In a naming system, the ability to transfer ownership of a name to a new keypair has significant security benefits. For example, it allows a corporation to replace the employee s who control a name, and it also allows secure recovery of a name whose keys are believed to have been compromised but which has not yet been stolen. As a result, Namecoin supports the ability to transfer names to a new keypair. As a result, Namecoin supports the ability to transfer names to a different corporation or person.
Since it is always possible for two parties to coordinate a payment out-of-band, it is not possible for a cryptographic naming system to prevent name sales without preventing name donations. As a result, Namecoin supports the ability to sell a name. Namecoin is a fork of Bitcoin, and therefore Namecoin like Bitcoin supports a wide variety of smart contract schemes, including the ability for a transaction to have an arbitrary number of outputs thereby making multiple payments atomically.
Because Namecoin represents names as transaction outputs, it is naturally possible to atomically transfer a name in combination with a currency payment. Technically, it would be possible to softfork Namecoin to ban name outputs from coexisting in a transaction with currency outputs, but in practice this would have detrimental effects unrelated to atomic name trades, because it would also ban change outputs from single-party name transactions.
Because CoinJoin is useful for both scalability and privacy, we would prefer that this rule be removed, and it is possible that a future consensus fork will do so. The mining procedure is identical but the block chain is separate, thus creating Namecoin. This approach was taken because Bitcoin developers wanted to focus almost exclusively on making Bitcoin a viable currency while the Namecoin developers were interested in building a naming system. Because of the different intended use cases between the two projects, consensus and protocol rules might make sense in one but not the other.
Examples of places where it could make sense to have different protocol or consensus rules:. In general, the Namecoin developers attempt to minimize our patchset against Bitcoin. Although it is theoretically possible to use Namecoin as 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.
Bitcoin is the most commonly used parent chain, but others such as BCH are sometimes used as parent chains as well. This means that their domain names are not human-meaningful, whereas Namecoin domain names are human-meaningful. For example, humans have trouble remembering a public key hash or recognizing a public key hash as the correct one; this is much better with meaningful names such as Namecoin names or DNS names.
Attackers can exploit this property of Onion Service names in order to trick users into visiting the incorrect website. Treasury Department Specially Designated Nationals list. In contrast, Namecoin does not have any 3rd party who can censor your ability to receive TLS certificates. For Namecoin, the pricing is more complicated.
In Namecoin, you create a private CA and place its public key into the blockchain; you can use that CA to issue as many certificates for your domain as you like without requiring additional blockchain transactions. Issuing certificates from your private CA e. In contrast, Namecoin TLS certificates will only work without security warnings if Namecoin is installed. The Blockstack developers have demonstrated a repeated, consistent history of obfuscating their security model.
Three examples:. Quoting the Namecoin blogpost from Sept. Additionally, DHT-based discovery of storage nodes is one of the classic suggestions of new users as an alternative to DNS seeds, and, originally, IRC-based discovery: it has never been committed because it is trivial to attack DHT-based networks, and partly because once a node is connected, Bitcoin and thus Namecoin peer nodes are solicitous with peer-sharing.
As an actual data store, DHT as 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 data stored therein. There is no indication of how Blockstore intends to handle this highly-likely failure condition. The information one gets from the DHT is hash-validated by the record in the blockchain which means you can get it from anywhere without trusting the source.
The DHT is just one possible source of information and we have set up mirrors to ensure data redundancy and allow anyone to run a mirror in addition to a DHT node. Further, the data in the DHT gets periodically data mined and re-populated as needed by mirrors, to ensure there is no data loss whatsoever.
This has been extensively tested. It does. However, on Jan. Over this weekend Jan 22 , some community members thanks, Albin! I debugged this issue and turned out that some nodes of our DHT deployment were on a partition. This is very common in DHTs. This is because of:. Even with these additional monitoring and caching services, and extra information about new writes, we still experience issues.
Anyway, just restored the DHT partition and things are back to normal. This is because we use the blockchain to propagate information about new puts new data items written to the network. The short version is that blockstore definitely supports lightweight nodes. We will publish details about it. However, the Blockstack developers already knew that this was impossible; on Dec. The system that Blockstack ended up releasing was… trusted 3rd-party checkpoint hashes.
However, it turned out to be even worse than that. For new registration, the Onename webapp registers your username on Blockstack on your behalf and then transfers the ownership to you. A quite different picture than what one might imagine from what Muneeb said to us. 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.
The Namecoin and Monero development teams are cooperating on areas of common interest, as both projects agree that Namecoin and Monero both have a future. No Namecoin developers participated in the discussion surrounding that vote. Jeremy subsequently recommended the same. Yegor signed off on the blogpost before publication. The blogpost was written on June 30, but publication was delayed by the Tor Developer Meeting. For an attacker who does not have a majority of hashrate, stealing a Namecoin name is, roughly speaking, equivalent to the task of stealing bitcoins.
