Namecoin is an experimental open-source technology which improves decentralization, security, censorship resistance, privacy, and speed of certain components of the Internet infrastructure such as DNS and identities.
(For the technically minded, Namecoin is a key/value pair registration and transfer system based on the Bitcoin technology.)
Bitcoin frees money – Namecoin frees DNS, identities, and other technologies.
What can Namecoin be used for?
- Protect free-speech rights online by making the web more resistant to censorship.
- Attach identity information such as GPG and OTR keys and email, Bitcoin, and Bitmessage addresses to an identity of your choice.
- Human-meaningful Tor .onion domains.
- Decentralized TLS (HTTPS) certificate validation, backed by blockchain consensus.
- Access websites using the .bit top-level domain.
- Proposed ideas such as file signatures, voting, bonds/stocks/shares, web of trust, notary services, and proof of existence. (To be implemented.)
What does Namecoin do under the hood?
- Securely record and transfer arbitrary names (keys).
- Attach a value (data) to the names (up to 520 bytes).
- Transact the digital currency namecoins (NMC).
- Like bitcoins, Namecoin names are difficult to censor or seize.
- Lookups do not generate network traffic (improves privacy).
Namecoin was the first fork of Bitcoin and still is one of the most innovative “altcoins”. It was first to implement merged mining and a decentralized DNS. Namecoin was also the first solution to Zooko’s Triangle, the long-standing problem of producing a naming system that is simultaneously secure, decentralized, and human-meaningful.
2019-04-15 As part of work to ensure that all Namecoin software can be built and distributed in a reproducible fashion, RBM build scripts for ncdns are now available. These scripts are currently experimental, but will become the preferred way to build ncdns.
2019-04-08 This post is an explanation of work originally done by Neil Booth and Roger Taylor (for ElectrumX and Electron-Cash), which Namecoin is adapting for use in Electrum and Electrum-NMC.
2019-03-25 Namecoin’s Chief Scientist Daniel Kraft will be a speaker at CloudFest 2019. Daniel’s talk, What The Cryptocurrency Boom Missed: The Namecoin Story, is on March 28th at 10:55 AM in “Ballsaal Berlin”. The description of his talk is below:
2019-02-10 We’ve released Electrum-NMC v22.214.171.124.1. This release includes an important fix for name transactions (both wallet and lookups), and we recommend that all users upgrade. Here’s what’s new since v126.96.36.199:
2019-02-03 We’ve released Electrum-NMC v188.8.131.52. This release includes important security fixes from upstream Electrum, and we recommend that all users upgrade. Here’s what’s new since v3.2.4b1:
2019-02-02 I posted previously about auditing Electrum-NMC’s bandwidth usage. In that post, I mentioned that there were probably optimizations that could be done to reduce the 3.2 MB per 2016 block headers that get downloaded when looking up a name that’s covered by a checkpoint. I’ve now implemented one of them: AuxPoW truncation.
Official anouncements will also be made on this BitcoinTalk thread.
Help keep us strong. You can donate to the Namecoin project here.