|Central bank||None. The Namecoin peer-to-peer network regulates and distributes through consensus in protocol.|
|Date of introduction||18 April 2011|
|Inflation||Limited release as a geometric series, rate halves every 4 years reaching a final total of 21 million NMC. There will eventually be a very small amount of deflation, as a small amount of NMC is destroyed when a name is registered.|
Namecoin (sign: ℕ; code: NMC) is a cryptocurrency which also acts as an alternative, decentralized DNS, which would avoid domain name censorship by making a new top level domain outside of ICANN control, and in turn, make internet censorship much more difficult, as well as reduce outages.
There is a limit of 21 million Namecoins, and each Namecoin is divisible down to 8 decimal places. Namecoin currently uses the .bit domain, and as of July 2013As of July 2013[update], 78549 .bit domains have been registered. bit domains are not currently awarded, hence to resolve domain names, one must have either a copy of the Namecoin "blockchain" (a decentralized ledger storing all transactions and domains), or access to a public DNS server that participates in the Namecoin system.
A Namecoin like system was first described in 2010, with ideas such as BitDNS by Appamato, and then by internet activist Aaron Swartz, as a counterexample to Zooko's triangle. A few months later on April 18, 2011, it was implemented as Namecoin (which at the time had no GUI). In June 2011, Wikileaks publicly endorsed Namecoin. In September 2011, Namecoin switched to merged mining (see the mining section). In 2013, GUIs, such as Namecoin Qt began to appear; as of November 5, the latest version of Namecoin Qt is version 0.3.72.
Although Namecoin can be used as a currency, it is mainly intended to be used as a decentralized DNS. Domain names are registered by paying a small fee (to stop spam and leave domains for future users) of 0.01 NMC, they are then updated for the first time, after this the person owns the domain, which can only be removed from them if they choose to transfer it. Domain names must be updated every 250 days, or they will expire.
There are also other possible Namecoin uses including:
- Login system
- Notary/timestamp system (note that this is not unique to Namecoin, other cryptocurrencies could implement this too)
- Torrent tracker via magnet links
- Public file checksum, which would be used to ensure integrity of files, they would be stored on the Namecoin network to ensure the checksum itself couldn't be tampered with.
- Web of trust
- Personal namespace
- Messaging system
- Alias system
- Identity system
Namecoin production and transfer is handled by a peer-to-peer network similar to that of Bitcoin. A proof-of-work system is used, where nodes search for a small enough hash (SHA-256) value in a process called mining. When a small enough value is found, the node which found the hash is credited with a set number of Namecoins (50 NMC as of Nov 2013), and the hash, along with any transactions or domain name registrations, is added to a decentralized ledger called the blockchain. After several subsequent hashes have been added onto the blockchain, transactions and registrations are considered to be irreversible, as an attacker would have to find a new set of hashes to replace all the preceding ones (this would require an infeasible amount of computing power).
Payments in Namecoin are made to addresses (based on digital signatures). Addresses are human readable strings of 33 numbers beginning with the letters N or M, for example, MyPpNEZ2vLpc58Cs71aNjy86FTSobshBDS (they used to start with 1, like Bitcoin, but this was changed to avoid confusion). This makes Namecoin pseudonymous, but not anonymous.
Namecoin can be traded for other currencies through various online exchanges.
Since domains are extremely cheap to obtain with Namecoin, and registered domains cannot be seized (they can only be transferred by their owner), Namecoin has had issues with cybersquatters buying up domains, hoping to resell them later for a profit.
On October 15, 2013, a major flaw in the namecoin protocol was revealed by the Kraken exchange COO, Michael Grønager. The exploit allowed any user to freely steal any domain from any other user. A temporary fix was deployed which prevents fraudulent name transactions from affecting the name database without requiring miner intervention, and a long-term fix which rejects blocks containing such transactions is scheduled for block 150,000 if a majority of miners upgrade.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Namecoin.|
- What are Namecoins and .bit domains?, CoinDesk, 02-07-2013
- Anonymous “dimnet” tries to create hedge against DNS censorship ars technica, 02-07-2013
- NameCoin and BitCoin, keys to web anonymity, Intelligence Online, 02-07-2013
- Bitcoin online currency gets new job in web security, The New Scientist, 02-07-2013
- Началась регистрация бесплатных доменов, xakep, 02-07-2013
- Ruxum: Wall Street Level Security Comes To Bitcoin With New Exchange, TechCrunch, 02-07-2013
- Namecoin: децентрализирана и защитена DNS, бзирана на P2P, download.bg, 02-07-2013
- What is Namecoin?, Archived version of page, www.intelchange.com/?page_id=148, 02-07-2013
- Technological Jailbreak: Bitcoin to Namecoin, Bitcoin Weekly, 02-07-2013
- "bitcoin-contact.org". Namecoin.bitcoin-contact.org. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
- Is Namecoin undervalued at 0.006 BTC?, Coinjockey.com, 02-07-2013
- Namecoin (NMC), CRYPTOCURRENCIES ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED ABOUT CRYPTOCURRENCIES, 02-07-2013
- BitDNS and Generalizing Bitcoin, bitcointalk, 02-07-2013
- Aaron Swartz, Squaring the Triangle: Secure, Decentralized, Human-Readable Names, Aaron Swartz, January 6, 2011
- Bitcoin: censorship-resistant currency and domain name system to the people, Du�san Barok, Networked Media, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 02-07-2013
- vinced/namecoin, GitHub, 02-07-2013
- [announce] Namecoin - a distributed naming system based on Bitcoin, bitcointalk, 02-07-2013
- WIKILEAKS ENDORSES BITCOIN AND NAMECOIN, TREE PROTECTOR, 02-07-2013
- Out now: Namecoin-Qt & daemon with the name enforcing bug fixed.
- Namecoin - A DNS alternative based on Bitcoin, BLUISH CODER, 02-07-2013
- NAMECOIN: CRYPTOGRAPHIC LOGIN THAT DOESN’T SUCK, P2P CONNECTS US, 02-07-2013
- Could the Bitcoin network be used as an ultrasecure notary service?, Techworld, 02-07-2013
- The Pirate Bay as Blockchain?, bitcointalk, 02-07-2013
- [NMC] Brainstorm: File Signing, bitcointalk, 02-07-2013
- Personal Namespace, Dot BIT, 02-07-2013
- Messaging System, Dot BIT, 02-07-2013
- Namecoin block explorer, Archived here, 02-07-2013
- ecdsa.org/bitcoin-alias/, Archived page, 02-07-2013
- ecdsa.org/bitcoin_URIs.html, Archived page, 02-07-2013
- Namespace:Identity, Dot BIT, 02-07-2013
- Bitcoin's successors: from Litecoin to Freicoin and onwards, The Guardian, 02-07-2013
- How it is possible to mine together Bitcoins and Namecoins?, Bitcoin CZ Mining, 02-07-2013
- Namecoin block explorer, 02-07-2013
- Miers, Ian. Zerocoin: Anonymous Distributed E-Cash from Bitcoin. isi.jhu.edu
- "A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering: Zerocoin: making Bitcoin anonymous". Archived from the original on 2013-04-29.. Blog.cryptographyengineering.com (11 April 2013). Retrieved on 20 April 2013.
- https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=310954 | title=Namecoin was stillborn, had to switch off life support