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
(these are names with the
d/ prefix), but another possible
use-case is that of
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
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
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?
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
and need the wallet that owns it on your local system. Second, you need
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?
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
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
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.
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