Potential gTLD Cash Cow: .3D

I think it’s pretty clear that domain investors will be highly coveted by gTLD operators, who would likely expect thousands of sales for investment purposes. If the number of speculators alone were an indication of a potential money pit for a particular gTLD, I would imagine .3D would do very well.

As we witnessed in the Future Trend Domain Auction รขโ€žยข that ended yesterday, there are a lot of people who own (and are looking to sell) 3D related domain names. On Sedo alone, there nearly 25,000 listings that have 3D in the domain name. At BuyDomains, there are over 4,000 3D domain names for sale.

Just from those two venues, assuming a $25 annual fee, that would be close to $750,000 in annual registrations. I know that some of these are duplicate strings, but it’s an interesting figure to consider. With trademark holders, private auctions, and further sales, it’s would likely be a cash cow.

Personally, I don’t think many names would make sense as a dot 3d. I can think of a few, but I wouldn’t advocate buying them unless a person had a specific plan in mind. As domain investors, one should be aware of all the ways one can make money in this space. This is something prospective registry operators will consider.

dot3d.com was created in 2oo2. Interestingly, it lists an expiration date of 2008 at DomainTools, so there’s something funky happening there. The domain name does not resolve.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. @Elliot

    I don’t think that two character gTLDs are allowed in English , so it might have to pass as an IDN or you might have to go with .3-d

    By the way I just registered 3dReplicating.com , I hope that this domain makes sense.

  2. Nice idea, but the ICANN rules state that new gTLDs (at least in ASCII) have to be a minimum of three characters.

    This is to avoid clashes with current or future ccTLDs, but the rule seems to capture NL and LN strings too.

  3. @Elliot

    I might have to do some more research, but I believe that gTLDs in English must be at least three characters and must consist of only letters, without any numbers or hyphens.

  4. In addition to being at least 3 characters long for gTLDs in English according to the new TLD guidebook they must also comply with:

    1.1.1 The label must have no more than 63 characters.

    1.1.2 Upper and lower case characters are treated as identical.

    1.2.1 The ASCII label must consist entirely of letters
    (alphabetic characters a-z), or

    1.2.2 The label must be a valid IDNA A-label ….

  5. @Elliot

    “Chalk it up to my lack of knowledge about the guidebook.”


    Don’t feel bad, your blog makes it possible for us to learn from each other. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You probably already know this, but in case you don’t here is a tip to make things easier for you:

    Download the guidebook in PDF and then use the ” find ” function to locate the paragraphs that relate to the keyword that you are searching for.

  6. For example if you look for ” String Requirements ” by using the find function you will see the title ” String Requirements ” highlighted (you might have to click a few times on the ” find next in the current PDF” to get to it).

  7. Don’t you think the domain investment market is saturated? The ICANN insiders and ICANN maybe see a new opportunity to milk newbies, but, speaking for myself being up to my ears in debt, I wouldn’t be interested in registering with new extensions.

    The reason I say that because the example you said appears to be directed at future trend domainers. That market may be tapped out, at least as far as 3D.

    As far as laypeople who think you could get rich in domain investing, they might be the targets ICANN and its insiders are thinking about . . .

  8. @Louise – Maybe the ‘targets’ ICANN is thinking about are end users – people, small businesses and entrepreneurs that would like to get a domain name that really fits their purpose, at a reasonable price and put a website on it?

    But maybe I’m a naive idealist.

  9. What happens when a new gTLD shuts down because it can’t earn its fees, @ TomG? You host a new gTLD practical guide, you can tell me that. What happens when those five people build on a new gTLD, and that is not enough to recoup the fees the operators invested, and the new gTLD shuts down? You must be expert. What is the process ICANN has outlined? Does it go to default management, so the little businesses don’t lose their websites?

    Will people say, “You should have built on dot com?” after people, small businesses and entrepreneurs lose their brands and their websites, when the new gTLD can’t stay in business?

  10. @Louise

    There are safeguards and contingency requirements set forth in the registry agreements for these situations.

    From the Guidebook:

    Specification 8 – Continued Operations Instrument – Registry must maintain a financial instrument to sustain the registry for a period of three years sans revenue.

    Article 2.13 Emergency Transition

    In case of temporary inability to operate the technical requirements, that function is transitioned to a temporary provider

    Article 4.5 Transition of Registry upon Termination of Agreement.

    upon termination of the registry agreement, ICANN can delegate the technical function to another provider.

    Even if a registry business fails, the domains registered will continue to function. The risk that registrants will be left high and dry at the blink of an eye is mitigated.

  11. Thanx for responding, @ Tom. That is exactly what I was looking for. Of course, the terms will dictate you sign away your rights: the the registry has no liability, nor ICANN just as with current agreements. ICANN pays lip service to proprietry, while failing to enforce anything tangible that supplies a net to the end user, because, historically and in my experience, it allows the machine to steamroll the consumer, while rewarding its insiders. If it didn’t, it would have made DNSSEC its mission, instead of broadening gTLDs.

    As long as ICANN pulls in fees, it is neither here nor there what befalls an end user, should the extension fall through.

    That’s just my opinion.

  12. Considering all the limitations concerning the number of characters and on the use of numbers and hyphens the best choice in this case might be .ddd

    Normally I think that its best to spell out the whole keyword such as .ThreeDimensional instead of using abbreviations, but in this case I guess .ddd works the best, hey if you can afford it you might as well get both versions. ๐Ÿ™‚


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