Dot Bit Domains by Namecoin
What are .BIT domains?
Dot BIT domains are based on the virtual currency Namecoin. Namecoin itself is based on the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Namecoin includes all the features of Bitcoin and adds an option to store key-value records in the Blockchain. This feature allows for the registration of decentralized domain names and identities. Namecoin is the first fork of Bitcoin, created in 2011. Thus, Namecoin offers the first alternative domains of a new generation with the extension “.BIT”.
Where does the idea come from?
The idea of an alternative DNS zone is not new. The first attempts started with the OpenNIC project in 2000. This created a new DNS zone with alternative domains. The problem is that it is centralized as well as a main zone ICANN. The idea behind Dot BIT domains is to solve the problem with centralization. This is achieved by using Bitcoin's Blockchain technology. Nowadays, Dot BIT domains are included in OpenNIC's DNS.
Can someone stop or seize .BIT domains?
One of the main concepts of Namecoin is that users own their domains, like with Bitcoin, in which users are the owners of their currency. In this way, there is no company or government that can seize, stop or censor domains from the Dot BIT zone. Blockchain technology warrants that only the holder of a private key owns a given domain. The key must be kept secure in "cold" storage.
Resolving .BIT Domains
Dot BIT domains don't belong to the main zone of ICANN. That's why most systems cannot open them by default. We expect changes when the Internet becomes more decentralized. Then devices will communicate with each other, not with a centralized database, as it is now. It is hard to predict how exactly systems will resolve all new crypto domains in the future, but here are some techniques that work for .BIT today:
1. OpenNIC DNS
The best option is to change the default DNS servers of your system with OpenNIC's. Thus, you will be able to open all standard domains plus .BIT, including other decentralized domains like .emc, .coin, .lib, and .bazar ... How to change your DNS settings with OpenNIC's.
2. Proxy DNS, like .surf
The easiest way to open Dot BIT domain is to add a proxy DNS extension at the end. Thus, every device and browser can resolve domains, for example, nx.bit.surf.
3. Browser extension
You can use a browser extension to open .BIT domains in your browser. Such extensions are PeerName (our extension), FreeSpeechMe (Firefox) and MeowBit (Windows). Note that some extensions need time to download all Blockchain data. After that, it will work correctly.
4. Own DNS server
Applications like nmcontrol and ncdns provide an opportunity to run your own DNS server using Namecoin's Blockchain data. Thus, you will be completely independent and have 100% trust in your data. You can even make your DNS server public, to be used by your friends or other users.
Namecoin also has the Lightweight / SPV client, based on BitcoinJ / libdohj, so you can look up names without downloading all the Blockchain data.
The okTurtles Foundation provides solutions for secure browsing of all domains, including Dot BIT. It uses an authentication mechanism called DNSChain. The goal is to make MITM-free communications possible for everyone. You can use a public DNSChain server or run your own.
Namecoin is also used as a domain name system of the ZeroNet network. If you have a ZeroNet website, just send us the public key and we can point your Dot BIT domain to it.
Not only domains, but also identities
We can also store identities in the chain of Namecoin. The name of the project is NameID. Its idea is to upgrade the popular OpenID protocol. Thus, instead of relying on Facebook or Google for your identity, you can have full control of it by NameID.
The project is in an initial phase but is fully functioning. Reserve your own niche in the system. You can log into all OpenID enabled sites with it. Your online identity will always be safely stored in Blockchain of Namecoin.
The idea is to be able to log in anywhere with just one click and the same nickname and without the need for a password.