I like to call them domain mafias, not investors or brokers as some would refer them. 22 gTLDs (generic top-level domain ) were launched from 1985 to 2012 these include .com, .org, .net, .edu, .gov, .int among others. 617 new gTLDs launched in 2013 only.
gTLD is one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for use in the Domain Name System of the Internet (DNS). It is suffixed at the end of one’s domain name for instance for the domain dignited.com, “dignited” is the domain name while “.com” is the top-level domains (TLDs).
Now with the release of new gTLD a few weeks ago such as .club, .mail, .today, .london, .hotel open for registration, domain mafias are on the rush to book domain names before “rightful owners” or anyone else does and then resell for millions of dollars. Africa lags behind the rest of the world in the digital revolution and is often late to some of these developments. As such, the Mafias are taking advantage of this sluggishness as SiliconAfrica stated on their Facebook page.
“All world big cities .today names were also registered: paris.today, instabul.today, Dublin.today, tokyo.today, Jozi.today, etc.
Unfortunately most of the african .today names were booked by people outside of the continent, the same as most of african countries .com names are currently in the hands of domain brokers who are asking millions of dollars to african governments who want them.”
At Dignited we suffered from the wrath of domain mafias. Before re-branding from TechPost to Dignited, we tried to obtain techpost.com, but the top level domain was costing more than $10,000. We figured that we could instead use this money to re-brand and do other things than just buy a domain. Now a similar fate awaits more governments and more businesses or brands when they attempt to have an online presence only to realize they’ll have to pay hefty amounts of dollars to secure domains that rhythm with their brands.
Today, having an online presence — specifically a website — is mandatory for success. Marketing is becoming more digital-orientated than ever before. So the idea is simple; register your brand domain now even if you don’t necessarily use it before the mafias do. When you do need it, it’ll cost you less to use it than to purchase it from the mafias.