List of Oldest Namecoin Records

From all active Namecoin records, these are the oldest:


The list includes only records that have been continuously renewed, i.e. never expired.

View the full list on github, and verify it with the provided python script.

The key findings are:

  • From 852,933 registrations in 2011-2015, only 44,109 (5%) have not expired (by March 27, 2023).
  • Almost all surviving names (96%) are .bit domains.
  • None are NFT-like, meaning none show any sign of a symbolic meaning or artistic expression.
  • A few collectors hold virtually all names (est >99%).

Namecoin Basics

Namecoin was designed in 2011 as a decentralized name system. Where Bitcoin introduced peer-to-peer cash, Namecoin offered a censorship resistant alternative to ICANN.

Technically, Namecoin is a copy of Bitcoin with the modification that you can assign a name and a value to a special coin. The name must be unique, i.e. not currently in use. The coin must be moved within 36,000 blocks (~9 months). Failure in doing so results in the record expiring and the name becoming available for anyone to use.

The metadata value assigned to a name is intended for IP addresses and other DNS info (plain text is also possible) and the max length is 520 bytes. The value can be changed anytime by the holder of the name.

The main namespace is d/ which means the name is is a .bit domain. E.g. to register jpja.bit, I would choose the name d/jpja.

The protocol does not enforce case sensitivity or limit namespaces, so all of these are valid; d/jpja, d/JPJA, jpja, JpjA, id/jpja, WhAtEvEr/JpJa. However, only d/jpja is considered a standard .bit domain.

Survivors by Year

The amount of names that have not yet expired, grouped by year.


The oldest registrations are less likely to have expired. This is likely from squatters grabbing the best names and keeping them in anticipation of .bit domains gaining value.

.bit Domains

Almost all surviving names use the d/ prefix, meaning they are .bit domains


If we look at the very first ten ones, all had initially a metadata value field that looked something like {"map": {"": {"translate": "", "ns": [""]}}}. These were later updated to {"for_sale" : 1, "website" : "", "name" : "phelix"}, so it’s clear that all these names belong to the same domain collector, Phelix.

If you scroll through the full list you will find patterns repeating over and over, but it there are only a few varieties.

An example of a pattern is d/{common_word} with value RESERVED, repeated more than 1000 times in late 2011. Shortly after there’s another pattern where d/{aa} (two letter combo) and the value field indicating that phelix did it. After this again, the value RESERVED reappears on most registrations.

I expect that only a handful of collectors account for almost all the domains.

Alternative Namespaces

The oldest names outside of the d/ namespace are p/nuscient and ip/, both from January 19, 2012. These are followed by several more ip addresses and varieties of nuscient; nuscient (without a namespace), NUSCIENT, p/NUSCIENT, i/NUSCIENT, and i/nuscient.

The most common alternative namespaces are id/ and ip/, as well as records without a namespace altogether.


Non-Ascii Domains

Punycode is a system for encoding non-English characters and emojis in domain names. These were also used with Namecoin.

A total of 119 punycodes have survived to this date, of which 118 are .bit domains. The only one without a namespace is xn--42c1bhb6bxd3b3m which converts to บิทคอยน์, meaning Bitcoin with Thai characters.

Previously Oldest

At the time of writing, d/ein is the oldest record. This may change if Phelix fails to renew it.

In fact, d/bluishcoder was the oldest domain from June 13, 2011 until January 7, 2023 (yup, diligently renewed for more than a decade).

Before this, d/bitcoin was the oldest, as it was the first to complete a registration on April 21, 2011 but expired soon after.

As a technical note, registering a name is a two-step process. a NAME_NEW transaction with a secret hash is required several blocks prior to the NAME_FIRSTUPDATE transaction. For this research I only looked at the “firstupdate”.

NFT-Like Records

I have not fond a single record with a symbolic expression or link to art. I looked through the entire list manually for texts but could not find any.

A search for relevant keywords, such as image extensions, only gave two hits.

One of the largest collectors, cassini, included an image links for two domains.

d/patrizia{“map”:{ “”:”” },”email”:””}

The link is dead, but it’s very likely the image contained sales info – not art.

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