CRYPTANALYSIS - HOUSE VIEW ON KEY ALTCOINS

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44. Namecoin (Published: 17th Aug, 2017)
Overview
Namecoin is an open-source technology which improves decentralization, security, censorship resistance, privacy, and speed of certain components of the Internet infrastructure such as DNS and identities. Unlike typical domain which depends on DNS server, Namecoin’s decentralized TLS certificate validation is backed by blockchain consensus instead of a central system, and that ensures the security of the domain.
Namecoin was founded by a pseudonymous founder with an ultimate goal to avoid censorship from governments or large corporations by creating a decentralized network. By building domains through Namecoin, censorship from central authorities becomes nearly impossible. People who desire a secure domain (a .bit domain) have to pay 0.01 NMC for registration and they can acquire NMC by mining or through exchanges.
Namecoin is now trading at Poloniex, Bter, Cryptopia and Yobit (Poloniex responsible for 71% of total volume), with a price of $1.66 and market cap of $23,634,698. The trading volume has increased in 2017 and it once reached $5 in mid June, but it fell back to the current level afterward.

Opportunity
In the age of privacy, it is what people emphasize on and they want to stay away from censorship. Especially for region like China, where the government has restrictions on domains that people can visit, a decentralized network for domains may be a solution for those people. Also, the developers keep improving the protocol and it is believed that the network will be more user-friendly in the coming future.

Risk
The biggest opposer of Namecoin must be central authorities like governments, as criminal activities may flourish in network where censorship is eliminated. Although it seems impossible to break the entire network, but it can be disabled by providing hashpower larger than 50% of the entire network. If the network does not expand massively in the coming future, it may be be vulnerable.

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