Naming + Currency: From Namecoin to Bitmark & Namecoin to I0C, IXC, and BTC

The first “altcoins” tell a story that has its best part yet to unfold, but it could be quite soon

Namecoin, established in April 2011, is often thought of incorrectly as an altcoin. In a traditional and modern sense, altcoins should be thought of as alternative currencies. Namecoin is not trying to be a currency, as the official website states:

The Namecoin codebase consists of the Bitcoin codebase with relatively minor changes (~400 lines) and additional functionality built on top on it. The mining procedure is identical but the block chain is separate, thus creating Namecoin. This approach was taken because Bitcoin developers wanted to focus almost exclusively on making Bitcoin a viable currency while the Namecoin developers were interested in building a naming system.

Giving Namecoin the title of “first altcoin” most likely comes from the fact that Bitcoin was created 2 years and 4.5 months earlier on January 3, 2009 when the Bitcoin genesis block 0 was mined. The difference is just 400 lines of original code as described in the above quote, but the coins are built for different objectives. Namecoin, like Bitcoin, is active in its development to the present day (May 31, 2018).

What I want to propose today is a purpose for Namecoin. Other than dismissing it as a “geeky” or “misunderstood” altcoin as I have seen many times in my research of old Bitcointalk threads — we really need to look further into Namecoin because it has a usage case that I believe will be well known soon. It has been unfolding right in front of the public eye since 2011. Development never seems to have stopped. So lets take a look at some of Namecoin’s proposed use cases that differ from a currency use case (i.e. Bitcoin):

Use #1: Namecoin May Enforce Transaction Validity Where Bitcoin Miners Failed

Namecoin’s consensus rules need to enforce uniqueness of names. While it is possible to store data in Bitcoin (e.g. key/value pairs in OP_RETURN outputs), uniqueness is not enforced by Bitcoin. It would be theoretically possible to build a layer on top of Bitcoin that discards OP_RETURN outputs that don’t respect uniqueness (e.g. a name operation that steals someone else’s name), but any such layer would not be enforced by miners. If transaction validity rules are not enforced by miners, then they are not backed by PoW, which means that SPV-based lightweight clients will fail to enforce those validity rules.

When I say this is an absolutely pivotal function Namecoin provides for Bitcoin’s future, I say this is absolutely pivotal in the direction of Bitcoin’s future! I have covered in my last article that unspent outputs exist all over the Bitcoin Core blockchain and these allow for BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY on the Bitcoin Core blockchain by allowing that unspent output to reverse and become a new input (in the opposite direction on a block from the past), and produce a new, valid spent output where we are used to seeing “ No Inputs (Newly Generated Coins)”:

Conclusions: The most important function of a Namecoin on-top of Bitcoin protocol. If enforced, the unspent outputs from “guessing the nonce” would reorganize the entire Bitcoin blockchain if a correct nonce was found. All one needs to know is the correct nonce would indicate the correct intended order of the blockchain, which has been manipulated by miners in their haste for a block reward payout. The intent of the miners might be non-malicious, in that they intended to protect Bitcoin by enforcing the rules in the future after centralized groups (like Wall Street bankers) entered the Bitcoin environment. Or, there could be a mining group planning a large scale attack on Bitcoin at some point in the future. Being that this particular transaction pictured comes from Luke Dash Jr.’s “Eligius” mining group, I do not suspect malicious intent. I do suspect genius planning. The I0 process is contained within I0coin. I0coin contains the original Bitcoin merge mining “auxpow” record to this day, and that is why I0coin has a 2.4 GB blockchain with over 2 million blocks! When the correct proof of work is enforced by the Namecoin protocol, it may look something like this:

If you replace “Bitmark” in the dark grey box above with “Bitmark (or Namecoin) Protocol and Bitcoin Core” that may be more accurate. The transfer record is a record to be corrected and then signed using Bitmark protocol and a correct nonce. Bitmark protocol is very similar to Namecoin protocol in this instance (more about Bitmark later). The ultimately correct record is called an “asset record” which is hashed using SHA3–512 on a larger blockchain (perhaps with larger blocks for more information storage per block). The largest blocks in crypto are from an original Bitcoin merge mined coin called Ixcoin, that I have previously wrote much about. Ixcoin could reflect the correct asset record going forward in the future.

Shorter Description: Bitmark/Namecoin protocol is similar, it corrects invalid Bitcoin transactions with rules the miners did not enforce. I0coin contains all auxpow records for Bitcoin merge mining since its inception in 2011. Merge mining was thought of as a way to secure the blockchain. Ixcoin has recently upgraded to a block size that is efficient for a complete and correct asset record for Bitcoin transactions.

