Version as of November 23, 2022
Emercoin (EMC) is a cryptocurrency that is related to Namecoin and Peercoin. It was launched in December 2013 and uses a hybrid PoW and PoS consensus approach. It hosts a broad range of services, of which its decentralized domain names is probably most relevant for NFT collectors. While Namecoin supports .bit top level domains, Emercoin is supporting .coin, .bazar, .lib, and .emc. (Watch out for the dns: beginning of proper Emercoin domains.)
Collectors need to install the Emercoin wallet to register and renew names. The frontend looks very similar to Namecoin. In contrast to the latter, users can chose to register domains for decades by paying a slightly higher registration fee. For instance, registering a name (with very little information in it’s value) for 30 days costs 0.0002 EMC, while a registration for 30 years costs 0.0009 EMC; i.e., fractions of a cent given the current EMC price of $0.033. If a user puts more information in the name’s value, registration fee goes up (30 years, 20 Kb value equals 0.017 EMC for instance).
For historical/vintage NFT collectors, what Emercoin offers is rather similar to Namecoin: naked domains (no artwork linked / included, no punycodes), domains with artwork (either via link or embedded via base64 or similar), and punycode domains. There are fewer NFTs available because Emercoin is less known compared to Namecoin. It is also plausible that many NFTs are in dead wallets, which is more severe compared to Namecoin given that most of them were registered for decades (hence it may take ages until they can be re-registered).
As of writing this article, Emercoin assets are not yet implemented by Emblem Finance. Hence, there are no vaulted Emercoin assets available on the secondary market. As a workaround, the EmercoinNFT Discord mod NonFungibleMate offers a voucher-based workaround for Emercoin NFTs. Collectors can buy vouchers on OpenSea, which can be redeemed for the underlying Emercoin NFT from NonFungibleMate.
All data that I use in this article is available from the NFT Relics database (Emercoin). I took a snap shop as of the end of April 2022, but the database itself is updated continuously. Note that the database is also available for Namecoin. The team running the NFT Relics Discord provides these databases.
First NFTs (names)
Typically, the first assets on many protocols have test characteristic. The same applies to Emercoin.
The first name, d:emc.cc.st, was registered on July 26, 2014. The further names were all test names and were issued a few weeks later. (I omit the further ones because they were also test names.) None of them are (DNS) domains as discussed above. Note that I add the UNIX time stamp to rank the names that were registered within one block.
First .coin domains
The first DNS-domains were mainly .coin and .emc domains. Since the .coin domains seems more appealing to collectors (the .emc ones meant to be specific for the Emercoin protocol), I focus on those in this article.
Note again, that one needs to take care of the exact UNIX time stamp to properly rank the domains. Unsurprisingly, dns:emer.coin is the first domain that was registered on September 22, 2014. In the same block, dns:bit.coin and dns:btcsec.coin were registered a few moments later. The next two domains (emergentor and yarowrath) are related to a browser-based game and one of the co-founders (Vladimir Frolov). The name.coin and peer.coin domains refer to the two protocols Emercoin relates most closely, while lite.coin and doge.coin refer to two other prominent and early projects.
As on Namecoin and other protocols, users registered names / domains based on punycodes. Collectors need to take care that the same punycode can be registered with four different top level domains (or just as a non-standard name). For instance, there can be the same punycode but with a .coin and a .lib ending.
In the years 2015–2019, there were 1268 punycodes registered (none in the years 2020 and 2021; I do not cover the ones registered in 2022). Of those, 605 are unique punycodes, while the rest are duplicates with different top level domains (or non-standard names).
Over the years, the distribution has a maximum number of registrations in 2016 (995), while in some years there is none (2017) or only a very limited number of registrations (2015, 2019).
There is only one Emercoin punycode from 2015 (unfortunately not mine LOL): dns:xn- -jagieo-7dba.bit (note the unsupported .bit domain). It was first registered on October 14, 2015. The encoded text is jagiełło. So far so unimpressive you may think. But it unfolds an amazing history: According to Wikipedia, this punycode relates to Władysław II Jagiełło. Interestingly for the time of writing (spring 2022), he was the ruler of medieval Lithuania, and after he also became King of Poland in the year 1386, also of the newly formed Polish-Lithuanian union. During Jagiełło’s reign, the Polish-Lithuanian union was the largest state in the Christian world including modern Poland, Baltic nations such as Lithuanian, Belarus, Ukraine, and western parts of Russia. Such history in xn- -jagieo-7dba!
Names with artwork attached
As in the case of Namecoin, artwork can be attached to names / domains by providing a link in the name’s value or by encoding pictures with base64 or related procedures.
The first Emercoin NFT was registered on November 11, 2014. StarRevenge.jpg (first picture on the left in Figure 6) has encoded information in its name’s value. Based on research by punisher.eth, it’s the seventh NFT with on-chain artwork. (I have to admit that I was not able to decode the information into this figure within a fair amount of time. The picture is taken from the EmercoinNFTs Discord server.)
The second picture shows an early Emercoin logo (note that you need to use http://web.archive.org/ in order to display the link’s artwork). The third picture refers to Folding@Home, which is a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding and others. Participants running the shared application earned EMC (similar to EverdreamSoft’s FDCARD). The figure on the right displays the Emercoin name Tamara. (Not shown here is the fifth NFT in the table which features the well-known Linux penguin.)
Other popular Emercoin NFTs feature the Rolex logo or wine bottles. The latter is also mentioned in WRabbit’s timeline as a particularly noteworthy Emercoin NFT (liquidity is key!). In case of the Rolex logo, there are two names, dpo:Rolex Demka and dpo:Rolex Demo that were both registered on February 18, 2017 and point to a Wikipedia Rolex logo (total supply equals 2). In case of the wine bottles, there are different names, which all begin with dpo:Shuba (registered on March 27 and 29, 2017), that hold the same link to the picture with the wine bottle (total supply equals 51).
Wallet: Emercoin wallet, note that you need to install and run a full node! It takes 1–2 days to fully synch the chain. I do not recommend to install the mobile wallet because it does not work properly.
Buying EMC: CoinEx which works ok according to my experience.
Emercoin protocol: Further information about Emercoin domains.
YouTube video: check out in three minutes how you can register Emercoin domains.
Block explorer: note that Emercoin’s block explorer does not show the first registration (just the current one). Either you use the NFT relics database or Emercoin Core’s name_history function. For instance, you need to type name_history(“d:emc.cc.st” true) in Emercoin Core’s console. The true option is necessary to provide the full name history. You also need to use the console to tease out the UNIX time stamp.
Telegram: https://t.me/emercoin_official, recommended in case of technical questions (pretty helpful mods!), more active than their Twitter.
Data: NFT relics database.
Punycodes: use a converter if you want to know what is encoded by a specific punycode.
None of the content in the article is financial advice. Do your own research.