Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Vertcoin (VTC)
Vertcoin (VTC) is a blockchain and cryptocurrency project that comes from a time before the prevalence of ICOs and airdrops. Much like the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Vertcoin was made available for download on Github and a community of miners did the rest.
Mining is a hot topic on the Vertcoin blockchain, and the team’s emphasis on fairly distributed mining has seen two hardforks thus far in an effort to repel the actions of ASIC and CPU bot miners.
Vertcoin is self-referred to as ‘The People’s Coin’ due to its emphasis on retaining the ideals set forth in Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper relating to individual voting power. Of course, on a Proof-of-Work blockchain, voting power is measured in hashrate, and the prevalence of large mining pools has essentially obliterated Nakamoto’s concept of one CPU equalling one vote.
A Brief History…
Vertcoin launched in January of 2014 and commenced trading at a coin price of around $0.07, according to CoinMarketCap.
Over the next month the coin surged to a valuation of $9.67 – that’s a 13,714% rise in just over thirty days. The subsequent rebound lasted most of the year, and the $0.07 valuation wasn’t reached again until September, by which time VTC had fallen 99.27%.
Besides a spike in the summer of 2015, Vertcoin didn’t raise any eyebrows again until 2017 when it followed the rest of the market in the end of year surge.
VTC’s early promise was such that it found itself as the subject of an International Business Times article in 2014 which touted Vertcoin as the more ethical alternative to Bitcoin – primarily due to the fair mining policy.
Funnily enough, the February 5th publication date of the article was the exact date that the 13,714% spike came to an end and the 99.27% drop was initiated.
Algorithms + Features
VTC mining was originally carried out using Scrypt-Adaptive-N Proof-of-Work, but hardforked to Lyra2RE less than a year after launch due to the rise of Scrypt-Adaptive-N ASIC mining machines.
Lyra2RE also lasted less than a year before it was discovered that a botnet was in control of over 50% of the VTC blockchain. The subsequent move to Lyra2REv2 eliminated that problem and has been in place ever since, although yet another change might be on the horizon in the near future.
Aside from maintaining a fair mining policy, Vertcoin is also Stealth Address compatible; has implemented the Segregated Witness (SegWit) update; and is Lightning Network compatible. The vertcoin team are also working on a Lightning Network improvement titled LIT, which allows for instant multi-coin transactions across separate blockchains.
Fair Mining Distribution
As mentioned above, Vertcoin has already undergone two hardforks to reduce the influence of ASIC miners. And as detailed in the Q3 development report published in August 2018, a third hardfork could soon be on the way due to the rise of FPGA devices.
FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) are to GPU mining what ASICs were to CPU mining. The Lyra2REv2 algorithm – which has been mined with consumer grade GPU’s up until now – would be able to be fully exploited by FPGA devices, and would ultimately push the individual miner out of the equation.
The team are also determined to repel congregated mining platforms like NiceHash, where people can buy and sell as much hashing power as is needed to mine particular cryptocurrencies – effectively making it possible to buy a 51% attack.
The newly proposed mining algorithm has been named Verthash, but is still in the R&D phase as of Q3 2018. In the long run, a focus on ethical, fair mining practices helps keep the Vertcoin blockchain free of undue accumulated influence.
While this doesn’t guarantee the coin’s success, it does mean that Vertcoin will probably always have a dedicated community of like-minded, small-scale miners willing to keep the network afloat.
In one of the few instances where mainstream media got it right regarding cryptocurrency, the previously mentioned IBTimes article ended by saying:
“Given its anti-ASIC mining construction and soaring value, vertcoin could well be one of the few to make it out of a Reddit sub-forum into the mainstream.”
That was true in 2014 and remains true today. It could still be argued that the only truly mainstream cryptocurrency is Bitcoin – and an analysis of Google searches would certainly support that argument.
However, Vertcoin has managed to hang around for almost five years now, even in the face of multi-billion dollar ICOs and daily airdrops. Regardless of your opinion on the underlying structure of the cryptocurrency, the Vertcoin principles have remained the same since launch.
If a future altcoin cull does occur as expected, then perhaps that kind of consistency might yet prove to be worth something.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.