Namecoin CCNJust prior to the height of the holiday spirit, Namecoin developers got a special surprise in their wallets courtesy of not-so-secret Santa, Discus Fish.

Also known as F2Pool, Discus Fish provided the developers with 20,000 Namecoins to fund a reimplementation based on mainline Bitcoin. According to the developer blog, Christmas officially came early for Namecoin.

“What’s more is that chief Namecoin scientist Daniel Kraft has been working so hard that the code is already usable! Indeed, Discus Fish has been using it in production for a few weeks.”

The code is still in the experimental stages on Kraft’s Github, but proactive progress has clearly been made.

What is Namecoin?

Chances are the majority of cryptocurrency users have no need to know the largely technical details of Namecoin. However, Namecoins are a key component to an open and decentralized internet system.

Namecoin is a system that works on the back-end of the Internet, in a sense. Its code is nearly identical to Bitcoin, but Namecoin is the ground level for a decentralized domain name system (DNS), also known as web URLs.

When typing a URL into your browser, the URL takes you straight to the website you’re traveling to; typically in a .com form. The .com URLs are called top-level domains (TLD) controlled by ICANN in the United States, making them a centralized form of internet browsing. Because the domains are subject to centralization, they risk being subject to censorship by the central authority as well; something Namecoin disrupts with their system.

Also read: Could Turkey’s Twitter ban push citizens to Namecoin?

Namecoin allows users to register domains using .bit addresses, making the domains independent of ICANN. The URLs are inaccessible by traditional browsers because they are not part of the traditional domain name system, but there are .bit web proxy servers along with Chrome and Firefox extensions.

Now that the developers have been given 20,000 in Namecoin, it will be interesting to see how the utilize it for their cause.

Images from Namecoin and Shutterstock.