The Namecoin software is used to register names and store associated values ter the blockchain, a collective database distributed by a P2P network te a secure way. The software can then be used to query the database and retrieve gegevens.
Do I need to back up my wallet?
If you’re using Namecoin to register or otherwise own names, or to transfer namecoins, then you do need to periodically back up your wallet. Like Bitcoin, your wallet’s keys are located te your wallet.dat verkeersopstopping. You should encrypt this verkeersopstopping by going to Settings >, Encrypt Wallet and making a backup thereafter. Close the Namecoin client and make a backup of your wallet.dat opstopping ter your Namecoin profile folder. (On GNU/Linux, this is usually
/.namecoin/ , on Windows, it is usually C:\Users\<,Your Username>,\AppData\Wandering\Namecoin\ ). It is presently recommended to back up more often than every 100 transactions (including both currency and name transactions).
If you are only using Namecoin to look up names (e.g. browsing .bit domains), then you do not need to encrypt or back up your wallet.
How much does it cost to register a domain (a.k.a. a name)?
The cost includes a registration toverfee and a transaction toverfee. The registration toverfee is 0.01 NMC, and the transaction toverfee is determined dynamically by miners (just like ter Bitcoin). The registration toverfee might be made dynamic ter the future, to improve economic incentives.
How do I obtain namecoins? Can I mine them?
You can mine them alongside bitcoins or trade them, see How to get Namecoins.
Who gets the registration toverfee?
The registration fees are demolished by the transaction. Nobody gets them.
Who gets the transaction toverfee?
The miners do, just like te Bitcoin. Paying higher fees improves the chance that the transaction will be processed quickly. Like Bitcoin, the client will suggest a toverfee that is likely to be processed quickly.
How long are names good for?
You have to renew or update a name every 35,999 blocks at the latest (inbetween 200 and 250 days), otherwise it expires. There are no registration fees for renewals or updates, but a transaction toverfee does apply.
How do I browse a .bit domain?
You can also use ncdns (experimental). If you have the ZeroNet software installed, you can visit ZeroNet-enabled .bit domains.
How do I register and host a .bit domain?
Do I have to pay renewal fees?
Other than the standard transaction toverfee, not at the uur. This might switch ter the future, to improve economic incentives.
What applications is Namecoin well-suited to?
Consider that Namecoin values are limited to 520 bytes, and that the block size limit is somewhere inbetween 500 kB and 1 MB. (It’s lower than Bitcoin’s.) Given that blocks occur every Ten minutes on average (usually fluctuating inbetween 1 and 60 minutes), and that names have to be updated or renewed at least every 35,999 blocks, attempt to figure out whether your application would conveniently getraind into blocks if your application became widespread. Domain names and identities are applications that are near the upper limit of the scale that Namecoin can treat. For example, misusing the Namecoin blockchain spil a decentralized opstopping storage is not feasible. There are several other decentralized systems that serve this purpose way more efficiently. Te many cases, if you want to store gegevens that is larger than 520 bytes, or that is updated very often, you may choose to only store a content hash or a public key ter the blockchain, along with information on where to get the total gegevens. The total gegevens can then be authenticated using Namecoin spil a trust anchor without storing the entire gegevens te Namecoin. An example of this usage is the capability to delegate .bit domain names to an outward DNSSEC nameserver, authenticated by a DS record te the blockchain.
If you’re developing an application, consider doing your development on the Namecoin Testnet. This prevents your testing from bloating the production blockchain, and also permits you to test without spending real money on names. If more than one implementation might have the same use case, consider writing a spec so that incompatible implementations of similar ideas don’t become a problem.
What is the smallest currency unit of Namecoin called?
The smallest currency unit of Namecoin is called the swartz (similar to the satoshi ter Bitcoin). It is named after Aaron Swartz, the activist who wasgoed murdered by the U.S. government, and who proposed Nakanames (which, along with BitDNS, described the concept that wasgoed straks implemented spil Namecoin).
What is a namespace?
