The domain registry business is set to grow even more competitive, thanks to Cloudflare.
Cloudflare announced on Sept. 27 that it plans to open up a domain registrar that will enable anyone to register an internet domain at wholesale cost. The dot-com domain is managed today at the top level by VeriSign, which charges $7.85 as a wholesale to domain registrars that then resell dot-com domains at different prices.
"There's no meaningful difference between any of the existing mass market registrars," Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder of Cloudflare, wrote in a blog post. "All the registrar does is record you as the owner of a particular domain. That just involves sending some commands to an API."
Cloudflare aims to provide domain registry services at wholesale cost that also include personal data protection on WHOIS lookups, as well as DNSSEC (DNS security extensions).
The new service is initially be rolled out in stages, with existing Cloudflare customers being offered the opportunity to move their existing domain. The plan is to extend the service in the coming months and enable new domain registrations as well.
The market for domain names overall continues to grow.
VeriSign released its second quarter Domain Name Industry Brief (DNIB) on Aug. 16, reporting there were 339.8 million registered domains on the Internet at the end of the first quarter, for a 2.4 percent year-over-year gain.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.