What is Namecoin?

Namecoin is a peer-to-peer, completely decentralised system based on Bitcoin technology that allows everyone to register names. After you own a name, no-one can take it from you without your consent, and you can associate data with it that everyone can be sure originated from you but which can neither be forged nor censored by unauthorised attackers.

How do Namecoin identities work?

In the Namecoin system, there are multiple possible uses for names: The most common today is for domain names (these are names with the d/ prefix), but another possible use-case is that of identities: Those are names of the form id/your-nick, and they are particularly interesting because you can, for instance, store your public keys for GnuPG, your Bitmessage address or other things in their value field, so that you only need to tell someone your (easily remembered) identity nick, and they can later access your keys to send you encrypted messages and can be assured that the keys are indeed yours.

What is OpenID?

OpenID is an open internet standard that specifies a protocol for some webserver (your identity provider) to authenticate you to another site (the consumer). This is meant as a solution to the problem of an ever-increasing amount of usernames and passwords someone has to remember on the internet for accounts at a multitude of sites. With OpenID, you only ever need one account at some trusted identity provider, and can then use it to sign into (or create accounts at) millions of other OpenID-enabled "consumer" sites.

So, how do Namecoin and OpenID relate?

NameID brings both concepts together: It is an identity provider, but you don't (and can't) have to create an account or even remember a password. Instead, you need a Namecoin identity (that is, at the very least some id/ name which you own, no matter what values you have stored with it). The password is replaced by a digital signature with the private key associated to your name.

Is it safe?

With the digital signature it is possible to prove to NameID that you are really the owner of the identity you claim, without revealing any compromising data. Even if NameID was malicious or the site cracked, you only ever run the risk of an attacker signing into other OpenID sites with your identity until you revoke it. No-one is ever able to steal the Namecoin identity from you as long as your computer and Namecoin wallet are safe. Furthermore, at NameID there is no list of passwords or account details that can ever be stolen. All that is needed for us to identify you is the Namecoin blockchain, so there's no need to keep any sensitive information around.

How do I sign into an OpenID-enabled site?

Simply enter https://nameid.org/ into the login-box. You will be redirected to NameID where you can log in with your name, and if that is successful, you will be returned to the OpenID consumer site, where you are then authenticated with your identity.

What do I need in order to use NameID?

First of all, you need a Namecoin identity, and need the wallet that owns it on your local system. Second, you need Namecoin installed and running with the server=1 configuration flag, and need to be able to perform signmessage commands with it. Don't worry though, you can install the NameID Easy Login extension for Mozilla browsers, which takes care of the signing for you. And finally, you need some OpenID-enabled sites you want to sign into.

Where do I get a Namecoin identity from?

Please consult the Namecoin website for more details, or take a look at the Namecoin forum for help.

Do you store any data about me?

No! But I'm glad you asked and care about protecting your data, which is a good thing. All data NameID needs to authenticate you is already available via the Namecoin blockchain (and it is up to you what data you want to share there with the public), so we don't have to store anything. It is true that NameID gets to know all OpenID sites you sign into, but that is inevitable by the design of OpenID. We don't however store any of that data except standard server log files, which are also discarded regularly (about every month).

Can I trust you? Is it free?

The answer to the second question is: Yes, absolutely! The service provided is free as in free beer, I run NameID as a service to the Namecoin community and to help it grow. I don't want to earn any money from it. Furthermore, NameID is also free as in freedom with the source code available to anyone who wants to check it out or even reuse it for own projects under the AGPL v3.

For the first question, you have to decide on your own whether or not you trust me based on the information on this page. In any case you can also just grab the source and set up your own server if you like the idea!

How can I use NameID in my own project?

As mentioned in multiple other answers on this page, NameID is free software and the code can be obtained from Gitlab. You can use this code more or less directly to set up a "clone" of NameID on your own server. Alternatively, you can even use the authentication code to implement Namecoin login directly into your webservice without the need to go through NameID or any other third-party! See README.libauth in the sources for a how-to on this.

Is the code signed?

The source code in the Git repository has tags signed by my key. You can find the key fingerprint on the contact page or look it even up in the blockchain for my own identity id/domob. If you want to be sure to have the correct code, please check it out there and verify the tags against my key.

Does NameID have a .bit domain?

Yes, you can use any of nameid.bit, name-id.bit, myid.bit, yourid.bit and id.bit. Note, however, that you have to use https://nameid.org/ for signing into OpenID sites anyway, because otherwise it will most probably fail when the consumer site tries to connect to NameID on its own in order to verify your request.

I'm grateful to cassini, who donated the premium name id.bit to this project!

Can I help?

Yes, definitely! Every help is welcome—let me know if you have any ideas, comments or suggestions, and if you are graphically skilled, NameID needs a cool logo. If you are a coder, you can surely also find some tasks to help out, and if you have some spare coins, you can donate them to the addresses shown at the bottom of the page.

I have more questions...

Just contact me and let me know how I can help you.

Copyright © 2013–2016 by Daniel Kraft. NameID is free software under the terms of the AGPL v3, check out the source code!

BTC: 1Nameid3brhZrbTN1M7t6afMAfVBiGioJT | NMC: NAmeid5L2ZcaQFszYwk4sa929zbQymaaWa