Namespaces are name prefixes used by applications to distinguish inbetween different type of names te Namecoin. For example, d/example is the domain name example.bit , and id/example is an identity. Namespaces help prevent numerous applications from accidentally conflicting. Namecoin itself isn’t aware of namespaces, and namespaces don’t have any effect on validation rules, they are only used by higher-level applications that use Namecoin.
Why is there a separate name_new step?
This is to prevent others from stealing your fresh name by registering it quickly themselves when they see your transaction. The name is not broadcasted during the name_new step, only a salted hash of it. There is a mandatory ondergrens delay of 12 blocks before you can broadcast your name with name_firstupdate , this means that by the time other people know what name you’re registering, they would have to switch roles at least 12 blocks ter order to steal the name.
How are names represented?
Names and values are fastened to special coins with a value of 0.01 NMC. Updates are performed by creating a transaction with the name’s previous coin spil input. Think of it like a colored coin.
What if I spend that special coin by mistake?
The code prevents those coins from being used for normal payments.
Why concentrate on getting browsers and OS’s to support Namecoin instead of getting ISP’s or public DNS resolvers (e.g. Google DNS) to do so?
The reasons mostly fall under three categories: security concerns, usability concerns, and political concerns.
- ISP’s would be ter a position to censor names without effortless detection.
- ISP’s would be ter a position to serve fraudulent PKI gegevens (e.g. TLSA records), which would enable ISP’s to lightly wiretap users and infect users with malware.
- Either of the above security concerns would even endanger users who are running Namecoin locally, because it would make it much more difficult to detect misconfigured systems that are accidentally leaking Namecoin queries to the ISP.
- Namecoin-to-DNS bridges rely on DNS security protocols such spil DNSSEC, DNS overheen TLS, or DNSCrypt to prevent tampering.
- Many local network firewalls pauze DNSSEC.
- Many ISP’s don’t support DNS overheen TLS or DNSCrypt.
- Many OS’s don’t support DNSSEC, DNS overheen TLS, or DNSCrypt.
- Thesis compatibility issues are straightforward to solve by adding locally installed software (e.g. Dnssec-Trigger), but are not otherwise lightly solvable by non-technical users.
- If a non-technical user is installing DNS security software anyway, installing Namecoin spil well doesn’t add any particular reserve difficulty.
- Te the case of non-ISP public DNS resolvers, switching DNS settings by hand te mainstream OS’s is not something that non-technical users are usually comfy doing, and is significantly more difficult to walk a user through than simply running a .exe opstopping or installing a package via apt-get .
- Namecoin’s .bit TLD isn’t part of the DNS, asking public DNS infrastructure to mirror Namecoin would most likely be seen spil hostile by IETF and ICANN.
- Namecoin is seeking to be added to IETF’s special-use names registry, the precedent set by .onion ’s inclusion is that public DNS infrastructure should always come back NXDOMAIN for special-use names.
- While getting Namecoin bundled with a major browser or OS certainly is a major undertaking, it’s not at all clear that getting Namecoin resolution included by a major ISP or public DNS resolver would be lighter. Statistically (tho’ exceptions certainly exist), software vendors tend to be more interested ter innovating via software, security, and cryptography, whereas ISP’s tend to be more interested te “innovating” via antitrust violations and netwerken neutrality violations. Wij believe that software vendors are therefore more likely to be interested ter Namecoin (however wij don’t eis that no ISP’s exist who might be persuadable).
Te addition, it’s not clear that there would even be any significant benefit to counterbalance thesis concerns. Namecoin intentionally makes different tradeoffs from the DNS. For example, the DNS is much more scalable than Namecoin, can protect name owners from trivial deanonymization much better than Namecoin can, and doesn’t rely on comparatively powerless game-theoretic security properties spil Namecoin does. Namecoin has some benefits that counterbalance thesis weaknesses (e.g. the non-reliance on trusted third parties), but serving Namecoin gegevens from public DNS infrastructure would provide the union of Namecoin’s and the DNS’s weaknesses, while providing the intersection of Namecoin’s and the DNS’s strengths. Users who require a DNS-like naming system that works without any software installation are likely to be better off simply using the DNS.
