A preliminary date is set for “new new” TLDs.
ICANN hopes to begin accepting applications for the next round of top level domain names in 2026, 14 years after the last application window.
The ICANN Board has accepted an implementation plan from the ICANN organization, and it makes it clear that there’s a lot of work to do between now and 2026. The timeline is highly dependent on policy work that needs to be completed.
ICANN hopes that the applicant guidebook will be completed in May 2025. If it hits that deadline, it will be ready to open applications in April 2026 and close them at the end of the following quarter.
Of course, no one has ever lost money betting on delays at ICANN.
It will be interesting to see what names are applied for in the next round. A handful of brands have said they’re interested, but the brands that already have domains aren’t doing much with them, with rare exceptions. You can expect large portfolio holders like Identity Digital to go big. But some other players, such as Radix, have noted that the good TLDs were taken in the 2012 round.
There are “new” terms that should attract attention. You can expect applications for .crypto and .blockchain, for example, and a huge fight between web3 name providers like Unstoppable Domains to prevent others from getting these “real” top level domains. But three years is a very long time, and if no one has found a good use case for blockchain by then, these terms might be less appealing.
In other words, a lot can happen in the next few years to impact new new TLDs.