I'm wondering if namecoin's next difficulty level will ever come. It's been postponed forever (from July 15 to July 22).

Well, I know it'll eventually come as long as there're people mining namecoin. Just wondering when that'll happen and at what exchange rate to BTC then...

That's not a mystery at all. The reason the difficulty has been postponed is many namecoin miners learned to use a calculator. They figured out they'd be making at least 30% more nmc/day buy mining bitcoins and buying namecoins.

http://dot-bit.org/tools/nextDifficulty.phpThat difficulty calculator is a bit off. I expect the actual difficulty to be lower than 22,000 but let's use their estimate.

22600/1696899.99 (their estimate of btc difficulty on the 19th) = .0133. Current exchange rate is double that at .025, so for about a day namecoins will become 2x as profitable as bitcoins to mine, which means we'll all dogpile on. Or price of namecoins will drop to the current discounted rate of 40% vs bitcoin, or roughly .008 BTC/nmc (1/4 current price) and nobody joins.

Assuming we all dogpile on and mine out all 2016 blocks in 20 hours or so we'll have a difficulty jump to about 80k. Which would give us an NMC price of .0532 - well over current .04.

But wait! People will anticipate that BTC difficulty increase and the next NMC difficulty drop after ~2 months or so of NMC miners eager to mine at a loss, so we'll be right back to roughly current trading levels. Except NMC miners will enjoy giving away another 10-20%.