May 13, 2020, 15:25:26 (UTC),
Donuts has made its temporarily restricted gTLD .place unrestricted once again, two years after announcing it would be taking a stab at some technological innovation.
.place has been under lockdown for two years as Donuts planned to use it in “geofencing” applications developed by a startup it had invested in.
Geofencing is the practice of dividing the world up into three dimensional GPS-based chunks, placing those chunks into a registry, then selling them to businesses and others.
The idea was that each .place domain would be linked to a specific geofenced area. Mick could register mickscafe.place and assign the coordinates of his cafe to that domain.
In 2018, Donuts started telling registrars not to sell .place domains until its partner, Geo.Network, had launched its applications. It had invested an undisclosed sum in Geo.Network in 2016, when it was known as GeoFrenzy.
But these applications do not appear to have yet surfaced, and Donuts is now letting anyone register .place names for $10 a pop.
Since the 2018 freeze, the number of registered .place domains has tumbled from about 7,500 to about 3,800. Donuts says it has a 63% renewal rate and that 26% of its names are in active use.