What is Namecoin?

Namecoin (often abbreviated as NMC) is an alternative use of the principals behind the cryptographic digital currency Bitcoin. Namecoin rather than being just a currency to be traded for fiat currencies and other digital currencies is an alternative distributed Domain Name System (DNS). It was forked from the Bitcoin project in August 2009, and has remained a popular altcoin to this day. Since Namecoin was derived from Bitcoin, most of the key concepts behind Bitcoin - including wallets, mining, trading - also apply to Namecoin. However, there are a few key additions and differences in the inner workings of the Namecoin blockchain.

Proof-of-work

Bitcoin uses the SHA256 hash function for proof-of-work, Namecoin uses the same hashing algorithm and has had the merge mining patch applied to the server code so it is possible to mine the coin at the same time as bitcoin and other merger mining coind (like devcoin)

Confirmation Times

The Namecoin blockchain adjusts difficulty to generate a block every 10 minutes on average. This is the same speed as the Bitcoin blockchain, which generates a block every 10 minutes on average.

Difficulty Retarget

Difficulty retargeting is the same as that in bitcoin, adjusts every 2016 blocks

Total Number of Coins

The total number of Namecoin that can ever be in existence is 21 million. This is same as the total number of Bitcoins that will come into existence.

Addresses

Namecoin addresses all begin with “N” while Bitcoin addresses begin with “1”.

Where to Spend Namecoins

Although there are no sites setup to buy goods for namecoins, one can use the coins to buy domain names under the .bit domains

You can also trade the namecoins for bitcoins on sites like Vircurex and Bitparking


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