In the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the world's economies have reacted strongly. Stocks went into initial free fall, the pound dropped to its weakest position against most major currencies in decades and the prime minister has announced his departure. ‘Experts’ on every subject are coming out of the woodwork, telling us what the future will hold for us on every subject from our beach holiday to watching our favorite team playing on a Saturday afternoon.
The term ‘Brexit’ was created to make a digital-friendly term that everyone could understand and, more importantly, use as a hashtag on social media – engagement with digital natives was seen as key to this vital decision. But, come June 23rd and the term could have simply been consigned to the sound bite scrap heap, joining the likes of ‘The Fappening’, ‘PPI’ or ‘No win, no fee’.
But the decision to leave has given the term gravitas, authenticity and a purpose. And with all such events, domain investors have jumped onto the bandwagon, hoping to make a quick return by buying digital real estate. Within hours of the ‘Leave’ decision, domain names featuring the keyword Brexit started to trend. Verisign’s analysis tool showed that over 320 dotCom and dotNet domains starting with Brexit were registered on Friday 24th June, compared to an average of two in the previous seven days. In addition, scores more were registered with the word Brexit in somewhere.
Brexitconsulting.com, Brexit4expats.com and Brexitandbeyond.com have potential as advice-related domain names, whilst the likes of Brexitbrides.com, Isurvivedbrexit.com and Blameitonbrexit.com maybe less so. So far, obvious take-up of Brexit new gTLDs has been limited. Brexit.news has been around since the announcement of the referendum last year, whilst Brexit.vote has a simple opinion poll.
One domain name that’s been around for a while – and is in the top 20% of the most trafficked websites according to Alexa Rankings – is Brexitthemovie.com, a website used by the Leave camp to try to explain their reasons for wanting to exit from the EU.
The whole process of our devolution from the European Union could drag on for years. Nobody fully understands what it’ll mean for Britain, Europe or the rest of the world. Speculation, opinion and some downright lies will populate our timelines, and so expect to see plenty of Brexit domain names around for a while to come.
One other interesting thing that has come out of the Leave decision has been the number of other territories that now believe they could be better off on their own. Texas has once again started to make noises about becoming an independent state under the term Texit (32 registrations in the past 24 hours), calls for a second Scottish independence referendum have started again (Sexit I assume, but no registrations yet) and if the bookies are to be believed, the next country to try and exit the EU will be Greece (Grexit has had six registrations in the past 24 hours). Alas, although certain factions in France have started rumblings about its exit from the EU, Frexit hasn’t caught the imagination yet.