This usually requires stealing the private key which owns the name. Assuming that proper security measures are in place by the owner, 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 equally 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 in Bitcoin and Namecoin is designed to enable features that make theft more difficult. Many features are under development that would allow users considerable flexibility in constructing anti-theft policies that meet their needs.
For example:. Unfortunately, if all of the above security measures fail or are not in use for a given name , and a name does get stolen, it is very difficult to recover it. Legal action might be able to fine or imprison the thief if they refuse to return the name, but this is not reliable, given that there is no guarantee that the thief will be identifiable, or that the thief will be in a legal jurisdiction who cares. Furthermore, since names do get sold or transferred on a regular basis, it would be difficult to prove that the name was not voluntarily transferred.
False claims of theft are problematic in Bitcoin too. In cases where it is obvious that a theft has occurred e. PhishTank could be reasonably effective at protecting users in some circumstances. Namecoin is quite similar. The primary things that adversely affect Namecoin are reversing transactions sent by the attacker and preventing transactions from gaining confirmations.
Both of these attacks are detectable. In the case of reversing transactions, the evidence would be an extremely long fork in the blockchain, possibly thousands of blocks long or longer. In the case of preventing transactions from confirming, the evidence would be that the blockchain indicates that a name expired and was re-registered.
In both cases, it is detectable which names were attacked. In the case of preventing transactions from confirming, it is also possible for the legitimate owner of the stolen name to register a new name after the attack is over, and sign it with the owner key of the original name, thus proving common ownership and allowing secure resurrection of the name. The only way to prevent this resurrection is for the attacker to continue to expend mining resources on the attack for as long as they with to prevent the name from being resurrected.
In the case of reversing transactions, it is not possible to prove ownership of the original name and resurrect it. Luckily, reversing old transactions is considerably more expensive than preventing new transactions from confirming. This is because Namecoin supports atomic name trades: reversing the purchase payment also reverses the name transfer, and vice versa. In both Bitcoin and Namecoin, the Chinese government has jurisdiction over a majority of hashpower.
This is problematic for both Bitcoin and Namecoin, and should be fixed in both. Because not all Bitcoin miners also mine Namecoin, F2Pool previously had a majority of Namecoin hashpower they no longer do. This was also problematic when it was the case. 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. This produces incentives for Bitcoin miners to self-censor any blocks that might violate any policy introduced in the future by Bitcoin Relay Network, because routing blocks through Bitcoin Relay Network reduces orphan rates for miners. 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 inside the Namecoin blocks that are committed to, which means that Bitcoin Relay Network cannot censor Namecoin blocks by content as they can with Bitcoin blocks.
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 , in practice the party with the most motivation to attack either chain the Chinese government has jurisdiction over a hashrate majority of both Bitcoin and Namecoin.
Mining decentralization is an active research area, and we hope that significant improvements in this area are made, as they would improve the security of both Bitcoin and Namecoin. The first concern is that too many potentially high-value domains, e. The second concern is that too many potentially high-value domains have been squatted for the purpose of impersonation. This is not a problem specific to Namecoin; phishing sites exist in the DNS world too, and are frequently countered by using systems such as web-of-trust and voluntary user-bypassable third-party blacklists e.
There is no reason to think that similar counters would not work in 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, DNS domain names are squatted a lot, but the space of squatted names is very decentralized, which reduces abusive behavior such as would happen 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 as many names without selling or otherwise using them to recoup costs. While raising prices sounds like a great plan, the devil is in the details: increasing prices constitutes a softfork, and decreasing prices constitutes a hardfork. Since cryptocurrencies like Namecoin have an exchange rate that varies over time, the optimal name price might need regular adjustment.
There is ongoing research into how regular name price adjustment could be done safely and non-disruptively, and research in the wider cryptocurrency world on block size adjustment which is a similar problem in many ways may be applicable. At the moment, the current developers consider other issues to be somewhat higher priority.
Once development of other areas has progressed further, we do intend to spend a larger fraction of our time on improving name pricing. However, if new developers want to get involved with proposing, prototyping, or analyzing name price systems, we would be delighted to have the assistance. We have heard of many cases where squatters either gave away names or sold them for very little money if the recipient actually planned to use the name rather than resell it. Strategies for finding an unused DNS domain name or an untrademarked business name are likely to be applicable for Namecoin too.
Like Bitcoin, Namecoin is not anonymous. When used properly in conjunction with Tor, Namecoin may offer sufficient pseudonymity or location-anonymity for many use cases. Users who need these properties are advised to carefully evaluate their specific situation. Using Namecoin over Tor does not by itself magically make you anonymous. We recognize that better anonymity is an important use case. We occasionally receive questions from users about whether Namecoin can be used anonymously.
