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


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. 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:

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2019-02-03 We’ve released Electrum-NMC v3.3.3.1. 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:

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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.

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2019-01-30 As was previously announced, I (Jeremy Rand) represented Namecoin at Internet Governance Forum 2018 in Paris.

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2018-12-22 You might have noticed that we’ve been a bit quiet on this news feed as well as social media for the last month. Not to worry, there’s a reason: same as last year, I (Jeremy Rand) and Jonas Ostman will represent Namecoin at 35C3 (the 35th Chaos Communication Congress) in Leipzig, December 27-30. And this time, our R&D lab has been very busy cooking up some cool stuff for 35C3, which is why we haven’t posted much in the last month.

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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.


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.