What is a gTLD?

Simply put, a ‘Generic Top Level Domain’ (gTLD) is the part to the right of the dot in an Internet address: eg companyname.forex, companyname.trading. Well known gTLDs include .com., .net, and .org, but ICANN opened up the possibility for more gTLDs in 2012, and now there are more than 1,000 new gTLDs on the market, providing new creative possibilities for identity, branding and online marketing. Some brands even applied to have their brand name be a Top Level Domain, eg .Google.

What is a Registry?

The Registry is the authoritative, master database of all domain names registered in each Top Level Domain. The Registry keeps the master database and also generates the "zone file" which allows computers to route Internet traffic to and from Top Level Domains anywhere in the world. Internet users don't interact directly with the Registry operator; users can register domains in TLDs by using an ICANN-Accredited Registrar. Therefore, the Registry can be seen as the wholesale provider of domain names in a specific TLD.

Boston Ivy is the Registry for the following TLDs: .Markets, .Trading, .Broker, .Forex, .CFD and .Spreadbetting.

What is a Registrar?

Domain names can be registered through many different companies, known as "Registrars", that compete with one another. A listing of these companies appears in ICANN’s Accredited Registrar Directory.

The Registrar you choose will ask you to provide specific contact and technical information in order to complete a domain registration. The Registrar will then keep records of the contact information and submit the technical information to a central directory known as the "Registry." This Registry provides other computers on the Internet the information necessary to send you e-mail or to find your web site. You will also be required to enter a registration contract with the Registrar, which sets forth the terms under which your registration is accepted and will be maintained.

The Registrar can be understood as being the retail provider of domain names.

What is a Registrant?

A Registrant is the person or entity who buys / registers a domain name, and whose contact details is reflected in the Registry and Registrar’s respective databases.

Who is ICANN?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organised, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions.

As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. While often referred to as the ‘internet regulator’, this is an inaccurate description of ICANN’s remit, which is largely limited to ensuring the stability and security of the internet.

ICANN is headquartered in California, but has offices across the world.

How can I buy a domain name?

Domain names can be registered through many different companies, known as Registrars, that compete with one another. A listing of these Registrars appears in ICANN’s Accredited Registrar Directory. In order to buy a domain name within a particular Top Level Domain, eg companyname.forex, a Registrar has to have been accredited by the Registry operating that Top Level Domain (in this example, Boston Ivy Registry for the .Forex TLD).

As such, you can be assured that the Registrar from whom you are buying a domain name is legitimate and is following all the necessary requirements, particularly around maintaining your domain registration and data.

Why is my usual Registrar not offering domain names in a particular TLD?

It may also be that your usual registrar hasn’t yet determined whether or not it will support a particular TLD, and does not currently ‘carry’ that TLD. This is similar to a supermarket choosing not to carry a particular product on its shop shelve.

Boston Ivy maintains a full list of its accredited and available Registrars on its Get.TLD websites (Get.forex, Get.trading etc). The list varies from TLD to TLD and is growing.

How much do domain names cost and why do costs vary across different Top Level Domains?

While the wholesale price for domains in each TLD is set by the Registry, Registrars are responsible for setting their domain name registration fee with end users, ie the retail price. Domain name registration fees vary by Registrar based on a number of factors, including any additional services offered by a Registrar (eg hosting, email, brand protection, domain portfolio management), although the Registrar market is competitive. You are advised to shop around for a service / cost that meets your needs.

Different TLDs are set at different prices, depending on different business models, eg whether a TLD comes with eligibility requirements / a validation process, or based on the specificity of a TLD.

How can I check for the availability of a domain name?

You may use the ‘WHOIS’ search function to check for the availability of a domain name. In the event that a domain name has already been registered, the search will return the registration details of the end user, otherwise known as the ‘Registrant’. The WHOIS database for each of Boston Ivy’s TLDs can be found on the relevant Get.TLD website (eg Get.Spreadbetting, Get.Broker etc).

What is a Premium Domain?

Premium Names are frequently searched generic words (eg currency.trading, financial.markets, exchange.forex) and coupled with a specific TLD, these pairings can prove to be powerful web addresses in online marketing terms. Boston Ivy has chosen to create a list of such domain names, using objective criteria from third party sources and its financial services knowledge, and to set them aside from initial allocation. Premium Names also include all single-character and certain two-letter names, as these short, memorable names are highly sought after.

The intention is to distribute these Premium Names domains using allocation processes such as auctions, Requests for Proposals based on content ideas from applicants and bidding processes.

There will be a price difference between standard domain names and Premium Names, to reflect the high market interest and value in the latter.

For further information about these names, please contact premium@bostonivy.co.

Why are there registration restrictions for the .CFD and Spreadbetting Top Level Domains and how can I find out if I am eligible?

Both spread betting and CFDs (Contracts for Difference) are regulated financial products and as such, a provider must be licensed by a financial regulator in order to offer such services to the market.

When establishing the registration policies for the .CFD and .Spreadbetting TLDs, Boston Ivy sought to reflect these regulatory requirements. Therefore, both TLDs are subject to a TLD Eligibility Policy, the objective of which is to help increase the likelihood that these TLDs will function as trusted eco-systems for legitimate CFD and spread betting actors.

To benefit from the credibility of the .spreadbetting Top Level Domain, the domain buyer (Registrant) must hold a regulatory permission granted by either the Financial Conduct Authority (UK) or the Central Bank of Ireland in respect of the Spread Betting space. The Registrant will be asked to provide these details when registering a domain.

To benefit from the credibility of the .CFD Top Level Domain, the domain buyer must hold a regulatory permission granted by a financial regulatory authority in respect of the CFD space. The Registrant will be asked to provide these details when registering a domain. CFDs are regulated in approximately 25 countries currently.

It is expected that a Registrant maintains the necessary financial regulatory credentials throughout the registration term of a .CFD or .Spreadbetting domain name.

What does the validation process for a .Spreadbetting or a .CFD domain involve?

Boston Ivy has engaged a third party company to carry out the validation process. Validation will happen during a 30 day ‘pending create’ phase (ie, before a domain name application is fully approved and the domain name registration is completed).

After applying to buy a domain name from a Registrar, the domain name applicant (Registrant) will be asked to log on to a portal to supply additional information to determine eligibility for the domain name in accordance with the relevant TLD Eligibility Policy. An applicant will receive an email at the end of the validation process which defines the result as a pass or fail, and the domain name application will then either be cancelled or completed by the Registrar, as relevant.

Further information about the validation process and the respective TLD Eligibility Policies for the .Spreadbetting and .CFD TLDs can be found on Get.Spreadbetting and Get.CFD. Alternatively, you may contact validation@bostonivy.co with any questions.

Are there any co-marketing opportunities available with Boston Ivy?

Boston Ivy is always interested to hear from parties who have an interest in co-marketing activities around a particular domain name in one of Boston Ivy’s TLDs and a related website. Please get in touch via innovators@bostonivy.co if you would like to discuss an idea.

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