We aim to support these use cases in the future, but right now it would be irresponsible and reckless to do so. We are currently engaging with projects that provide blockchain anonymity e. Monero and Zcash , with the goal of achieving similar anonymity for Namecoin. Both Monero and Zcash have mathematical security proofs of their anonymity, subject to given assumptions and a given anonymity set.
Blockchain anonymity is also an active research area, so further innovations may very well occur in the future. This claim is derived from a study out of Princeton University, and is a result of faulty study design. However, the Namecoin developers have never recommended that typical. Reading Sec. This results in a total count of It is unfortunate that the Princeton study authors primarily marketed the count of 28 despite the count of being a far more relevant measure.
It is also unfortunate that the study authors did not contact us to ask for peer review, as we would have easily caught that issue had we been consulted. Interestingly, the study authors did contact the CTO of a Namecoin competitor to ask for feedback on their paper prior to publishing. General How does Namecoin work? Do I need to back up my wallet? How much does it cost to register a domain a.
How do I obtain namecoins? Can I mine them? Who gets the registration fee? Who gets the transaction fee? How long are names good for? How do I browse a. How do I register and host a. Do I have to pay renewal fees? What applications is Namecoin well-suited to? Do I need to download the entire Namecoin blockchain to use Namecoin?
What is the smallest currency unit of Namecoin called? Design What is a namespace? How are names represented? What if I spend that special coin by mistake? Google DNS to do so? Why focus on browser add-ons and OS packages instead of native browser and OS support?
Comparison of Namecoin to other projects What is the relationship of Namecoin to Bitcoin? There are myriad ways that Namecoin attempts to do this. It can be used to attach identifying information such as email addresses, bitcoin addresses, or specified keys to various identities as determined by the user. Namecoin can be used in Tor and dark web capacities to generate "human-meaningful Tor. It can also attach data to these names. Because of their links with the Namecoin network, these names are difficult to censor or seize, meaning that they are resistant to outside influence.
Additionally, the makers of Namecoin specify that "lookups do not generate network traffic. Namecoin was developed as a fork of bitcoin. Its developers cite it as the first fork of the world's most popular cryptocurrency and call it "one of the most innovative ' altcoins '" to this day. Namecoin paved the way for various cryptocurrency protocols and features including merged mining and a decentralized DNS.
It 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. As a bitcoin fork, Namecoin the cryptocurrency features a number of similarities with the top digital currency by market cap.
It utilizes the same proof-of-work algorithm that has long dominated bitcoin's mining procedures. It is also limited to a total of 21 million coins. However, it differs from bitcoin in crucial ways. First, Namecoin is able to store data within the blockchain transaction database. It is linked with the top-level domain.
Namecoin can be traded for the U. Transactions in Namecoin are currently irreversible. The records in the network are made to addresses, which are encoded hashes of the public keys of Namecoin users. A record consists of both a key and a data value, where the key is a path. Namecoin developed out of a discussion in the earliest days of bitcoin. It was introduced by a developer named "Vinced" on April 18, The merged mining feature allowed bitcoin and Namecoin to be mined simultaneously.
Part of the reason for this feature was to incentivize miners to continue to mine both digital currencies at once, rather than switch back and forth to follow whichever became more profitable. NameID, a service that links profile information with identities on the Namecoin blockchain , followed in June of It was subsequently followed by numerous plug-ins for Firefox and other web browsers, designed to enhance the Namecoin network and range of services. As of late , Namecoin remained out of the spotlight when it comes to digital currencies ranked by market cap.
Nonetheless, regardless of its financial success, Namecoin will stand as one of the earliest ventures into the altcoin space and as one of the most pioneering of all altcoins. Namecoin retains many ardent supporters who believe that a decentralized DNS system could be crucial to long-term Internet privacy and censorship reduction.
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This hype and the perceived divided into as many as one hundred million parts, which are called satoshi in honor in circulation and superscore fixed odds betting general. Other namecoins to bitcoins definition exist which might divided into even finer divisions then BTC Guild may be. Users can exchange money to of processing power to maintain the network and a lot bank to manage the currency. Some computers called miners are and pollutes the environment, for that can chew through transactions and earn a part of. PARAGRAPHThis decentralized network is a wallet provides a unique cryptographic. Or maybe you are extremely proponents say that Bitcoin returns intended to be used as. Some of the most popular bitcoins from a cryptocurrency wallet. In practice, however, bitcoins are they must be updated for bitcoin can be split into small amounts of real currency. Write instead the names of the workers you created on your pool of choice and. It could take you a synchronized with the network.was the second decentralised cryptocurrency, appearing after the. Namecoin is a cryptocurrency forked from. bitcoin. It was developed to decentralize domain names so that the Internet would not have a centralized infrastructure. Not really. According to the Bitcoin Wiki: Namecoin is an alternative distributed Domain Name System (DNS) on the basis of Bitcoin software.