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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit public benefit corporation that develops policy on unique identifiers and coordinates the Internet's naming system. In other words, the ICANN is the overseeing body for the domain names on the Internet.
ICANN was formed in 1998 and administers the system that resolves domain names, such as "techopedia.com", with IP addresses, which for this site is 126.96.36.199. These numbers would be long and impractical for Web users to remember. As such, ICANN helps coordinate how IP addresses are supplied to ensure that no two sites are given the same address.
ICANN created the registrar market, in which hundreds of registrars sell domain names for new websites. When you purchase a domain, you do so through a domain registrar, but the the ICANN is the body that supervises the registrars. The ICANN also approves new top-level domains on the Internet, such as ".asia" or ".travel."