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ICANN Applicant Handbook : This is why we cannot have Numeric gTLDs

If you’re a fan of numbers and numeric domainsHello, China! – then you might have wondered why with almost 2,000 gTLD applications, not a single one was numeric.

When Daniel Negari, for example, applied for .XYZ why didn’t he go for dot .123 as well?

It would have been a great combo. 😀

The answer is hidden deep in the ICANN Applicant Handbook; in its PDF format, the handbook explains in detail the rules and regulations related to every function or issue the gTLD applicant might face.

For this particular case, however, Spanish domain investor Arturo Irañeta Monreal did the “unthinkable“: He contacted the ICANN customer support. 😀

Their response, is quoted below:

Please note Numeric TLD’s were prohibited in the first round of applications.
The prohibition on numeric gTLDs in the applicant guidebook (http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb) derives from a number of technical concerns regarding the ability of such domains to operate properly. Domain names are often used in place where other kinds of identifiers may be used like IP addresses.

The fact that a TLD is all alphabetic is often a key determinant for software in identifying a domain name. If a TLD such as “.123” were allowed, you could have a domain name of “” which would be difficult to discriminate from an IP address “”. There are also other considerations: some technical standards documentation states that TLDs will be alphabetical, which has been codified as an assumption in software also.

The limitation in the AGB to alphabetic characters was designed to limit these scenarios that means such TLDs are not likely to work well in software, as well as limit potential security issues that may result from the same issues.


So because someone could apply for the gTLD .123, then registering a numeric domain 244.123, and adding a subdomain 125.244.123 that’d be “confusing” with an IPv4 IP, although one digit would be missing – unless you added an email to form: 74@125.244.123 as an email address.

Very interesting logic.

So what about alphanumeric gTLDs, such as .A123 or .ABC1 ?

Arturo will once again ask the ICANN support and we’ll let you know – or, you can check out the video below.

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One Response to “ICANN Applicant Handbook : This is why we cannot have Numeric gTLDs”
  1. Peter T says:

    But could someone also make the subdomain xxx.125.244.123?

    Why not just allow numeric TLDs that couldn’t possibly be IP addresses (like .88888)?

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