We’re happy to announce that Namecoin is receiving 29,895 EUR in funding from NLnet Foundation’s Internet Hardening Fund. If you’re unfamiliar with NLnet, you might want to read about NLnet Foundation, or just take a look at the projects they’ve funded over the years (you might see some familiar names). The Internet Hardening Fund is managed by NLnet and funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs. The funding will be used to fund 4 Namecoin developers (Jeremy Rand, Hugo Landau, Brandon Roberts, and Joseph Bisch) to produce a usable decentralized TLS public key infrastructure.

Specifically, the following areas of development will be funded:

  • Integration with DNS functionality of major operating systems. We intend to support GNU/Linux and Windows, including DNS integration for Tor. Other operating system support may be developed if things go well.
  • Integration with TLS certificate validation functionality of major web browsers. We intend to support Chromium, Firefox, and Tor Browser on GNU/Linux and Windows. Other browser support may be developed if things go well.
  • Improvements to the lightweight SPV name lookup client.
  • A lightweight SPV wallet with name support. We intend to use Electrum.
  • Wallet GUI improvements, including Coin Control for name transactions and a name update GUI that doesn’t require knowing JSON.
  • Improved installation automation. We intend to provide a Windows installer that includes a Namecoin client, DNS integration, and TLS integration. Other OS support may be developed if things go well.

We’d like to thank the awesome people at NLnet Foundation for selecting us for this opportunity, as well as the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs for recognizing that a hardened Internet is worth receiving government financial support.

We’ll be posting updates regularly as development proceeds. (Spoiler alert: a few components are already nearly ready for beta releases.)