Namecoin or NMC is the first altcoin (alternative cryptocurrency to BTC) that was launched after Bitcoin with a max. supply of 21 million coins. It was first unveiled on the Bitcointalk forum on April 18 2011. 

NMC is a fork of the BTC protocol and uses DNS (Domain Naming System) to link numerical IP addresses around the world with domain identities.  It aimed to overcome the privacy issues from traditional government and large corporation practices of controlling DNS servers (exp: Chinese government restricts their citizens from accessing certain websites and social applications). 

Other uses Namecoin included:

  1. Identify information such as e-mail addresses, BTC addresses or specified keys and link them to users’ ID information. 
  2. Provide users decentralized TLS (HTTPS) certificate validation
  3. File Signatures
  4. Secure Voting Procedures
  5. Establish Proof of Existence of individuals or entities
  6. Bitcoin and Namecoin to be mined simultaneously


Namecoin was introduced by a developer name Vinced and merited by Bitcointalk forum users: OrgNasty, D5000, tsaroz, nutildah and Financisto. 

But the foundation of the idea was inspired by Satoshi, BTC creator, himself. In December 2010, there was another forum called, “BitDNS and Generalizing Bitcoin” where Satoshi explained the following,

The incentive is to get the rewards from the extra side chains also for the same work. While you are generating bitcoins, why not also get free domain names for the same work?

If you currently generate 50 BTC per week, now you could get 50 BTC and some domain names too. You have one piece of work.  If you solve it, it will solve a block from both Bitcoin and BitDNS.  

In concept, they’re tied together by a Merkle Tree.  To hand it in to Bitcoin, you break off the BitDNS branch, and to hand it in to BitDNS, you break off the Bitcoin branch.


Since its founding date, Namecoin hit its highest price peaks in November 2013 with USD 10.16 and in January 2014, it reached USD 7.53.

Over the years, both volume and price of Namecoin reduced significantly and the crypto coin is now considered “dead.” Eventhough the coin is still available on a few markets, it has low liquidity and the price is as low as USD 0.330141 (as of the date this article was written). 

Although Namecoin never peaked back up again, it’s existence helped people to realize the potential space for altcoins to grow in the crypto market. 


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