Namecoin is alternative cryptocurrency, transfer system based on the Bitcoin technology. Namecoin was the first "clone" (fork) of Bitcoin and still is one of the most innovative altcoins. It was first to implement merged mining and a decentralized DNS (domain name system) servers.
The Namecoin codebase consists of the bitcoin codebase with relatively minor changes and additional functionality built on top on it. The mining procedure is identical, but the block chain is separate, thus creating Namecoin.
You can ask: "Why is it called Namecoin?". It's simple: the NMC software is used to register names and store associated values in the blockchain, a shared database distributed by p2p in a secure way. The cost of registering a domain (name) isn’t constant, it includes a network fee and a transaction fee. The top-level domain zone is .bit.
Like bitcoin, namecoin is a peer-to-peer system, which, assuming an honest majority of participants, can not be controlled by a single state or a company. Changes to the namespace of the rightful owner of a domain with a public key signature are distributed to all peer-to-peer users. The inclusion in the block chain verifies that the transactions are authentic. The block chain grows whenever new transactions are added by any of the participants.
To resolve domain name you need either the current block chain or use a public name server that participates in the Namecoin system. The software is open source.
The system is energy efficient: merged mining namecoins costs nothing if you are already mining bitcoins. The creators of the system have statistics that more than half of the bitcoin miners also mine namecoin. The only problem is that the Namecoin is a threat of cybersquatters.
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