What is Vertcoin (ETN)? Vertcoin Review
Vertcoin is a digital currency that can be exchange via peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. Its main differentiation in the marketplace is that it is ASIC resistant.
At one point in the cryptocurrency world, large hardware companies created powerful computers (ASICs) to mine crypt at a much higher rate than with a regular graphics processing unit (GPU) and central processing unit (CPU). This was a huge disadvantage to anyone interested in cryptocurrency who didn’t have these powerful computers.
Vertcoin’s pledge of resistance to ASIC means that miners cannot ever use ASIC hardware to mine the currency on its blockchain. Instead, Vertcoin will always be available for mining with a decent graphics card or your computers processor. That’s the reason it calls itself “the people’s coin.”
Vertcoin took a huge hit along with other altcoins from the pre-2015 era after Mt. Gox was hacked. It has made a comeback in the spring and summer of 2017 and has continued to rise in value.
Similar to Litecoin, Vertcoin’s coins are capped at 84 million and its block time is 2.5 minutes. As its difficulty adjusts with every block (as opposed to both Bitcoin and Litecoin whose block time difficulty adjusts every 2016 blocks), it should remain profitable in the future.
Vertcoin Core Values
Vertcoin prides itself on being fairly distributed, without an ICO, and developed by volunteers and funded solely by donations. It is an open-source community.
The lead developer at the current time is James Lovejoy, who is currently an undergraduate researcher at MIT and working on creation of a decentralized monetary policy. The Vertcoin team professional background ranges from physics and cryptography to software engineering and public relations.
How Vertcoin Works (and resists ASIC hardware)
Previously, Vertcoin employed the Scrypt-Adaptive-N algorithm for hashing. After an ASIC was produced that could use this algorithm however, Vertcoin responded by creating a new hashing algorithm (Lyra2RE). This was Vertcoin’s hard fork. After a botnet took control of their network’s hashing power on August 10th, 2015, the team upgraded to Lyra2REv2 with an additional hard fork. To prevent ASIC dependencies, it offers mining hardware only with a GPU or CPU.
Since Vertcoin is a software fork of Litecoin, the two share many features. The main differentiation is that Vertcoin is committed to ASIC resistance.
Here are two additional features of Vertcoin:
Vertcoin’s one-click miner allows you to immediately start earning Vertcoin. Users can download it directly from the website. It is designed to be simple enough to use that anyone can use it (remember, it’s “the people’s coin”). You do need a wallet address to start mining, however, and to decide whether you’ll be mining with a GPU or CPU.
Merged mining allows miners to mine more than one blockchain at a time. The only coin that currently allows merging with Vertcoin is MobileCash. This feature is still waiting to prove itself on larger mining networks, but in the meantime offers the idea that every hash a miner submits contributes to either of the two currencies’ total hash rate. This helps solves cryptographic algorithms on both networks.
Where to Purchase and Store Vertcoin
Bitcoin remains the main method for exchanging the currency. The best exchanges to purchase the altcoin are Bittrex and Poloniex with VTC/BTC pairs.
Bittylicious is an exchange available in the UK as GBP and EUR trading pairs, but its rates are higher. You can also purchase it by using a service such as Shapeshift.io to convert other cryptocurrencies into Vertcoin. Another method of receiving the currency is by mining the coin with Vertcoin’s One Click Miner.
There are a number of options for storing Vertcoin. Paper wallets can be downloaded and opened without an internet connection (for security you might want to print multiple copies and store your coins in multiple paper wallets). Hardware wallets for storing Vertcoin include the Ledger Nano S, Vertcoin offers its own software wallet – the Vertcoin Core Wallet. Coinomi offers a mobile wallet solution.
Vertcoin’s future plans include implementing off-chain Atomic Swaps, which is smart contract technology that enables the exchange of different cryptocurrencies or tokens without risk of either party running off with the other’s money before the trade is complete.
The term “atomic” originates from computer science and means that the trade is indivisible. To date it has already had a successful atomic swap with LiteCoin.
Another one of its milestones include implementing Lightning Network Transactions. The Lightning Network enables Bitcoin users to create their own payment channels without the usual wait times, since they aren’t committed to the Bitcoin blockchain.
It cuts down on the number of messages the Bitcoin network has to process by keeping a record of the transactions without finalizing them. (Only later does it send the final balance to the Bitcoin network). It is also in the process of developing a mobile app wallet similar to Loaf/Bread Wallet.
All of these plans, plus its overarching vision of a fairer, more democratized currency for both users and miners, suggest a bright future for the cryptocurrency. Keep your eyes out for this altcoin in 2018.