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Cryptocurrency firms to be banned from .bank

Kevin Murphy, July 25, 2019, 17:19:55 (UTC), Domain Registries

The registry for the already heavily restricted .bank and .insurance gTLDs wants to change its policies to make it clear that cryptocurrency firms are not welcome.

fTLD Registry Services has opened up a public comment period on proposed changes to its eligibility policies for the two TLDs which would drop the “service provider” category of registrant.

It would also clarify that eligible entities have to be “retail” banks regulated by a proper government authority.

The elimination of “service providers” is an effort to clarify that .bank is for banks and not peer-to-peer or cryptocurrency payment providers.

Heather Diaz, senior director of compliance and policy at fTLD, told us that the service provider category was created to allow “banking core processors” and the like to register domains. She said in an email:

More recently, as the financial services arena has evolved, particularly as it relates to fintechs offering financial products/services (e.g., P2P payment providers, cryptocurrency companies), we have found that some prospective Registrants were seeking domains to enhance their legitimacy to market to regulated entities and/or consumers.

By eliminating the category, fTLD hopes to clarify that .bank is just for regulated banks.

Registrants that already own service provider domains (it sounds like there are only one or two) would be grandfathered under the proposed policy, so nobody’s going to lose their existing domains.

The proposed changes were boiled up by fTLD’s bank-led Advisory Committee and its board of directors.

Comments are being accepted until August 24, after which the company’s board will decide whether to implement the new policies.

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Comments (4)

  1. Snoopy says:

    .Bank is pretty much dead anyway, years of declining registrations.

  2. Ethan says:

    I think the registry should actively market .bank so that more bank operators in the world could be aware of the presence and importance of this safety-guaranteed TLD.

    • Snoopy says:

      They aren’t “guaranteeing safety”, just that people using it go through a verification process. You can see how much trouble the registry is having convincing banks this it a good idea from the very prominent list of “MYTHS VS REALITY” on their site.

      The following are myths about .Bank according to the registry,

      -It’s expensive
      -It’s hard to implement
      -It’s about marketing, not security
      -It’s not being used by banks yet
      -The big banks aren’t doing it

      Meanwhile enduser are dropping in droves. In my view this extension will eventually be firesaled and the restrictions will mostly go.

  3. Mike Carson says:

    I wonder what would have happened if they had done the exact opposite of this, and welcomed cryptocurrency companies in with open arms…

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