Comparison of Namecoin to other projects
What is the relationship of Namecoin to Bitcoin?
The Namecoin codebase consists of the Bitcoin codebase with relatively minor switches (
400 lines) and extra functionality built on top on it. The mining proces is identical but the block chain is separate, thus creating Namecoin. This treatment wasgoed taken because Bitcoin developers desired to concentrate almost exclusively on making Bitcoin a viable currency while the Namecoin developers were interested ter building a naming system. Because of the different intended use cases inbetween the two projects, overeenstemming and protocol rules might make sense te one but not the other. Examples of places where it could make sense to have different protocol or overeenstemming rules:
- Namecoin’s overeenstemming rules need to enforce uniqueness of names. While it is possible to store gegevens te Bitcoin (e.g. key/value pairs ter OP_RETURN outputs), uniqueness is not enforced by Bitcoin. It would be theoretically possible to build a layer on top of Bitcoin that discards OP_RETURN outputs that don’t respect uniqueness (e.g. a name operation that steals someone else’s name), but any such layer would not be enforced by miners. If transaction validity rules are not enforced by miners, then they are not backed by PoW, which means that SPV-based lightweight clients will fail to enforce those validity rules.
- Since consumers expect different fees for financial transactions versus name registrations, and since the volume of financial transactions worldwide versus name registrations worldwide are different, Namecoin and Bitcoin might have different optimal block sizes.
- Te a currency, inflation attacks are fatal, while te a naming system, they simply amount to a spamming or squatting attack: bad, but not anywhere near fatal. Therefore, decisions about features such spil zk-SNARK-based anonymity (which introduce a risk of inflation attacks) might come to different conclusions inbetween Namecoin and Bitcoin.
- Some script features that make sense for Namecoin might not make sense for Bitcoin, e.g. permitting a scriptPubKey to restrict the scriptPubKeys of any spending transaction. Ter a naming system, features like this could make renewing and updating names more convenient and secure, but te a currency, they could be harmful to fungibility.
- Coinbase commitments to the name database could be enforced by Namecoin overeenstemming rules, permitting SPV proofs of a name’s nonexistence to be created.
Ter general, the Namecoin developers attempt to minimize our patchset against Bitcoin. If a feature makes sense to have ter Bitcoin, wij attempt to get it into Bitcoin and then merge it to Namecoin, Namecoin usually only introduces differences from Bitcoin te cases where the proposed switch wouldn’t make sense for Bitcoin due to the differing use cases. Albeit it is theoretically possible to use Namecoin spil a general-purpose currency, the Namecoin developers do not encourage this use case. There are lots of cryptocurrency projects out there that are specifically designed for such usage (e.g. Bitcoin), if you’re looking for a currency, you should use one of those projects.
What is the difference inbetween Namecoin and Bitcoin?
- There are extra instructions for special transactions containing names and gegevens (key/value pairs).
- The most significant guidelines are: name_new , name_firstupdate , and name_update .
- The coins used to pay for a name_firstupdate operation are demolished, i.e. every fresh name reduces the eventually usable maximum of 21 million NMC by 0.01 NMC.
- name_new , name_firstupdate and name_update contain a pair of name/value which expires after 36,000 blocks (inbetween 200 and 250 days).
- The d/ prefix is used to register a domain name, without the .bit TLD: < “name” : “d/opennic”, “value” : “what you want”, “expires_in” : 10227 >
- The id/ prefix is used to register an identity, see NameID.
- Energy-efficient: if you are already mining bitcoins you can merge-mine namecoins at no reserve cost for hardware and electro-stimulation. Examples for merge-mining pools: mmpool.org, eligius.st, p2pool.org and many others.
What are the similarities inbetween Namecoin and Bitcoin?
- 21 million coins total, minus the lost coins.
