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.

More Information

News

2019-05-21 We’ve released Electrum-NMC v3.3.6. This release includes important security fixes, and we recommend that all users upgrade. Here’s what’s new since v3.3.3.1.1:

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2019-05-16 As Hugo mentioned previously, rbm-based build scripts for ncdns are available. rbm is the build system used by Tor Browser. This work paves the way for reproducible builds of ncdns, improves the security of the build process against supply-chain attacks, and also paves the way for Windows and macOS support in our next-gen TLS interoperability codebase, ncp11 [1]. I’ve been spending some time improving those build scripts; here’s what’s new:

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2019-05-08 As was previously announced, Jonas Ostman, Cassini, and I (Jeremy Rand) represented Namecoin at 35C3 in Leipzig, Germany. Same as last year, we had an awesome time there. As usual for conferences that we attend, we engaged in a large number of conversations with other attendees. Also as usual, I won’t be publicly disclosing the content of those conversations, because I want people to be able to talk to me at conferences without worrying that off-the-cuff comments will be broadcast to the public. However, the first fruits of those discussions started showing up on GitHub by January 2019, so hopefully you won’t be waiting too long. I would like to give a special shout-out to Diego “rehrar” Salazar and Dimi “m2049r” Divak from the Monero community, with whom I spent quite a lot of time hanging out during the Congress – very fun people to talk to.

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2019-04-24 As was previously announced, Namecoin Chief Scientist Daniel Kraft was a panelist at Malta Blockchain Summit 2018, on the “Permissioned vs Permissionless Blockchains” panel. A video of the panel is now available. The video can be viewed via youtube-dl (Debian package) (recommendation by Whonix) if you don’t trust YouTube’s JavaScript (and there’s no reason why you should trust YouTube’s JavaScript!).

2019-04-20 Back in 2015, Namecoin Chief Scientist Daniel Kraft gave a German-language talk at Grazer Linuxtage. A video of his talk is available for interested viewers. The video can be viewed via youtube-dl (Debian package) (recommendation by Whonix) if you don’t trust YouTube’s JavaScript (and there’s no reason why you should trust YouTube’s JavaScript!).

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.

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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.

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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:

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2019-03-06 Upstream ElectrumX has released v1.9.2, which includes several Namecoin-related changes (all of which were submitted by me and merged by Neil). Here’s what’s new for Namecoin:

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2019-02-10 We’ve released Electrum-NMC v3.3.3.1.1. 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 v3.3.3.1:

Read more…

Earlier news

For the latest news go to the Namecoin forum or check out r/namecoin.

Official anouncements will also be made on this BitcoinTalk thread.

Help keep us strong. You can donate to the Namecoin project here.

Participate

With Namecoin you can make a difference. We need your help to free information, especially in documentation, marketing, and coding. You are welcome at the forum. There may be bounties, too.