The past year has been a strong one for country code domain extensions in general, with the generic extensions .io and .co particularly active. This has prompted discussion around what might be the next generic country code to become popular. While extensions such as .ai, .tv, .me, .ly, .vc, .gg and others have proponents, one extension that gets relatively little attention is .cc. I take a look at trends in .cc aftermarket sales, the types of domain names that have sold in the extension, and how many active sites use the extension. Reasons To Like .CC Domain Names There are definitely reasons to feel positive about the .cc extension. The .ccextension is considered generic, instead of regional, in Google search. Registration and renewal fees are reasonable and stable, with costs not much different than .com. The extension is managed by Verisign, the same company that manages .com and .net. As we will see below, average sales prices in the aftermarket are not much different than for .com or .net. Of course, the highest value sales are at much higher prices in .com. The .cc extension is the country code extension for Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a small Australian island territory. There are only about 600 inhabitants. Many prefer generic country codes from regions without a significant resident population, such as Cocos, since that insulates the extension from political issues and controversies. To my knowledge, there are no potential political threats to the extension such as those for .io regarding the repatriation of that region, and the possible future impact on the .io extension. The repeated letter format in .cc makes the extension easy to remember. The CC combination can stand for many things, so the extension is not limited to use in a single sector. There are many websites in different sectors including cycling, cricket, Chinese companies, creative commons, churches, consultancies and others. The highest 10 aftermarket sales of all time in the .cc extension were all since 2017, with 4 of them in 2020. This suggests the extension may be building some aftermarket momentum. A very large number of global registrars handle the extension. Many of them offer competitive prices. All that being said, is there really a strong enough domain aftermarket in the extension to warrant significant investment? Does the extension really get used for major websites? I seek answers below to these questions. Average Price Trends While average prices were higher about a decade ago, as was true for legacy extensions, average aftermarket sales prices in .cc have been relatively constant and at a healthy level. The NameBio-listed average .cc sales price was $1081 in 2020. Keep in mind that NameBio data is a mix of wholesale and a smaller fraction retail transactions, which pulls the average prices down. It should be noted that in 2010 and 2011, when average prices were higher in .cc, there were far fewer sales of .cc domains compared to recent years. Sales Volume Trends It is perhaps better to look at trends in sales dollar volumes, since those take into account both average prices and number of sales. This data is shown below. Dollar volume in .cc has been strong and relatively constant for many years. Major Sales I looked in more detail at .cc sales for the past 5 years. There was only a single sale over $50,000, while 25 sales at $10,000 or more, 51 sales at or above $5000 and 266 sales at $1000 plus. The highest value sale, 787.cc, sold in 2020 at Dynadot for $51,000. The second and third highest sales were also numeric domain names, 882.cc at $42,500 and 77777 for $38,000, both at GoDaddy. A number of short acronyms have sold for good amounts, such as TV.cc for $37,000 and DNA.cc at $15,500. A few of the more significant sales of short words are new.cc ($7856), shave.cc ($7000), block.cc ($4950), pay.cc ($4033), share.cc ($4000), and rent.cc also at $4000. Types Of Names That Sell In .CC The types of names that sell in the .cc extension are very different from any other extension. Numeric, acronym and alphanumeric names are popular, reflecting the preferences in Asia where the extension sells best. I looked at the 266 NameBio-reported sales of .cc over the past 5 years, considering only sales at prices of $1000 or more. I characterized each name by type, with the results shown below. 25.4% of all sales were 4N (four number) domains, with another 21.4% 3L (three letter) names. While my assignments may not have been perfect, for names that I recognized as words, there were more English words than Chinese, with 65.6% English. The vast majority of English words that sold were both common and short, with no particular sector concentration. Here are some of the words that sold for $1000 or more in the past 5 years: aurora, bay, block, chat, cheap, check, clothing, coupon, cow, data, diamond, diamonds, dot, exchange, host, hug, lighthouse, mobile, new, pay, photo, picnic, rent, route, sea, share, store, test, token, wifi. Plurals were rare, and only a single hyphenated name, sci-hub. The word diamond sold in both singular and plural forms. A few multi-word English words sold, such as OKdownloads, WebHostingDirectory, RedBus, HubMovie, MaskWholesale and TheWatchSeries. There were occasional place or people names, such as Ron, Peggy, Italy, Shala and Christ. Sale Venues Almost half, 47.3%, of the sales above $1000 were at GoDaddy, with 31.7% more at DropCatch. Sedo came next with 10.7% followed by NameJet at 5.0%. SnapNames, Flippa and Dynadot all had sales, but less than 5% of total. Where the sales happened makes me wonder how many of the sales, even