Namecoin (NMC)

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Although it's used by some of its investors as a form of cryptocurrency, Namecoin was created as a decentralized domain name system (DNS) in order to avoid censorship of web page content. As a result, it's used less as an actual form of digital currency than it is as a way for webmasters to register and maintain more secure URLs (or web page addresses) for their websites. As a result, it doesn't have the large numbers of vendors and merchants that some of the other cryptocurrencies have—and the majority of those it does have are those who service the web page assignment and maintenance industry. Despite all that, though, it can be traded and mined just like any other digital currency, and even though Namecoin boasts a slightly smaller number of investors, they're loyal to the brand.

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Namecoin's concept as a decentralized DNS (meaning no governmental intervention) was first discussed in 2010, but it wasn't introduced as Namecoin until April 18, 2011. Since it's mainly used for the naming of Internet domains, it's only logical that it took on the name “Namecoin.” It has since become embraced to a lesser degree as a cryptocurrency—and it's mined and traded on various exchanges—but Namecoin maintains to this day that it's not its main reason for being.