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Credit union gTLD changes hands to perhaps surprising buyer

Kevin Murphy, December 4, 2020, Domain Registries

Yet another new gTLD is moving to a new registry, but this time it’s not a case of a large gTLD holder bulking up its portfolio.

This time it’s .creditunion, and the new registry is 18-year-old .coop registry DotCooperation, according to ICANN records.

.creditunion was delegated to the Credit Union Nation Association, the trade group for US credit unions, in 2015 and launched in 2017.

Like .coop, it’s a tightly restricted TLD, with eligibility only for those with a “meaningful nexus to the credit union sector”.

It had 580 domains at the last count, having peaked at 640 a couple years ago. The domains are being used as primary domains by at least a couple dozen credit unions.

But volume was never the plan for .creditunion, with CUNA specifically citing .coop as its role model in its 2012 new gTLD application.

“The success of the gTLD will not be measured by the number of domain names registered. Instead, it will be measured by the level of consumer recognition and trust,” CUNA said back then.

CUNA actually announced the DotCooperation deal in a press release on its web site at the end of September, but I don’t think anyone in the domain industry noticed.

.coop, which is reserved for co-operative associations, was one of the original 2000-round new gTLDs. It’s been chugging along at relatively low volume for the last two decades, peaking at 15,000 in February 2013.

For the last few years, it’s been growing by maybe a dozen or so domains a month, and currently stands at about 8,300 names.

DotCooperation is jointly owned by the National Cooperative Business Association and the International Cooperative Alliance.

CentralNic signs first legacy gTLD

Kevin Murphy, March 13, 2015, Domain Registries

CentralNic has become the new back-end registry provider for .coop, a gTLD that was approved by ICANN almost 15 years ago.
The decision by DotCooperation comes after original back-end Midcounties Co-operative Domains decided to get out of the business, according to the registry.
In a statement, DotCooperation said:

We would like to advise our registrars that we have started the preparations for migrating .coop to the new registry operator system and we aim to be fully transitioned by early April in order to make sure that Registrars have 30 days notice in respect of these changes

The transition won’t affect many registrars — only about a dozen currently have .coop domains under management.
The registry said most of them already have relationships with CentralNic.
It’s CentralNic’s first back-end deal for a legacy, pre-2012 gTLD.
The company is also taking over DNS for the TLD, replacing Dyn.
The .coop space, which is restricted to co-operatives, only has about 8,000 domains. If it were a new gTLD, it would rank around 100 by volume.