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Namecoin Identities are arguably the first known counterexample to Zooko's triangle. A trilemma explaining that network participant’s naming system should be human readable, secure, and decentralized, but typically aren't so much. It explains that naming systems lack one dimension when optimizing for other parts. This is because these Namecoin Identities are human readable and memorable, are relatively secure as the identity is verified by signing a message with your private key. They are decentralized and not reliant on any kind of third party or central services.

Namecoin Identities zooko's triangle


NameIDs implementation built on top of Namecoin Identity utilizes the digital signature verification method, which makes it possible to prove to the website or platform that you are really the owner of the identity you claim, without revealing any compromising data, using the NameID interface. There is no danger even if the website or platform is malicious, an attacker can only sign into other OpenID websites temporarily until the identity owner revokes access. There is no possibility of identity theft as long as the Namecoin Identity (id/ asset) is safe in your wallet and the private key is safe. NameID interface doesn't store any information, so it can't be stolen anyways.


How does it work? Simply enter into the login box. You will be redirected to NameID where you can log in with your name, and if that is successful, you will be returned to the OpenID consumer site, where you are then authenticated with your identity. First of all, you need a Namecoin identity and need the wallet that owns it on your local system. Second, you need Namecoin installed and running with the server=1 configuration flag, and need to be able to perform sign message commands with it. And finally, you need some OpenID-enabled sites you want to sign into.



The Namecoin blockchain which hosts Namecoin Identities was launched in 2011 - as a direct fork of Bitcoin. It’s a special purpose blockchain designed primarily for decentralized domain names and digital identity. It’s the absolute first Bitcoin fork and the second cryptocurrency. But the Namecoin blockchain doesn’t only host Namecoin Identities. It hosts the widely known Twitter Eggs, Historical Domains, Punycodes and Blockheads. Besides those, Namecoin also has generic PFPs, Quantum, Monographs, Identicons, Manga Avatars etc.

Namecoin (NMC) is an open-source peer-to-peer system and cryptocurrency which also acts as an alternative decentralized DNS and a decentralized identity storage system. With properties similar to Bitcoin, NMC has helped push the imagination of developers by extending the definition of cryptocurrency.

Namecoin's key feature is its secure key/value storage which also acts as a decentralized domain name system for the global top-level domain ".bit". This can avoid domain name censorship by creating a new top-level domain outside of ICANN control. Another already working implementation is NameID, a decentralized identity storage system. NameID can be used for OpenID and for creating human-readable usernames in Bitmessage.


Launched: April 18, 2011
By: Vincent Durham
Type: POW SHA-256
Supply: 21 Million Coins; or same supply as BTC
Block Resolution Speed: 10 minutes
Retarget: Name reservations must be updated after 35999 blocks at the latest (between 200 and 250 days)
Reward: 50
Reduction: Reward is halved every 210000 blocks (4 years approx.)
Premined: 0
Fees: 0.005 NMC per transaction, 0.01 NMC per name reservation

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