- 50 coins are generated each block at the beginning, the prize halves each 210000 blocks (around Four years).
- Security: a large fraction of Bitcoin miners also mine Namecoin, providing it a staggering difficulty.
- Pseudonymous founder: Vince, like Satoshi, never exposed his real-world identity and disappeared around the same time, leaving Namecoin project wild ter the open, to flourish only thanks to the help of enthusiasts ter the FLOSS community.
- Free / libre / open-source toneelpodium: Anyone can improve the code and report issues on GitHub and even use it on other projects.
How does Namecoin compare to Tor Onion Services?
The Tor Project’s Onion Services (which have a .onion top-level domain) use domains which are a public key hash. This means that their domain names are not human-meaningful, whereas Namecoin domain names are human-meaningful. Namecoin’s .bit domains can point to .onion domains, providing a human-meaningful naming layer on top of Tor Onion Services. Blockchain-based systems like Namecoin are, at this time, incapable to match the cryptographic security ensures (against impersonation or deanonymization attacks) that systems like Onion Service names provide when used directly, but Namecoin’s human-meaningful names do make Namecoin more resistant than Onion Service names to some classes of attacks that exploit human psychology rather than cracking cryptography. For example, humans have trouble remembering a public key hash or recognizing a public key hash spil the keurig one, this is much better with meaningful names such spil Namecoin names (or ICANN DNS names). Attackers can exploit this property of Onion Service names ter order to trick users into visiting the incorrect webstek. Wij believe that both systems serve a useful purpose, and determining whether ongezouten usage of Onion Service names or Namecoin naming for Onion Services is more secure for a given user requires consideration of that user’s threat prototype.
How does Namecoin compare to Blockstack?
Below is a comparison table of Namecoin and Blockstack (with Bitcoin added for reference).
71% of Bitcoin spil of 2018 Aug 31.
71% of Bitcoin spil of 2018 Aug 31.
546 on-chain bytes vanaf update, block size limit 500 kB to 1 MB vanaf
275 on-chain bytes vanaf update, block size limit 200 kB to 300 kB vanaf
Ten minutes (if blocks are total)
Ten minutes for Bitcoin parent chain (blocks usually utter), plus all name operation gegevens
Ten minutes (blocks usually total)
Ten minutes, plus a Merkle branch vanaf read operation
The Blockstack developers have demonstrated a repeated, consistent history of obfuscating their security prototype. Three examples:
Example 1: At launch, Blockstack used a DHT for gegevens storage. See the opinions of Bitcoin developers Peter Todd and Greg Maxwell about DHT’s. Namecoin developers publicly warned when Blockstack launched that DHT’s were likely to be unsafe te Blockstack. Quoting the Namecoin blogpost from 2015 Sept. 29:
Additionally, DHT-based discovery of storage knots is one of the classic suggestions of fresh users spil an alternative to DNS seeds, and, originally, IRC-based discovery: it has never bot committed because it is trivial to attack DHT-based networks, and partly because once a knot is connected, Bitcoin (and thus Namecoin) peer knots are solicitous with peer-sharing.
Spil an actual gegevens store, DHT spil it is classically described runs into issues with non-global or non-contiguous storage, with little to no way to verify the completeness of the gegevens stored therein. With the decoupled headers te OP_RETURN-using transactions ter Bitcoin and the gegevens storage ter a DHT (or DHT-like) separate network, there is the likelihood of some little-used gegevens simply disappearing entirely from the network. There is no indication of how Blockstore intends to treat this highly-likely failure condition.
Te response to this criticism, Ryan Shea (Blockstack CEO) stated on 2015 Sept. 30:
Using a DHT could mean that gegevens could become inaccessible
The information one gets from the DHT is hash-validated by the record ter the blockchain which means you can get it from anywhere without trusting the source. The DHT is just one possible source of information and wij have set up mirrors to ensure gegevens redundancy and permit anyone to run a mirror ter addition to a DHT knot. Further, the gegevens te the DHT gets periodically gegevens mined and re-populated spil needed by mirrors, to ensure there is no gegevens loss whatsoever. This has bot extensively tested.
