After I have read this article (Smart Property, Colored Coins and Mastercoin) on coindesk I guess that Namecoin is obsolete. I have read the possible use cases for Namecoin and as far as I understand coindesk, it tells that Bitcoin version 0.9 will have the same features.

Difference: Bitcoin will use 80 Bytes of message data where Namecoin will use 520 Bytes.

  1. Is that true, that Bitcoin 0.9 will have the same features Namecoin has?
  2. Will Namecoin still have any special quality compared to Bitcoin, that justifies Namecoins’ continued existence? Or in other words: Is the low value (compared to Bitcoins) of Namecoins the only advantage over Bitcoins, because messages, notary acts, votings etc. are much cheaper and therefore only affordable with Namecoin?

1 Answer 1


Well, the fact that it will be possible to implement features similar to Namecoin that it will become obsolete.

Bitcoin is intended as a currency and a payment system, while Namecoin is designed specifically as a DNS provider for .bit domain names.

The fact that Namecoin would be able to handle .com domain names, doesn't mean the currently employed centralised DNS would become obsolete either. (OK, some may argue it does, but Namecoin is not going to replace centralised DNS providers.)

Namecoin is intended for a very specific goal. Be a decentralised DNS for .bit domains. Existing proxy applications exist to map .bit domain names to IP addresses using the Namecoin network. The fact that it would be possible to replace all those programs with an alternative program using Bitcoin makes little sense. Why would a payment system take over the functions of a DNS system?

  • Well, Namecoin is not only a DNS system, although it seems to be the only use case that has been “widely” used. And Bitcoin has a lot more reputation and fame and if it has the same features …
    – erik
    Jan 24, 2014 at 2:42
  • Hmm, it seems like the [Wikipedia entry for Namecoin](en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namecoin) defines it differently then the Namecoin wiki does. Wikipedia mentions "Namecoin is a cryptocurrency which also acts as an alternative, decentralized DNS, which would avoid domain name censorship by making a new top level domain outside of ICANN control, and in turn, make internet censorship much more difficult, as well as reduce outages." Myself, I believe Namecoin would benefit from more tightening their purpose. Jan 24, 2014 at 12:37

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