Interesting indeed. As far as just the domains go, is there any reason that Namecoin could not serve as a wholly alternate domain name system...and not just limited to .bit? If so, perhaps one could make a 'market cap' valuation argument, which would further support the 'backing' notion.
Yes, namecoin is essentially a re-invention of RealNames
, but decentralized and using bitcoin ideas:
In effect, to users of Internet Explorer, RealNames became a domain registry which was capable of registering names that worked without needing to belong to a top level domain such as ".com" or ".net". RealNames and its backers expected this to be a lucrative source of income, and it raised more than $130m of funding for its venture.
So are you talking about generic terms (keywords) or domains with extensions?
If 'keywords', I can understand how this (RealName analogy) would be very compelling for both Namecoin and those vendors who acquired the keyword (which would route to their website) but would that create a compelling utility for the end user...as opposed to say googling the keyword, (which would return results much richer)?
Say for example a Firefox app stepped in to handle this (where RealNames failed by being dependent on Microsoft), how would this be presented to the end user? Ostensibly a Namecoin-DNS 'lookup', correct? Other ideas?
I suppose that adoption along these lines would be a function of the vendor's, and their customers, "motivation" to be liberated from central authorities...indeed, including their software doing auto queries to the blockchain.