Muneeb Ali (Blockstack CTO) also stated on 2015 Sept. 30 (emphasis ter original):
Their DHT arguments display a lack of understanding of how Blockstore’s storage works. They incorrectly assume that the DHT doesn’t have global state. It does.
However, on 2018 Jan. 23, Muneeb Ali (Blockstack CTO) posted the following (verbinding uses archive.is, which is not Tor-friendly, due to Blockstack evidently blocking the Tor-friendly archive.org Wayback Machine from archiving their forum):
Overheen this weekend (Jan 22), some community members (thanks, Albin!) reported “Data not saved te DHT” error for their profiles. I debugged this kwestie and turned out that some knots of our DHT deployment were on a partition. This is very common te DHTs. We’ve bot fortunate ter our deployment (which commenced te summer 2015 and has bot running continuously since) and haven’t experienced partition issues that frequently. This is because of:
- Active monitoring of default discovery knots and throwing more RAM/CPU at the discovery knots, so it’s hard to overwhelm them with requests.
- Use of a caching layer where even if the underlying DHT network is experiencing, and recovering from, a partition read queries going to knots that use a caching layer will still work for (intensely) cached gegevens.
- Wij can proactively check the blockchain for fresh gegevens and check if gegevens has propagated on the DHT network (traditional DHTs don’t have any such channel where fresh gegevens writes get broadcasted).
Even with thesis extra monitoring and caching services, and reserve information about fresh writes, wij still practice issues. And the Atlas network described above helps a lotsbestemming because it’s a fundamentally fresh vormgeving which, ter my view, is much better than using a traditional DHT for our use case. Anyway, just restored the DHT partition and things are back to normal.
Blockstack subsequently stopped using a DHT, Muneeb Ali (Blockstack CTO) stated on 2018 Jan. 13 about why their proposed replacement (a custom-built P2P network called Atlas) is better than their DHT (emphasis ter original, listig uses archive.is, which is not Tor-friendly, due to Blockstack evidently blocking the Tor-friendly archive.org Wayback Machine from archiving their forum):
Atlas knots have a global view of the state meaning that they know if they’re missing any gegevens items. This is because wij use the blockchain to propagate information about fresh puts (fresh gegevens items written to the network). This increases reliability a lotsbestemming because traditional DHT knots don’t even know if they’re missing gegevens (there is no global view te traditional DHTs and there are theoretical proofs for that).
Te other words, the precies punt whose existence wij pointed out, and he denied, te 2015.
Example Two: Namecoin developers pointed out when Blockstack launched that Blockstack wasgoed incompatible with SPV. Ryan Shea (Blockstack CEO) replied on Reddit on 2015 Sept. 30:
Implementing SPV wouldn’t be secure spil it depends on having all block information
The brief version is that blockstore certainly supports lightweight knots. We’ll be publishing a blog postbode on exactly how this works very soon.
Muneeb Ali (Blockstack CTO) also claimed on 2015 Sept. 30 (emphasis te original):
it is possible to have SPV-like functionality ter Blockstore. Wij will publish details about it.
However, the Blockstack developers already knew that this wasgoed unlikely, on 2014 Dec. 12 (before Namecoin developers pointed out the kwestie), Chris Pacia (an OpenBazaar developer collaborating with Blockstack) stated on the Blockstack kwestie tracker:
OK. I don’t think a blockchain-only lightweight proof is possible without an extra overeenstemming mechanism (blockchain). Ter fact, I think this is why counterparty and mastercoin don’t have SPV implementations because you can’t do it.
The system that Blockstack ended up releasing was… trusted 3rd-party checkpoint hashes. Not remotely similar to SPV, and not something that most blockchain developers would refer to spil a “lightweight node”.