Use #2: Namecoin Logs Domain Registration Transactions Which Include Ownership Rights in Addition to Financial Input and Output (Bitcoin)

Since consumers expect different fees for financial transactions versus name registrations, and since the volume of financial transactions worldwide versus name registrations worldwide are different, Namecoin and Bitcoin might have different optimal block sizes.

Conclusions: Bitcoin is purely financial data (inputs and outputs). While Namecoin protocol (using the I0C auxpow record) can correct Bitcoin transactions from the past and translate them to a new blockchain (such as Ixcoin’s) — it can also record new asset records (i.e. domain registration) on it’s blockchain. Bitmark is an expansion on just domain registration that plans on running side by side with Bitcoin to issue an expanded realm of digital asset rights on its own blockchain. Namecoin has pioneered this process however, and the additional use is in a field not covered by Bitcoin as its sole usage is to record financial transactions as currency. This also leads to a reason why Bitcoin transactions must be corrected, but than recorded officially with that correct ownership record on another blockchain (such as Ixcoin’s or Bitmark’s).

Shorter Description: Bitcoin is designed solely for the transaction of currency. Namecoin protocol can be used to indicate rightful ownership of digital assets (like domain names).

Note: Other key differences between Namecoin and Bitcoin can be found in the FAQ.

Similarities: Namecoin vs. Bitcoin

What are the similarities between Namecoin and Bitcoin?

21 million coins total, minus the lost coins.

50 coins are generated each block at the beginning; the reward halves each 210000 blocks (around 4 years).

Security: a large fraction of Bitcoin miners also mine Namecoin, giving it a staggering difficulty.

Pseudonymous founder: Vince, like Satoshi, never revealed his real-world identity and disappeared around the same time, leaving Namecoin project wild in the open, to flourish only thanks to the help of enthusiasts in the FLOSS community.

Free / libre / open-source platform: Anyone can improve the code and report issues on GitHub and even use it on other projects.

Takeaways: I think it’s really important to note that “Vince” the founder disappeared around the same time as “Satoshi Nakamoto” (satoshi) from Bitcointalk forums. Ixcoin is founded by Thomas Nasakioto, which is an anagram for Satoshi Nakamoto. He has also vanished from the public eye of Bitcointalk. I0coin’s founder is unclear. It is unclear how it came about as some people seem to think it came before Ixcoin, even though it is said to be born in August 2011. Ixcoin came shortly after Namecoin in April 2011, and is referred to as a Bitcoin clone. I have read accounts of I0C being both a Bitcoin copy or Ixcoin copy, without the Ixcoin premine. If I0C contains a correct record of auxpow, it could also tell a true story about Bitcoin’s genesis. If I0coin is a Bitcoin copy, which contains the correct Bitcoin ledger as well as all auxpow merge mined transaction ledger’s — does that not make I0coin the true Bitcoin? If it is a Bitcoin copy, or the copy of a Bitcoin clone with modifications — that may very well be true in the case of a blockchain reorganization.

Shorter Description: Namecoin combined with a master ledger for auxpow merge mining with Bitcoin could create connections to which coins contain the correct Bitcoin blockchain master ledger. That could be reflected in I0coin. To scale, I0coin could combine its correct ledger and faster blocks with Ixcoin’s large, industry leading 64 MB blocks, to create an energy efficient and fast TPS Bitcoin blockchain of the future that is unprecedented, and still connected securely to Bitcoin’s root origin.

I know I said shorter description, but let that one sink in!

Bitmark: Namecoin 2.0?

This is the most important part, in my own opinion, to understand about a project called Bitmark, from


The best way to explain blockchain, bitcoin, and bitmark is to use analogies with the physical realm. Photovoltaics are the backend technology enabling solar technology. We don’t need to know what photovoltaics exactly do in order to use solar technology to power our home. Solar technology also allows homeowners and businesses to generate power and to sell its excess as they would sell any other asset they own. In the digital environment, apache or nginx web servers are a backend technology for enabling websites, but knowing how a web server works isn’t necessary to accessing websites.

Similar to these two examples, blockchain is another type of enabling backend technology. The Bitcoin blockchain enables digital currency. The Ethereum blockchain enables building apps. Bitmark’s open source blockchain enables the making of property from digital data. You don’t need to know how blockchain works to use Bitmark for claiming your property rights. What’s key to know is that blockchain is a decentralized, immutable public ledger. This means data is unique and unforgeable. That’s why the blockchain currency, Bitcoin, is significant. It’s money that can’t be forged. Similarly, the provenance of a bitmarked digital asset can’t be forged either, ensuring your property right to your data.

The default payment method to fund Bitmark transactions and purchases is the bitcoin currency. Other than that, the two are separate with different functions.

