Legacy client. New version here: https://github.com/namecoin/namecoin-core Note the release branch!...
Namecoin is a decentralized key/value registration and transfer system based on Bitcoin technology (a decentralized cryptocurrency).
It can be used for multiple purposes, for example a secure and censorship resistant replacement for DNS.
Ownership of a name is based on ownership of a coin, which is in turn based on public key cryptography. The namecoin network reaches consensus every few minutes as to which names have been reserved or updated.
There is a FAQ.md to answer some general questions.
See http://namecoin.info or http://dot-bit.org for more information.
The Bitcoin protocol is augmented with namecoin operations, to reserve, register and update names. In addition to DNS like entries, arbitrary name/value pairs are allowed and multiple namespaces will be available. This will include a personal handle namespace mapping handles to public keys and personal address data.
The protocol differences from bitcoin include:
Please read DESIGN-namecoind.md for details.
Building is supported on Linux, Windows and Mac. For building on windows you can use the scripts in ./contrib/easywinbuilder. Find build instructions on https://wiki.namecoin.info/index.php?title=BuildNamecoinFrom_Source.