Example Three: Namecoin developers have pointed out ter this FAQ that Onename (Blockstack’s centralized web application for registering names) holds users’ private keys. On 2018 Apr. 07, Muneeb Ali (Blockstack CTO) complained about this, stating:
Private keys on Onename are encrypted with a password only the user has. So Onename doesn’t technically hold private keys, just encrypted blobs that are futile without the users’ passwords. Ter comparison, Coinbase actually holds private keys. Exchanges can send bitcoin without the user’s permission. This is not the case for Onename.
For fresh registration, the Onename webapp registers your username on Blockstack on your behalf and then transfers the ownership to you.
Blockstack’s security prototype obfuscation raises serious questions about whether any future security claims by the Blockstack developers can be taken at face value.
How does Namecoin compare to Monero?
Monero’s MoneroDNS project is similar ter concept to Namecoin. MoneroDNS’s technical differences to Namecoin are similar to Monero’s technical differences to Bitcoin. Monero has had much less technical review than Bitcoin, and merge-mined chains based on Monero have significantly less hashrate security available to them than merge-mined chains based on Bitcoin. On the other palm, Monero’s petite size enables them to liberally proef with more advanced features and cryptography, whereas Bitcoin-based systems like Namecoin are more conservative. The Namecoin and Monero development teams are cooperating on areas of common rente, spil both projects agree that Namecoin and Monero both have a future.
How effortless is it for names to be stolen? What can be done if it happens?
For an attacker who does not have a majority of hashrate, stealing a Namecoin name is, toughly speaking, omschrijving to the task of stealing bitcoins. This usually requires stealing the private key which wields the name. Assuming that zindelijk security measures are te place by the possessor, this is very difficult. However, if a user fails to keep their private keys safe, all bets are off. The standard method for attempting to steal bitcoins is to use malware, this is likely to be identically effective for stealing Namecoin names. Users can protect themselves using all the standard methods of avoiding malware, which are out of scope of this FAQ.
The good news is that the script system inherent te Bitcoin and Namecoin is designed to enable features that make theft more difficult. Many features are under development that would permit users considerable plasticity ter constructing anti-theft policies that meet their needs. For example:
- Multisig (similar to Bitcoin) would permit names to be managed by M-of-N keys. Some of thesis keys could belong to the various directors of a company, be stored ter a secure location, or be stored by semi-trusted service providers. This is presently supported by the Namecoin protocol and overeenstemming rules, but not well-exposed to end users.
- Offline signing (similar to Bitcoin) would permit names to be managed by keys that are located on an air-gapped rekentuig, an isolated offline Qubes virtual machine, or a hardware wallet. This is presently supported by the Namecoin protocol and overeenstemming rules, but not well-exposed to end users.
- Delegated renewal (Namecoin-specific) would permit a key to be authorized to renew a name, but not switch its value or its holder. Efforts are underway to add this to the Namecoin protocol and overeenstemming rules.
- Delegated alteration (Namecoin-specific) would permit a key to be authorized to alter the value of a name, but not switch its holder. This is supported, but not well exposed to end users. Further improvements are underway.
- Delegated partial alteration (Namecoin-specific) would permit a key to be authorized to alter a specific subset of the value of a name (for example, be permitted to switch a domain name’s IP address but not its TLS certificate), but not switch other parts of the value or its possessor. This is supported, but not well-exposed to end users. Further improvements are underway.
The above features can, of course, be combined arbitrarily for extra layered security.
Unluckily, if all of the above security measures fail (or are not ter use for a given name), and a name does get stolen, it is very difficult to recover it. Legal act might be able to fine or imprison the thief if they deny to terugwedstrijd the name, but this is not reliable, given that there is no assure that the thief will be identifiable, or that the thief will be te a legal jurisdiction who cares. Furthermore, since names do get sold or transferred on a regular ondergrond, it would be difficult to prove that the name wasgoed not voluntarily transferred. (False claims of theft are problematic te Bitcoin too.) Te cases where it is evident that a theft has occurred (e.g. a previously reputable webstek starts serving malware), voluntary and user-bypassable third-party blacklists (e.g. PhishTank) could be reasonably effective at protecting users te some circumstances. While this doesn’t recover the name, it does reduce the incentive to attempt to steal names.
