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1. What are Namecoin Identities?

Namecoin Identities are a historical collection of 7505 id/ namespace assets registered on the Namecoin blockchain from 2012 to 2017, for the purpose of decentralized identity verification and unified login authentication. It’s an example of the first Web3 project undertaken for that purpose and the precursor to the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). 

2. Which blockchain are the Namecoin Identities found on?

Namecoin blockchain. It is the first fork of Bitcoin and the second cryptocurrency. Its distinguishing feature is that it can store key/value pair data within its database.

3. How old are Namecoin Identities?

The first Namecoin Identity was registered on May 31, 2012, at Block 58311, which makes it the third-oldest ever NFT collection after Historical Domains (April 2011) and Punycodes (May 2011). 

4. What’s the supply of Namecoin Identities? 

7705 id/ assets counting from 2012 to 2017.

5. Are Namecoin Identities art? 

They aren’t art, but an example of utility NFTs, meaning that they have some purpose apart from the aesthetic value. 

6. If Namecoin Identities are utility NFTs, what purpose do they serve?

Namecoin Identities were and can be used for decentralized identity verification and unified login authentication. The Namecoin address holding the identity id/ is able to sign data on behalf of the identity for online logins and other applications via cryptographic verification of the challenge to reliably prove ownership and authenticity of the information. They can contain information such as email, website, cryptocurrency wallet addresses (Bitcoin, Namecoin, etc.), XMPP, OpenPGP, Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR), and BitMessage keys.

7. What are NameIDs? Are they another term for Namecoin Identities?

Namecoin Identities refer to the historical collection and id/ assets themselves. NameIDs refer to the formal implementation or specific software built on top of Namecoin Identities and introduced roughly on June 23, 2013, by Daniel Kraft. It synergizes both OpenID and Namecoin Identity assets, allowing them to be used on OpenID websites.

8. Are Namecoin Identities NFTs?

All Namecoin Domains including Namecoin Identities are NFTs. They are referred to in the Ethereum whitepaper (published in 2014) by the co-founder Vitalik Buterin as being non-fungible tokens (NFTs) - that is you can’t exchange them freely with one another, since they are all unique and they represent ownership via tokens.

9. Why and how are Namecoin Identities migrated to Ethereum?

Namecoin Identities are migrated over to Ethereum blockchain for trading on OpenSea / LooksRare via the Emblem Vault - its components are ownership representing ERC 721 token along with a smart contract that acts as the vault and container for the id/ assets, generating and holding the private keys for the Namecoin wallet inside. This allows them to be trustless traded on a high liquidity market. 

10. Do Namecoin Identities expire?

All Namecoin assets including Namecoin Identities expire after 36,000 blocks (~8 months). Therefore, they must be periodically renewed before they expire. You can renew them in your Namecoin wallet either manually or via scripts. Alternatively, just keep a little more than 0.6 NMC (the native token of the Namecoin blockchain) in your Emblem Vault and they will renew automatically 1000 blocks before their expiry. 

11. If Namecoin Identities can expire, can I maintain continuous ownership?

Yes, as long as the Namecoin Identities are continuously renewed via any method, ownership can be maintained indefinitely. 

12. When Namecoin Identities expire, do they lose their existence?

Namecoin Identities like all Namecoin assets are more than visible in the blockchain records, even when they are expired and have no owner for that particular time being. This can be verified by using the name_show which returns the information about the domain name even during the expired period. If the unique name has never existed, it won’t show anything. 

Another command which proves that the Namecoin NFTs maintain continuous existence is name_history itself. This allows retrieval of all metadata and history of a domain name, the previous owners, and the values (or lack thereof) that they stored. Namecoin blockchain is designed in such a manner to store extensive provenance records. Further, expired assets can still be used for logins or domain resolution, proving that they don’t cease to exist once expired.

Chainleft presents a detailed answer to the question here.

13. Where can I read more about the historical significance of Namecoin Identities?

You can read about the historical significance of Namecoin Identities here

14. Can Namecoin Identities still be used? If so, where?

Namecoin Identities can be still used for the purpose they were designed for. You can find the list of compatible websites here

15. If I wanted a simpler source to understand the Namecoin Identities 2012 project, what should I check?

Doggfather has written this beginner-friendly Medium article for exactly this purpose, check it out here.

16 Where can I check the trading activity on these assets?

We have our sales bot active on Twitter reporting all sales made via OpenSea/LooksRare. Follow it here.

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