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.
2015-11-10 Out now: NMControl v0.8.1.
2015-10-13 A vulnerability was found in Bitcoin Core. It allows an attack from malicious peers in the local network via UPNP. Namecoin is affected, too, so everybody should turn off UPNP until further notice.
2015-08-13 Fix for OpenSSL Consensus Vulnerability has been deployed on 100% of mining hashpower. Users of NamecoinQ (i.e. namecoind/Namecoin-Qt 0.3.x) are on semi-SPV security, and should wait for at least 6 confirmations for incoming transactions. Users of Namecoin Core (in beta) are on full-node security. Thanks to the miners for their quick action and everyone else who assisted in the response.
2015-07-29 Warning: severe vulnerability disclosed - be careful.
2015-05-19 Check out the Namecoin Bounty Cornucopia.
2015-04-17 The Namecoin blockchain is now four years old. Happy birthday!
2015-03-20 Interview with Namecoin lead developer Daniel Kraft.
2014-12-19 Softfork upcoming with block 212500 (around New Year’s Eve). Pool operators and solo miners please update to v0.3.80 asap. Regular users are recommended to update, too. See the Release notes.
2014-12-16 As of block 210000 the Namecoin block reward halved to 25NMC. Happy halving day!
2014-04-20 Thanks to Shobute for designing and Indolering for pushing the new website.
Official anouncements will also be made on this BitcoinTalk thread.
Help keep us strong. You can donate to the Namecoin project here.