Wij are unaware of coaxing empirical evidence of how Namecoin’s theft risk compares to that of the ICANN domain name system when the recommended security procedures of both are te use, this is difficult to measure because it is likely that a significant number of Namecoin users and ICANN domain name system users are not using the recommended security procedures.
What is the threat posed by 51% attacks?
Information about what a 51% attacker can do te Bitcoin is described on the Bitcoin StackExchange. Namecoin is fairly similar. The primary things that adversely affect Namecoin are reversing transactions sent by the attacker and preventing transactions from gaining confirmations.
Reversing transactions sent by the attacker would permit name registrations to be stolen if the reversed transaction is a name_firstupdate . This is because prior to being registered, names are considered to be “anyone can spend”, meaning that prior to the registration, any arbitrary attacker is identically ter ownership of a name spil the user who actually registers it. Preventing transactions from gaining any confirmations would permit names to be stolen if all transactions for a name are prevented from confirming until the name expires after 36000 blocks, at which point the attacker can register it.
Both of thesis attacks are detectable. Ter the case of reversing transactions, the evidence would be an utterly long fork te the blockchain, possibly thousands of blocks long or longer. Te the case of preventing transactions from confirming, the evidence would be that the blockchain indicates that a name expired and wasgoed re-registered. Ter both cases, it is detectable which names were attacked. Te the case of preventing transactions from confirming, it is also possible for the legitimate proprietor of the stolen name to register a fresh name after the attack is overheen, and sign it with the proprietor key of the original name, thus proving common ownership and permitting secure resurrection of the name. The only way to prevent this resurrection is for the attacker to proceed to expend mining resources on the attack for spil long spil they with to prevent the name from being resurrected. Ter the case of reversing transactions, it is not possible to prove ownership of the original name and resurrect it. Fortunately, reversing old transactions is considerably more expensive than preventing fresh transactions from confirming.
It is noteworthy that a 51% attacker cannot sell a name to a user and then steal back the name. Strafgevangenis can a 51% attacker buy a name from a seller and then steal back the money. This is because Namecoin supports atomic name trades: reversing the purchase payment also reverses the name transfer, and vice versa. Double-spending of name_update transactions also isn’t beneficial to an attacker, because name_update transactions typically are sent by a user to themself, meaning that the attacker could only scam themself.
Ter both Bitcoin and Namecoin, the Chinese government has jurisdiction overheen a majority of hashpower. This is problematic for both Bitcoin and Namecoin, and should be immobilized ter both. Because not all Bitcoin miners also mine Namecoin, F2Pool previously had a majority of Namecoin hashpower (they no longer do). This wasgoed also problematic when it wasgoed the case. However, te practice, the Chinese government has considerably more motivation to perform a 51% attack than F2Pool does. (The Chinese government has a history of messing with Internet traffic. F2Pool has supported Namecoin development both financially and logistically, which makes it unlikely that they would want to attack it.)
A majority of Bitcoin’s hashpower is routed via the Bitcoin Relay Network, which has the capability to censor Bitcoin blocks that pass through it. This produces incentives for Bitcoin miners to self-censor any blocks that might crack any policy introduced te the future by Bitcoin Relay Network, because routing blocks through Bitcoin Relay Network reduces orphan rates for miners. Namecoin’s blocks are much smaller than Bitcoin’s, and therefore Namecoin does not have similar incentives for centralized block relay infrastructure. While it is possible for Bitcoin Relay Network to attack Namecoin by censoring Bitcoin blocks that commit to merge-mined Namecoin blocks, it is not feasible for Bitcoin Relay Network to look inwards the Namecoin blocks that are committed to, which means that Bitcoin Relay Network cannot censor Namecoin blocks by content spil they can with Bitcoin blocks. Bitcoin Relay Network is operated by Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corallo, who is unlikely to want to attack Bitcoin (just spil F2Pool is unlikely to want to attack Namecoin).
