Service Domain Provider, fTLD Registry, Set to Ban Crypto Firms from .bank and .insurance Extensions

  • Bank-led top level domain registry set to ban fintech firms including cryptocurrency companies from .bank and .insurance domains.
  • fTLD releases the Registrant Eligibility Policy highlighting changes to domain registration
  • Cryptocurrency firms set to miss out on .bank and .insurance top level domains

FTLD released their Registrant Eligibility Policy late last week proposing changes to lock out fintech industry players, such as crypto firms from registering the .bank or .insurance top level domains (TLD).

The official draft is set to rewind the policies back to 2015 when the .bank domain appeared for government-regulated retail bank, savings association, national bank, or bank holding or parent company only.

The registry, which is heavily run by banks and financial service institutions, is inviting the public to give comments on the proposed draft. The public comment session will run till August 24th 2019.

The .bank and .industry domains are some of the most prestigious TLDs, with the annual fee going upwards of $1000 USD. Furthermore, the registry has tough regulations and standards to offer these types of domains hence the current debacle with crypto firms.

Speaking to Mashable, the senior director of compliance and policy at fTLD, Heather Diaz, said the company is moving back to the original use case of the .bank domain – providing infrastructure for bank’s core processors. She said,

“The original purpose of the Service Provider category was to enable banking core processors to provide infrastructure (e.g., online banking services) using a .BANK URL or to provide DNS and/or hosting that is compliant with fTLD’s Security Requirements.”

Since the launch if the .bank domain in 2015, the registry has been receiving a workload of requests from fintech companies to register using the TLD. However, no cryptocurrency company has received the .bank or .insurance domains yet from the fTLD according to Diaz.

She further said that the registry is trying to “secure the trusted space” by only allowing regulated banks and financial institutions to use the domains.

The FTLD registry further released a list (not exhaustive) of a number of institutions facing a potential ban from using the top level domains. The list includes peer-to-peer payment providers (P2P), non-banking financial institutions, money transfer application companies and other intermediaries between companies and banks.

EnCirca, one of the largest holders of the .bank domains, announced they will be launching the .ETH top level domain for cryptocurrency firms. The deadline for application on the .eth domains is this coming Saturday, August 10th 2019.

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