What Is Vertcoin?
Per its website, “Vertcoin is a decentralized currency owned by its users,” a P2P cryptocurrency in the same vein as Bitcoin and Litecoin. Like its two predecessors, Vertcoin exists solely as a currency, and it uses proof of work (PoW) to reach distributed consensus.
Unlike its two predecessors, however, Vertcoin is dedicated to keeping its mining functions decentralized, so contrary to most PoW coins, it’s ASIC resistant.
Branding their project as “the people’s coin,” Vertcoin’s team believes that ASIC resistance invites a fairer, more democratized currency for both users and miners. Along these lines, Vertcoin sports its very own 1-click miner, a program meant to make mining more accessible to the general public.
So what makes Vertcoin tick, and how can it guarantee ASIC resistance? In this guide we’ll cover the following sections:
- How Vertcoin Works
- Additional Features
- About Vertcoin
- Trading History
- Where to Buy VTC
- Where to Store VTC
- Additional Resources
How Vertcoin Works
Vertcoin’s whole shtick is that it completely bars miners from using ASIC hardware to mine on its blockchain. This means that Vertcoin takes us back to the good ole days when all you needed was a decent graphics card or your computer’s processor to get into the mining game.
When Vertcoin first started out back in 2014, it employed the Scrypt-N algorithm to reach its PoW consensus. Since then, ASICs specific to Scrypt-N have surfaced, so the Vertcoin team had to start from scratch.
When they did, they cooked up the Lyra2RE algorithm, forking Vertcoin on December 13th, 2014 to update the core software. According to Lyra2RE’s whitepaper, the new algorithm allowed the team “to change memory usage and time cost independently, giving [them] more leverage against ASICs.”
The team continues to explain Lyra2RE’s ASIC resistance towards the conclusion of the white paper:
“Unlike Scrypt-N, time cost and memory cost are separated, giving us independent control over both parameters. ASICs have been far easier to develop for Scrypt-N than they will be for Lyra2RE because increasing the N-factor of Scrypt simply involves doing more iterations of the algorithm. Under Lyra2, whilst increasing the time cost only involves more iteration, increasing the memory requirement means that any potential ASIC device would have to physically be designed with more memory for each thread. In the future, if ASICs ever were developed for Lyra2RE, we would simply have to fork to a higher memory requirement and those ASICs would no longer properly function.”
Since implementing Lyra2RE, the team upgraded to Lyra2REv2 with another hard fork on August 10th, 2015. This update was necessary because a botnet had taken control of 50 percent of the network’s hashing power.
So far, Lyra2REv2 has done the trick to keep ASIC miners at bay. As such, the only viable mining hardware is either a GPU or CPU.
Vertcoin 1-Click Miner
If Vertcoin is “The people’s coin,” then the 1-Click miner is the people’s mining program. The 1-Click miner is a software so easy to that your great aunt Sally could use it to mine Vertcoin.
You can download the 1-Click miner on Vertcoin’s website. Once you have it downloaded, you’ll need to enter a wallet address for your mining rewards, select a mining pool to join, and designate whether you’ll be mining with a GPU or CPU. After this basic setup, you’ll be able to run the miner and start earning Vertcoin.
We’ve got a more detailed guide on this process, just in case your great aunt Sally needs a nudge in the right direction.
MobileCash and Unitus are two coins that you can merge mine with Vertcoin.
This feature allows miners to mine more than one blockchain at a time. Effectively, every hash that a miner submits contributes to either currency’s total hash rate, and this results in solving cryptographic algorithms on both networks.
How Vertcoin Stacks Up to Its Big Brothers
Here’s a little chart we threw together so that you can evaluate each coin’s specs:
|Block Time||2.5 minutes||10 minutes||2.5 minutes|
|Reward Halving||840,000 (~4 year)||210,000 (~4 year)||840,000 (~4 year)|
|Difficulty Adjustment||Every block||Every 2016 blocks||Every 2016 blocks|
|Atomic Swaps||In development||In development||In development|
Little is publicly known about the history or team behind the Vertcoin project. The website originally had a team page up but has since been taken down. What we do know is that the project is largely volunteer based.
The evolution has been somewhat different from the wave of ICOs we’ve seen in recent years as development is completely funded by donations. No ICO. No Airdrop. No Premine. Vertcoin clearly takes a different approach. It appears that developers and the community are front and center here compared to an emphasis on fundraising in ICOs.
Roadmap and What’s to Come
The Vertcoin team has a number of roadmap milestones which you can follow on this Trello board. They include:
- New Multicoin Lightning Wallet – LitBox Project (Built on LIT)
- VertHash – New Mining Algorithm
- Multi-Platform One-Click Miner rewrite / UX revamp
- [Bounty] Vertcoin iOS Wallet
Be sure to check back regularly to track progress.
Like most all pre-2015 coins, Vertcoin took a deathblow after Mt. Gox was hacked, throwing the entire market into a crypto winter.
As such, it was relatively inactive until the revival in spring/summer 2017. Since then, it has had a steady climb up the market cap ladder. After reaching an all-time high of $10.14, it’s made a slow decline back from a $424mln market cap to its current ~$14mln valuation.
As of writing, it trades around $0.30. While development continues at a steady pace, we’ll probably have to see a recovery in the overall crypto market before prices regain their former glory.
Where to Buy VTC
Unfortunately, Bitcoin is about the only currency you can use to exchange Vertcoin. There are few lesser-known exchanges which provide trading with fiat currencies but the volume is particularly low and it’s probably best to stick with Bitcoin pairs.
Where to Store VTC
Once you’ve bought yourself a chunk of Vertcoin, you’ve got a few storage options. For hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano S and Trezor offers Vertcoin support. If you want a software wallet, you can download Vertcoin’s core wallet or its Electrum derivative. A mobile wallet has recently been launched and there’s even a paper wallet for those looking for long-term storage.
So far, the Vertcoin team has stayed on top of updating Vertcoin’s core software to ensure that the currency remains ASIC resistant. In addition to the 1-Click miner, ASIC resistance really makes this coin feel like its looking out for the little guy, keeping Vertcoin’s community open to crypto enthusiasts of all knowledge and skill levels.
If there’s credence to Litecoin playing silver to Bitcoin’s gold, perhaps Vertcoin is trying to ingratiate its way as the bronze of the bunch (sorry Dogecoin). It’s already had a successful atomic swap with Litecoin, and the team has introduced Lightning Network transactions and atomic swaps. With the success of further developments, there may be a case to be made for Vertcoin’s bronze medal status amongst its two top 10 peers.
This article was updated by Ryan Smith on 16 November 2018 to reflect the recent changes of the project.
Stay in touch with the Vertcoin developers and community on the following channels:
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