Namecoin is a decentralized key/value registration and transfer system based on Bitcoin technology (a decentralized cryptocurrency).
It can be used for multiple purposes, for example a secure and censorship resistant replacement for DNS.
Ownership of a name is based on ownership of a coin, which is in turn based on public key cryptography. The namecoin network reaches consensus every few minutes as to which names have been reserved or updated.
There is a FAQ.md to answer some general questions.
The Bitcoin protocol is augmented with namecoin operations, to reserve, register and update names. In addition to DNS like entries, arbitrary name/value pairs are allowed and multiple namespaces will be available. This will include a personal handle namespace mapping handles to public keys and personal address data.
The protocol differences from bitcoin include:
- Different blockchain, port, IRC bootstrap and message header
- New transaction types: new, first-update, update
- Validation on the new transaction types
- RPC calls for managing names
- Network fees to slow down the initial rush
Please read DESIGN-namecoind.md for details.
Building is supported on Linux, Windows and Mac. For building on windows you can use the scripts in ./contrib/easywinbuilder. Find build instructions on http://dot-bit.org.