Namecoin is a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Litecoin, but it has a feature that sets it apart from all other crypto-coins. According to namecoin.org that feature is a secure key/pair data storage which also acts as decentralized domain name system for the global top level domain “.bit”.
“There are plenty of possible uses, such as DNS, Alias/Identity (storage of email, name, gpg key, BTC-adress), Timestamping of documents (a document hash of name, hash, owner, etc), Broadcasting / Messaging, a web of trust, issuance and tracking of bonds & shares, secure and provable voting.”
Currently, there are eight million namecoins in existence, each one worth about 4 Dollars. The major use that namecoin is being promoted for is its capability to provide distributed addressing for websites which, it is said, makes a site much harder to censor than one with a normal domain name, such as .com .org .net or country designations such as .de .uk .au for Germany, the UK and Australia.
There is a problem though. Since .bit is not a recognized top level domain, browsers can’t find a site with a .bit name. A way around this is to use the additional extension .pe which is a legitimate domain that will re-route the browser’s data request. This is discussed in an article titled Namecoin .Bit TLD Proxy
Another strategy to get around the addressing problem is a browser plug-in that allows people to find websites with the Dot-Bit domain extension…
The plug-in is for Firefox and is called FreeSpeechMe. A description, and this promotional video can be found on http://www.freespeechme.org/
“With our FreeSpeechMe browser plug-in, all that hassle and danger is eliminated. The FreeSpeechMe plug-in doesn’t require changing anything, so your surfing stays fast and secure. You can now navigate from the regular Web to Dot-Bit sites and back, effortlessly and safely.”
This is very much a work in progress, and there is also an indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to further develop and promote the use of