Namecoin is the first Altcoin that released on April 17th, 2011 and is a fork of Bitcoin. It is based of off the Proof-of-Work Consensus Mechanism, is limited to 21 Million coins, and participates in Merged Mining with Bitcoin. Namecoin, originally BitDNS, began as an idea between Gavin Andresen and Bitcoin Creator(s) Satoshi Nakamoto in November 2010 on a BitcoinTalk Forum in an attempt to decentralize various Namespace properties including domains and identities.
The native currency of Namecoin is NMC, operates from the SHA256 mining algorithm, and cuts its rewards every 210,000 blocks (or about 4 years). The current fee to register a record on the blockchain costs .01 NMC and expires every 36,000 blocks (or about 200 days).
The first token registered to BitDNS is “bitcoin.bit” and was registered on April 21st, 2011. Since that first registered domains, various expirments have been registered to the Namecoin blockchain including Domains, Punycodes, Identities. Beginning in 2014 users had the ability to register images to the blockchain via a Dapp known as OneName. Beginning in 2021 NFT Archaeologists and NFT Collectors discovered numerous similar items that were registered at the time and have retroactively curated collections of similar likeness including Twitter Eggsand Blockheads.