Single-letter second-level domain
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Single-letter second-level domains are domain names in which the second-level domain consists of only one letter, such as x.com. In 1993, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) explicitly reserved all single-letter and single-digit second-level domain names in the top-level domains com, net, and org, and grandfathered those that had already been assigned. In December 2005, ICANN considered auctioning these domains.
Active single-letter domains
On December 1, 1993, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) explicitly reserved the remaining single-letter and single-digit domain names. The few domains that were already assigned were grandfathered in and continued to exist.[better source needed]
The assigned domains in this group are the following:
|Domain||1993 Owner||Current Owner|
|i.net||INet Solutions Ltd||Future Media Architects|
|q.net||Privately owned||Q Networks|
|x.com||Weinstein & DePaolis||Elon Musk|
|x.org||The Open Group||X.Org Foundation|
|z.com||HomePage.com||GMO Internet, Inc.|
Some other gTLD and ccTLD single-letter domain names are also in use, usually as shortcuts.
|a.co||Amazon.com||Amazon's official URL shortcut. Generally used by Amazon in SMS messages for informing purchasers of activity on an order|
|a.org||AutismAwareness.com||Awareness project coming soon by AutismAwareness.com|
|b.org||benevolent.net||Shortcut to benevolent.net|
|g.co||Google's official URL shortcut|
|m.me||Facebook Messenger's official URL shortcut.|
|o.co||Overstock.com||URL shortcut for Overstock.com.|
|q.com||CenturyLink||Shortcut to a CenturyLink setup page asking for a Go Code.|
|s.co||Snap Inc.||Shortcut to Snapchat's download page|
|t.co||Twitter's official URL shortcut|
|t.me||Telegram||Telegram's official URL shortcut|
|e.im||MailTime||URL shortcut for MailTime Email Messenger|
|v.me||Visa Inc.||Visa's official URL shortcut|
|w.org||WordPress||Redirects to wordpress.org, has some assets for wordpress.org (under s.w.org) (see for example wordpress.org/news/2013/12/parker/).|
Many other single-letter second-level domains have been registered under country code top-level domains. The list of Country code top-level domains which have been identified to allow single-letter domains are : .ac .af .ag .ai .am .bo .by .bz .cm .cn .co .cr .cz .cx .dj .de .dk .fm .gd .gg .gl .gp .gs .gt .gy .hn .ht .ie. im .io .je .kg .ki .kw .la .lb .lc .ly .md .mg .mk .mp .ms .mw .mx .mu .nf .nz .pe .ph .pk .pl .pn .pr .pw .ro .sh .st .tc .tl .tt .to .tv .ua .ws .vc .vg .vn and .vu.
Single-character non-ASCII second-level domains also exist (as seen below), also known as Internationalized domain names (IDN), these domains are actually registered as their Punycode translations (which are more than a single character) for DNS purposes. ICANN oversees a process for determining registration rules that involves wide-ranging stakeholder input and assorted Working Groups. In the case of .com domains, decisions are then implemented by Verisign, the contracted backend operator for the .com Registry. The result is a list of 96,957 codepoints allowed for IDN registrations. As mentioned above, some additional domains previously-registered are "grandfathered" and remain active.
These 96,957 distinct IDN characters eligible for registration in .com are the essential building-blocks of languages worldwide. A single letter domain does not provide the context found in a longer string or group of words. They may appear similar to one another, or look like English / Latin characters. They sometimes are used as pictorial symbols and memorable links.
