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[edit]

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.[1][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.com JG CenturyLink
q.net Privately owned Q Networks
x.com - Elon Musk
x.org - 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.

Domain Current User Usage
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 Astana Inc.
c.org change.org Shortcut to change.org
e.im MailTime URL shortcut for MailTime Email Messenger
e.gg Facebook
f.org FinTech Labs
g.co Google Google's official URL shortcut
g.cn Google Google's official URL shortcut to help Chinese users locate google
k.tt Citynews SpA Used as URL shortcut for https://citynews.it local news, owned by Krzysztof K. Wasielewski
m.me Facebook Facebook Messenger's official URL shortcut.
n.pr NPR URL shortcut for public radio network NPR
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
s.de Sparkassen-Finanzportal Shortcut to sparkasse.de
t.co Twitter Twitter's official URL shortcut
t.me Telegram Telegram's official URL shortcut
u.ae United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates' Government portal
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/).
y.org YMCA of the United States Shortcut to YMCA

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:

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.[4] As mentioned above, some additional domains previously-registered are "grandfathered" and remain active. Many gTLDs also allow IDN domain registration.[5]

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
𐊠.com xn--967c.com
Ꭺ.com xn--g9d.com
𐊡.com xn--b77c.com 26 Shirts' official URL shortcut 29 April 2018
𐊂.com xn--f67c.com
𐊢.com xn--c77c.com
𐊤.com xn--e77c.com
𐊥.com xn--f77c.com Nick Davenport IQinternet.net & DBSTrust.com, UK Owned by Nick Davenport, DBS Domain Trustees; dbstrust.com
Ꮐ.com xn--29d.com
ዘ.com xn--g3d.com
𐊦.com xn--g77c.com
ḷ.com xn--mhg.com
𐊰.com xn--q77c.com Mahdi Taghizadeh's official URL shortcut 16 April 2018
𐊪.com xn--k77c.com
ꚡ.com xn--ez8a.com NES Natural Endocrinology Specialists Owned by Dr. Linda Khoshaba
〇.com xn--w6j.com Startled by Cancer, Memorial 28 Feb 2006
𐊫.com xn--l77c.com Simon Young Institution.co.uk official shortcut Owned by Simon Young, Institution Marketing
ᴩ.com xn--w8f.com
𐊯.com xn--p77c.com
ꜱ.com xn--i38a.com
ţ.com xn--rga.com don Pablo donPabloNow.com official shortcut Owned by Lord Pablo Brincat (don Pablo), Don Pablo Now, aka @donPabloNow on Social Media
ፐ.com xn--v6d.com Crypto Chain University's official URL shortcut 10 December 2014
𐋊.com xn--h87c.com
V.com xn--508a.com Veritas Home Buyers official URL shortcut Owned by Veritas Home Buyers
☓.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
ꛉ.com xn--j08a.com The Trusted Home Buyer official URL shortcut owned by The Trusted Home Buyer
𐋇.com xn--e87c.com
ᩅ.com xn--rnf.com
☺.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
ư.com xn--yia.com 19 August 2018
ॐ.com xn--q3b.com 19 April 2001
৬.com xn--67b.com
ௐ.com xn--0mc.com

Project94[edit]

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.[6]

Market value of single- or two-letter domains[edit]

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,[7] 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".

The value of the initially secret November 2010 Facebook purchase of FB.com was revealed two months later to be $8.5 million in cash and the rest in stocks.[8]

IG Group paid $4.7 million in September 2013 to buy IG.com [9]

GMO Internet, Inc. purchased Z.com for nearly $6.8 million from Nissan, who previously used it for the Nissan Z series cars.[10]

Controversy[edit]

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 rebrand 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.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bill Manning; Eric Brunner; Donald Eastlake (March 2000). I-D draft-ietf-dnsind-iana-dns-01. IETF. p. 15.
  2. ^ One and Two Letter .IE Domains Now Available "The release of short .ie domain names " Dublin, 12 October 2015
  3. ^ Verisign The World's Shortest Domain Names: How To Get a One Character Domain, Copenhagen, 01 December 2014. Retrieved on 04 December 2014.
  4. ^ Verisign Registration Rules: Allowed Code Points, Reston VA, 01 July 2011. Retrieved on 06 April 2019.
  5. ^ Roig, Jonathan. "TLD Search". WeirdOneCharacterDomainSuperstore. Retrieved 29 July 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Project 94
  7. ^ "ICANN Establishes Forum on Allocation Methods for Single-Letter and Single-Digit Domain Names". www.icann.org. ICANN. Retrieved 15 July 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Transaction of the FB.com domain
  9. ^ "IG.com sells for $4.7 Million". morganlinton.com.
  10. ^ Michael Berkens. "Z.com Sold For $6.8 Million Dollars". TheDomains.com.
  11. ^ "U.com letter" (PDF). icann.org.

External links[edit]