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.

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


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Tor Meeting 2024 / GPN 22 / MoneroKon 4 Summary

2024-07-24 As was previously announced, Rose, yanmaani, Hugo, and I (Jeremy Rand) represented Namecoin at three conferences in Europe. This was an excellent series of events for a number of reasons, not least the fact that this is the first time we’ve ever had 4 Namecoin developers attending a single conference (our previous record was 3 developers, at 37C3). Expanding our team size has been a priority for a while, and it’s great to see that this is starting to pay off. Of course, there were major substantive benefits as well. As usual for conferences that Namecoiners attend, we engaged in a large number of conversations with other attendees. Also as usual, we won’t be publicly disclosing the content of those conversations, because I want people to be able to talk to us at conferences without worrying that off-the-cuff comments will be broadcast to the public.

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Reducing Size With Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) and Name Gifting

2024-05-17 Several new Electrum-NMC enhancements have been added.

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Namecoin will be at Tor Meeting 2024, GPN 22, and MoneroKon 4

2024-05-15 We’re happy to announce that Namecoin developers will be at multiple conferences over the next month:

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Electrum-NMC AppArmor, Static Analysis, and Input Validation + ncdns Unix Sockets

2024-05-11 Several new Electrum-NMC & ncdns enhancements have been added.

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rust-electrum-client for Namecoin

2024-05-10 Recently, I needed to use rust-electrum-client with Namecoin. I was kind of worried that this would be nontrivial, but as it turned out, I was able to get it working in just a few days of hacking, despite this being my first foray into Rust.

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Video, Slides, and Paper from Namecoin at GCER 2022

2024-05-09 This post is a bit late, but I represented Namecoin at the 2022 Global Conference on Educational Robotics. Although GCER doesn’t produce official recordings of their talks, I was able to obtain an amateur recording of my talk from an audience member. I’ve also posted my slides, as well as my paper from the conference proceedings.

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Enhancements to IPFS & IPNS: A Closer Look at the Latest Updates

2024-05-01 Several new Electrum-NMC enhancements have been added.

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Electrum-NMC v4.0.6 Released

2023-12-23 We’ve released Electrum-NMC v4.0.6. The changelog will probably be posted after 37C3.

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Namecoin will be at 37C3

2023-12-21 After a lengthy pandemic-induced hiatus, C3 is finally back this year, and we’re happy to announce that three Namecoin developers will be at 37C3 (the 37th Chaos Communication Congress) in Hamburg, December 27-30.

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Namecoin Receives 40.1k EUR in Additional Funding from NLnet Foundation’s NGI Assure Fund and European Commission

2023-12-21 We’re happy to announce that Namecoin is receiving 40,100 EUR (roughly 44,134 USD) in additional funding from NLnet Foundation’s NGI Assure 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 NGI Assure Fund is managed by NLnet and funded by the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, through their Next Generation Internet intitiative. This new funding is focused on Electrum-NMC.

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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.