Namecoin (NMC) and Peercoin (PPC) were well-known during the early days of altcoin trading. Back when CoinMarketCap launched in April 2013, Namecoin was number three, and Peercoin was number four, with only seven cryptocurrencies listed in total.

Both of these cryptocurrencies brought unique technology to the table and were perhaps considered major cryptocurrencies, but now they practically never come up in discussion. Here, we’ll explore what happened to Namecoin and Peercoin.

Namecoin (NMC): Decentralized DNS Service

Namecoin’s primary purpose was to provide a decentralized domain name service (DNS) system. The .bit top-level domain name is registered via Namecoin (NMC) transactions and is decentralized versus the typical .com domain names registered via ICANN.

Also, Namecoin (NMC) can be used to register personal identities like email, GPG, and Bitcoin addresses, which is possibly useful when doing peer to peer Bitcoin trading.

Unlike ICANN registered domains, .bit cannot be censored or seized and is also much more secure. Further, .bit domain names propagate within about 40 minutes, versus 24-48 hours for standard DNS.

This is certainly useful technology for the development of a decentralized web, but a study in 2015 found that there were only 28 active .bit domain names out of 120,000 that were registered. This is probably because .bit websites can only be viewed with NMControl, which requires Python and is optimal for Linux but hard to install on Windows.

Essentially, the barrier for figuring out how to view .bit websites practically makes it part of the deep web except it’s even harder to use than the Onion browser since the Onion browser works fine on Windows.

During the late 2013 rally, when Bitcoin first exceeded $1,000, Namecoin (NMC) reached a market cap of $100 million. During the long bear market that followed, Namecoin (NMC) dropped below a $3 million market cap in late 2016.

The major crypto rally of late 2017 saw the Namecoin (NMC) market cap spike to an all-time high of $133 million despite very little use of the Namecoin platform for its actual purpose.

Currently, Namecoin (NMC) has a market cap near $10 million and very weak total global volume of less than $20,000 per day. Namecoin is certainly unique but was not easy enough to use to fulfill its mission as a decentralized DNS protocol. That being said, the developer team is still active, and perhaps at some point in the future, they can revamp it to be easier to use.

Peercoin (PPC): The First Proof of Stake (PoS) Cryptocurrency

Peercoin (PPC) pioneered the Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm, which is an energy efficient way to secure a blockchain and incentivize users to hold coins since they earn interest. Peercoin (PPC) is a hybrid of PoS and Proof of Work (PoW), and pays 1 percent interest per year.  

Peercoin (PPC) hit a market cap of $150 million during the late 2013 rally when Bitcoin first exceeded $1,000, and then leveled off to $5 million during the long bear market in late 2016.

During the late 2017 crypto rally, the Peercoin (PPC) market cap hit an all-time high of $235 million. Currently, the Peercoin (PPC) market cap is $14 million with daily trading volume of $100,000 per day.

In summary, Namecoin (NMC) and Peercoin (PPC) both had unique characteristics. Namecoin provided a platform for decentralized DNS services, while Peercoin (PPC) was the very first PoS cryptocurrency.

Besides these unique characteristics, both coins have faded into obscurity. That being said, Namecoin (NMC) and Peercoin (PPC) seem to get revived during major crypto rallies, with both cryptocurrencies experiencing serious pump and dumps during the 2013 and 2017 crypto rallies. Since these coins are not dead, they will probably pump again when the next big crypto rally comes.