|Domain||Punycode||Usage||Registered On (WHOIS)|
|ᗅ.com||xn--upe.com||former StrongestBrands URL shortcut|
|Ꭺ.com||xn--g9d.com||Cherokee letter GO|
|𐊡.com||xn--b77c.com||26 Shirts' official URL shortcut||29 April 2018|
|𐊂.com||xn--f67c.com||Being marketed for sale|
|𐊢.com||xn--c77c.com||Carian letter D, mired at ICANN nameservers|
|Ꮐ.com||xn--29d.com||Cherokee letter NAH|
|𐊰.com||xn--q77c.com||Mahdi Taghizadeh's official URL shortcut||16 April 2018|
|〇.com||xn--w6j.com||Startled by Cancer, Memorial||28 Feb 2006|
|ᴩ.com||xn--w8f||Greek letter small capital RHO|
|ꜱ.com||xn--i38a.com||sensuous materials, proposed link|
|ፐ.com||xn--v6d.com||Crypto Chain University's official URL shortcut||10 December 2014|
|☓.com||xn--33h.com||Herbert R. Sim's official URL shortcut||3 February 2005|
|𐊲.com||xn--s77c.com||AnaptysBio's official URL shortcut||2 March 2018|
|☺.com||xn--74h.com||Daniel Früh's official URL shortcut||3 June 2004|
|ツ.com||xn--bdk.com||13 April 2004|
|ꙮ.com||xn--xx8a.com||17 October 2018|
|ʘ.com||xn--lpa.com||Resembles eye / bullseye. Visual aids sales.|
|ॐ.com||xn--q3b.com||OM mantra||19 April 2001|
In 2012, the Public Interest Registry (PIR) initiated Project94, in which 94 one- and two-letter domains in the top-level domain org, that had been traditionally reserved, are awarded to qualifying organizations.
Market value of single- or two-letter domains
This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Only three of the 26 possible single-letter domains have ever been registered in the .com domain, all before 1992. The other 23 single-letter .com domains were registered January 1, 1992 by Jon Postel, with the intention to avoid a single company commercially controlling a letter of the Alphabet. Many but not all .com two-letter domains are among the most valuable domains.
While it is widely believed that the domains business.com and sex.com have been the most valuable domain transactions, prominent two-letter domains have only been sold after nondisclosed transactions handled by specialized broker and law firms.
The value of the LG Corp (the South Korean electronics conglomerate formerly known as Lucky Goldstar) purchase of LG.com was never published. LG Group missed the first sale of the domain in 2008 from the original owner the chemical company Lockwood Greene to the dot-com entrepreneur Andy Booth; Booth had used it to launch a footballing website known as LifeGames. LG Corp bought "lg.com" one year later, in 2009. Following the purchase, LG Group changed worldwide marketing to LG.com, which is now their central internet address for all countries. All national LG country domains like "LG.de" or "LG.com.mx" redirect to "LG.com".
With the 2005 announcement that registration of the remaining single-letter names might become available, some companies have attempted to establish a right to the names by claiming trademark rights over single letters used in such a context. U magazine, a college oriented publication, went so far as to re-brand its website as "U.com" and apply for a trademark registration of the same phrase, before sending a letter to ICANN attempting to gain priority for the domain if it should ever become available in the future.
- Bill Manning; Eric Brunner; Donald Eastlake (March 2000). I-D draft-ietf-dnsind-iana-dns-01. IETF. p. 15.
- One and Two Letter .IE Domains Now Available "The release of short .ie domain names " Dublin, 12 October 2015
- Verisign The World's Shortest Domain Names: How To Get a One Character Domain, Copenhagen, 01 December 2014. Retrieved on 04 December 2014.
- Verisign Registration Rules: Allowed Code Points, Reston VA, 01 July 2011. Retrieved on 06 April 2019.
- Project 94
- "ICANN Establishes Forum on Allocation Methods for Single-Letter and Single-Digit Domain Names". www.icann.org. ICANN. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Transaction of the FB.com domain
- "IG.com sells for $4.7 Million". morganlinton.com.
- Michael Berkens. "Z.com Sold For $6.8 Million Dollars". TheDomains.com.
- "U.com letter" (PDF). icann.org.
- ICANN - Reserved domain names
- Icann Blog Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
- Web's hottest real estate could go on sale, an Associated Press article about the possible release of one letter .coms written in 2005.