though $1000 and up, were in fact wholesale acquisitions. Keep in mind that sales from many venues are not in the NameBio database, however. Use And Registrations While just over 900 .cc websites make it to the Alexa 1M measure of the top sites of the web, none of them are higher than about position 500. One simple test I do to get a rough idea of use of an extension is to look at how many results come up with a Google search on site:.cc. This restricts search to results on .cc domain names. Many of the results are duplicates, so don’t place much importance on the absolute numbers, but it is probably a useful comparison between different extensions. When I did the search on site:.cc, there were about 800 million results, more than .io at 280 million, although less than 1.2 billion results for .co. Google search results vary with factors such as location and history, so your results may be different. The .cc search produced significantly more site results than .gg, .vc or .ai. Fairly widespread use of .cc in operating websites seems indicated. It was hard to get consistent registration data for this extension, but the historical graph provided by DomainNameStat indicates just under 1.16 million registrations currently, with continued strong growth from 2015 when registrations spiked. The .cc extension has fewer registrations than .co and .me, but more than .io or .tv. The Many Things CC Could Represent In their promotional page for the .cc extension, Verisign point out a number of things it could represent such as Chat Club, Crypto Currency, Country Club, Cyber Cafe, Community College, Call Center, etc. I provided some additional possibilities in this NamePros Blog post on matching meaning across the dot. It seems that Christian Church, Creative Commons and Cycling Club, along with various possibilities involving communication and consultant, are among the most frequent uses. With so many keywords starting with C, the extension is one of the most versatile country codes for creating meaning out of the letters. Some consulting companies give meaning to the CC in their branding message, as done by this Spanish language consulting business. The best known organization and store in the hobbyist smart electronic systems sector, Arduino, operate on arduino.cc. As an open-source electronics platform, the creative commons meaning of .cc is a natural fit for their domain name. There are many churches using .cc domain names. You can see some of them by doing a Google search on church site:.cc. Similarly, try a search on cycle site:.cc to see some of the cycling clubs and businesses using the extension. An example of a cycling business on the extension is maap.cc. One thing I noticed was that while there are many churches, cycling clubs, consultants and creative commons groups using a .cc domain name, not many of the aftermarket sales seem to be in those sectors. I suspect many are using a hand-registered domain name. Use of .cc is really very diverse. In my research I stumbled upon a site for a well-known Canadian private school, Rothesay Netherwood, operating on the extension, for example. Criticisms Criticisms of the extension are usually around either the narrow categories of names that sell, lack of major use, or sometimes mention of abuse. The latter does not seem to be borne out by data, for the past several years at least. Spamhaus tracks the fraction of domain names that have had reported spam or other abuse. When I checked .cc was at 7.7% for a score of 0.53 (a lower score is better). That is pretty similar to .net, that was at 6.9% and 0.73 score. The .cc extension is much better in terms of abuse than either .biz or .us that were 14.1% for a 1.23 score and 18.3% for a 1.72 score respectively. The .cc abuse numbers are a bit worse than .com, which was at 4.0% and a score of 0.50 the day I checked. Being managed by Verisign, it is not surprising that .cc has a respectable reputation in terms of lack of abuse. It is possible that the situation was different in the past - the number of registrations grew strongly in early fall 2015. Another criticism I have heard is that .cc is used only in China, but that does not seem to be the case based on my research on operating websites. The extension can be sold through all of the major marketplaces, but it can not be used for fast transfer in the premium network at Sedo. To my knowledge, the main brandable marketplaces do not handle the extension at this time. Another criticism sometimes voiced, that there is little .cc use in significant websites, does not seem fair based on the data. It is true, though, that there is not a dominant large user on the extension, unless one counts Arduino. I am left somewhat perplexed why .cc does not sell more broadly. While there are impressive sales in numerics, alphanumerics and algorithms, it is surprising how few words have sold in the extension. The key unanswered question is whether a broader array of longer words will become more popular in the future, making this a good investment opportunity, or whether the extension will always have sales mainly in the narrow range of past sales. If sales do broaden to more single and double word names, the second question is what sectors will be popular. TIP: If you do decide to hand register in the extension, look out for multi-year registrations. They can be a good deal for an investor planning to hold for the long term. Please share your thoughts on investing prospects for the .cc extension in the comments, and vote in the associated poll. Sincere thanks to NameBio and Domain Name Stat for information used in this analysis.