jump to $6 million per month.”
For Anguilla, a British overseas territory with a population of around 16,000, that level of income is hugely significant. It amounts to $2,250 per person per year, even at the current rate of income.
The island is only 35 square miles and relies on tourism, offshore banking and fishing for much of its GDP, estimated at $300 million in 2020 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, well before the AI windfall began. If the registrations continue to grow as Cate predicts, they would bring in $72 million alone by 2025.
Anguilla isn’t the first island to benefit from its two-letter domain. The island of Tuvalu infamously benefitted from the .tv domain it was assigned, but according to Cate, there’s a crucial difference between how Tuvalu and Anguilla have managed their in-demand domains.
While Tuvalu has long worked with commercial partners such as Verisign and GoDaddy to license the .tv domain, Anguilla is handling registrations by itself. “We’re doing it locally,” Cate told IEEE Spectrum. “So, the government is getting almost all the money. And that’s not what was happening in Tuvalu, right? Most of the money was not going to the country.”
More than most, the people of Anguilla will be hoping the AI boom doesn’t turn into a short-lived bubble.
#Tiny #Caribbean #Island #Making #Fortune
Unlock the potential of cutting-edge AI solutions with our comprehensive offerings. As a leading provider in the AI landscape, we harness the power of artificial intelligence to revolutionize industries. From machine learning and data analytics to natural language processing and computer vision, our AI solutions are designed to enhance efficiency and drive innovation. Explore the limitless possibilities of AI-driven insights and automation that propel your business forward. With a commitment to staying at the forefront of the rapidly evolving AI market, we deliver tailored solutions that meet your specific needs. Join us on the forefront of technological advancement, and let AI redefine the way you operate and succeed in a competitive landscape. Embrace the future with AI excellence, where possibilities are limitless, and competition is surpassed.