On a technical level, while much of the Bitmark system could have been developed directly using the Bitcoin blockchain like other companies are doing, we felt that irrevocably binding a property system onto a network designed primarily for payments would not be a sustainable long-term strategy.

[It is important to note that Bitmark also claims to have taken the best of Bitcoin and Litecoin in account when designing its blockchain.]

This quote from Bitmark Core’s Github page is also relevant about the projects goals:

Project Bitmark is a multi faceted project which aims to provide:

A ** stable cryptographic currency network** which balances the requirements of all parties involved.

A far reaching adoption initiative under the guise of novel reputation+currency system called Marking

Bitmark could be an expansion of Namecoin’s pioneer naming efforts. This type of expansion has been done with the Namecoin fork, called “Huntercoin” where an experimental phase was introduced for gamers in 2013. The expansion of Huntercoin gave launch to 2018’s Chimaera (CHI) gaming token. The creator of Huntercoin, also is a Namecoin dev named Snailbrain, per

Andrew Colosimo (Snailbrain)

Developer & Community Organizer
Snailbrain (who prefers his pseudonym) is an IT specialist who initiated the creation of Namecoin-Qt alongside Mikhail, and was the main funder of Namecoin development during most of 2013; he also contributes to testing and development. Snailbrain is also the creator of the Huntercoin concept, which is currently Namecoin’s only fork. Huntercoin’s current development has improved Namecoin on many levels with the help of the coding expertise of Daniel.

This developer is responsible for Chimaera (CHI), which just ended its pre-ICO. Chimaera also rewarded an airdrop to Huntercoin owners as of early April 2018. Using the Chimaera white paper quote below, we can see what Huntercoin’s purpose was as a Namecoin fork, and Chimaera (CHI) predecessor:

This is a new frontier in both cryptocurrency and blockchain based gaming, but it is not an unknown frontier. In 2013, the Chimaera team developed and successfully deployed the Huntercoin experiment. This achieved a number of world firsts including, but not limited to:

 The world’s first decentralised massively multiplayer game

 The world’s first game world built entirely on the blockchain

 The world’s first human mining permissible cryptocurrency

Huntercoin led to Chimaera’s expansion on the original concept into a gaming specific cryptocurrency:

Huntercoin was a proof of concept to develop solutions to the technical challenges and to test the market. Huntercoin was successful and within just a few months of launch achieved over 35,000 simultaneously controlled characters3 in the game despite a low profile launch, and despite requiring some specialist hardware (i.e. solid state drives, which were uncommon at the time) and a reasonable level of technical know-how from the gamer. Huntercoin was largely autonomous and required no servers or other infrastructure. It achieved a market capitalisation close to $1 million within just a few weeks and peaked to around $6.3 million in 20174 . The Huntercoin experiment served its purpose several years ago, and this ‘hobby project’ provided a number of world leading insights into blockchain technology, including publication in the blockchain journal ‘Ledger’. The Chimaera platform builds upon the significant know-how developed across Namecoin and the Huntercoin experiment and will provide a wealth of tools and infrastructure for game developers to build their own game worlds that fit their vision and project. They can fully leverage the Chimaera technology to build decentralised games and issue their own game currency that can be traded for ‘CHI’ or other Chimaera game coins or assets.

Concluding Thoughts

Bitcoin’s correct protocol may be enforced by Namecoin and put into effect by the I0coin auxpow master ledger. If this occurs Bitcoin can scale through improvements by I0coin since (i.e. 90 second block times, pruned blockchains) and combine with Ixcoin’s improvements since (64 mb block size). The ultimate result is the correction of a miners mistake. The asset record would be properly written into a better blockchain. This blockchain would solve Bitcoin’s scaling issues.

Shorter Description: Better get you some NMC, I0C, and IXC — specifically I0C and IXC, as they are suspiciously similar to descriptions I have read for Bitcoin sidechains, drivechains, and lightning networks to solve Bitcoin scaling issues. They are more secure than a new blockchain type solution and directly related in origin to the earliest days of Bitcoin.

Perhaps these original merge mined coins are already Bitcoin and we just do not realize it yet. I believe the time is coming soon where everyone will realize that. Bitcoin does not scale without such blockchains. There are really no better choices in this writer’s opinion. That is up to you to decide as well, to believe it or not. Maybe Satoshi, or Vince, or Thomas Nasakioto planned this transition long ago to protect Bitcoin. Merge mining was Satoshi’s idea. We may never know the truth but if the Namecoin protocol is enforced to fix Bitcoin’s mistakes, the process could be triggered automatically.

Sounds like a perfect storm is brewing.



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Daniel R. Treccia

Daniel authored two books, one on baseball statistics after a career in pro-baseball and next about how he survived a rare fungal disease + lung removal at 27.