In a surprising move, the overseer of the increasingly sought-after .ai country code top-level domain (ccTLD) has issued a stark warning to registrants, advising against the transfer of their .ai domains to GoDaddy, the leading domain registrar. This recommendation stems from ongoing technical and operational challenges that have marred the transfer process to GoDaddy.

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For quite some time, the .ai registry’s official website has highlighted difficulties with domain transfers to GoDaddy, including a specific alert for potential registrants. The site now explicitly discourages such transfers, pointing to several notable issues. According to the registry, transfers to GoDaddy are plagued by a cumbersome process requiring auth codes of no more than 32 characters. Additionally, completing a transfer can become a drawn-out ordeal, often taking weeks and necessitating numerous emails and phone calls— a stark contrast to the nearly instantaneous transfer process observed with other registrars once the necessary transfer protocols are followed.

The .ai registry’s critique doesn’t end there. It reflects on past difficulties where GoDaddy was unable to transfer .ai domains at all, stating, “For years GoDaddy could not transfer .ai domains. We do not advise transferring to GoDaddy and if you do, don’t ask us for help, the problem is all GoDaddy.”

Domain registrations dynamics in .ai zone
Domain registrations dynamics in .ai zone

Despite the controversy, the .ai domain continues to gain popularity, largely managed with considerable independence by Cate under the auspices of the Government of Anguilla. The situation highlights the importance of choosing a domain registrar that can efficiently manage the technical requirements of domain transfers, especially for the increasingly popular .ai ccTLD.

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Recommended registrars for .AI domain name

In a further development, GoDaddy has been removed from the registry’s list of supported registrars. Vince Cate, the registry manager, attributed this removal to a request from GoDaddy itself, which he noted acts as a reseller for Team Internet’s 1API. Cate offered no further comments on the matter.

This advisory against GoDaddy marks a significant escalation in what appears to be a growing rift between the .ai registry and the domain registrar giant. Previously, Vince Cate had critiqued GoDaddy for its misleading messaging regarding the transferability of .ai domains, suggesting a lack of technical capability on GoDaddy’s part to handle such transfers—a standard procedure for most other registrars.