Namecoin has been an idea that has got some press in the past but never really totally caught on. The idea of a decentralized DNS system, kind of like domain names working on the same premise as Bitcoin.
Coin Telegraph sat down with Michael Dean one of the biggest proponents of Namecoin. In the interview Dean says that Namecoin is pretty much dead.
From the article:
CoinTelegraph: You used to be one of Namecoin’s biggest cheerleaders. What happened?
Michael Dean: So here’s my opinion, which is really going to get me hated, but I think Namecoin as a decentralized DNS-type system is dead.
It’s had nearly four years to catch on, and it has pretty much zero adoption. There are 100,000s of squatted domains, but only about 30 developed Dot-Bit sites. All of those are mirrors of Dot-Com or Dot-Net or Dot-Org sites (as they probably should be, to provide redundancy and protection against censorship), and about half of those 30 sites are mine.
There are probably less than 5,000 people in the world set up to actually view Dot-Bit sites, based on downloads of MeowBit and FreeSpeechMe. There was a lot of mining and trading of Namecoin, and a lot of squatting domains, but almost no building of domains or use of resolvers.
The problem is three-fold:
1. Namecoin wasn’t easy enough to use. The wallet still sucks, and there were no resolvers or good tutorials until I got involved. And that was three years after Namecoin existed. If they’d had a great wallet, a good resolver, and good tutorials from day one, Dot-Bit domains could likely be universal by now.
The developers spent way too much time working on the nuance of perfecting each leaf in the forest (adding tons of minute functions most people wouldn’t use) without seeing the overall picture of trees (usability to drive adoption).
“It’s a pity, because these guys are all absolutely brilliant computer scientists, but they have zero idea how to spread something and get adoption.”
I hate to talk ill of those guys, they’re really smart and really nice, but you really can’t understand why Namecoin has not caught on without understanding what’s going on with the Dev team.
2. Some of the Namecoin developers kind of lost track of the plot at some point. Once they were all broke (and isn’t that maybe the market sending signals?) some of the team tried to partner Namecoin with Google and even ICANN. That makes no sense. That’s making a technology to circumvent governments and then handing it over to governments.
3. Most people don’t care. Despite censorship of the Web around the world, and the threat of more impending Web censorship in the US, most people would rather spend hours forwarding and discussing horror stories of censorship and impending doom than actually spending an hour making their own domain censorship-proof by setting up a Dot-Bit mirror URL and then promoting it.
“We saw with Bitcoin how having a system in the blockchain space is less about perfection than adoption for giving value to that system.”
Read the full article on Coin Telegraph