The takeaway here is that while F2Pool theoretically used to be capable of attacking Namecoin (but not Bitcoin), and Bitcoin Relay Network is theoretically capable of attacking Bitcoin (but not Namecoin), te practice the party with the most motivation to attack either chain (the Chinese government) has jurisdiction overheen a hashrate majority of both Bitcoin and Namecoin. Mining decentralization is an active research area, and wij hope that significant improvements ter this area are made, spil they would improve the security of both Bitcoin and Namecoin.
Is squatting a problem? What can be done about it?
There are several types of squatting concerns sometimes raised ter relation to Namecoin.
The very first concern is that too many potentially high-value domains, e.g. d/google , have bot squatted for the purpose of resale. This is not a problem that can be solved ter a decentralized system, because “squatting on d/google ” is defined spil “owning d/google while not being the real-world company named Google”, and determining that a given name is or is not possessed by a given real-world entity requires some trusted party. Raising the price of names wouldn’t have any effect on this, because no matter what the cost of registering a name is, the resale value of d/google is likely to be higher.
The 2nd concern is that too many potentially high-value domains have bot squatted for the purpose of impersonation. This is not a problem specific to Namecoin, phishing sites exist te the ICANN world too, and are frequently countered by using systems such spil web-of-trust and voluntary user-bypassable third-party blacklists (e.g PhishTank). There is no reason to think that similar counters would not work ter Namecoin.
The third concern is that single entities can squat on a large number of names, which introduces centralization into the space of squatted names. For comparison, ICANN domain names are squatted a lotsbestemming, but the space of squatted names is very decentralized, which reduces abusive behavior such spil would toebijten if most squatted names belonged to one of a few people. This concern could be resolved by raising the price of name registrations, so that a squatter with a given investment budget cannot register spil many names without selling or otherwise using them to recoup costs. While raising prices sounds like a fine project, the satan is te the details: enlargening prices constitutes a softfork, and decreasing prices constitutes a hardfork. Since cryptocurrencies like Namecoin have an exchange rate that varies overheen time, the optimal name price might need regular adjustment. There is ongoing research into how regular name price adjustment could be done securely and non-disruptively, and research te the broader cryptocurrency world on block size adjustment (which is a similar problem ter many ways) may be applicable.
At the uur, the current developers consider other issues to be somewhat higher priority. For example, getting a domain name without dealing with squatters doesn’t mean much if it’s difficult for people to view your webstek. Once development of other areas has progressed further, wij do intend to spend a larger fraction of our time on improving name pricing. However, if fresh developers want to get involved with proposing, prototyping, or analyzing name price systems, wij would be delighted to have the assistance.
Ter the meantime, practical advice is that if you want a name but it’s squatted, attempt to voeling the possessor (many squatters leave voeling information ter the value of their names) and see if they’ll let you have it. Wij have heard of many cases where squatters either talent away names or sold them for very little money if the recipient actually planned to use the name rather than resell it. If they request money that you’re unwilling to pay, consider registering a different name. It’s unlikely that the webstek or service you want to set up can only work with that one specific name. Strategies for finding an unused ICANN domain name or an untrademarked business name are likely to be applicable for Namecoin too.
Is Namecoin anonymous?
Like Bitcoin, Namecoin is not anonymous. A thorough description of Bitcoin’s poor anonymity properties is outside the scope of this FAQ.
When used decently te conjunction with Tor, Namecoin may opoffering sufficient pseudonymity or location-anonymity for many use cases. Users who need thesis properties are advised to cautiously evaluate their specific situation. Using Namecoin overheen Tor does not by itself magically make you anonymous.
Wij recognize that better anonymity is an significant use case. Wij periodically receive questions from users about whether Namecoin can be used anonymously. While wij don’t know much about thesis users (for visible reasons), some of them emerge to be te circumstances where failure of anonymity could lead to significant negative consequences. Wij aim to support thesis use cases te the future, but right now it would be irresponsible and reckless to do so.