The world of cryptocurrencies is a wild one, fraught with intense volatility and uncertainty. Despite our every intention of creating them as usable day-to-day currencies worthy of replacing the dollars that have become ubiquitous in our lives, there are still big challenges to overcome. For one, cryptocurrencies are either too unpredictable, too expensive, or too valuable. In our Vertcoin review today, we're going to take a look at whether Vertcoin's VTC makes for a good currency.
Following Bitcoin's luster as a ‘digital gold' that may have become too precious to become a usable currency, and owing to Ethereum's sky-high gas fees that makes transaction far too costly, is Vertcoin the solution? It has been modeled to become “The People's Coin”, not only championing its easy adoption as a peer-to-peer currency for sharing the wealth with anyone around the world but also in its goals of maintaining the principles of decentralization to the core.
Vertcoin's network was created as a fork of Litecoin and designed to highly resistant to the centralization of mining power. It's pitching itself as a decentralized blockchain network for the masses, as an open and wholly democratized monetary system that anyone with a computer can take part in. But given that Vertcoin has almost never been heard of before, can they really deliver on that vision? Well, read on our Vertcoin review to learn more about this intriguing community.
What Is Vertcoin?
Before writing about this Vertcoin review, little is known about them. It was founded in 2014 as an open-source and decentralized blockchain network. As we shall learn later on in our Vertcoin review, when we discuss more on its features, Vertcoin has many similarities to Litecoin. Litecoin was itself a Bitcoin fork, made to turn cryptocurrencies into a more liquid currency, with quick and seamless transaction times and low fees.
Therefore, both Vertcoin and Litecoin share much of Bitcoin's underlying code. However, major adjustments have been made to how the Vertcoin network itself is being secured. Vertcoin's community maintains a focus on ensuring decentralization between all its network participants. They've done this by making major modifications to Bitcoin‘s mining algorithm. Vertcoin uses an algorithm known as ‘Verthash', which is similar in concept to Ethereum's ‘Ethash'.
The major upsides with Vertcoin's Verthash are that its mining can be done much easier on lower-end hardware. This can thus lower the barrier of entry for those keen on taking part in the Vertcoin community to then earn and transact its native VTC cryptocurrencies. Moreover, Vertcoin's mining algorithm will also be more resistant against ASICs, or ‘Application-Specific Integrated Circuit'. These are the specialized computers that have been designed for large mining farms.
By making its mining process much easier to do with home-grown hardware and by making it harder for large mining farms to take control of the network's mining network, this can theoretically ensure that Vertcoin remains completely decentralized. Mining power, and hence the rewards, can now be distributed more evenly amongst its community members. With this commitment in mind, Vertcoin has been nicknamed “The People's Coin”.
What Are Vertcoin's VTC Cryptocurrency Tokens?
The native cryptocurrency token of the Vertcoin network is its VTC tokens. For the most part, VTC tokens have little usability outside of their own ecosystem at the time of writing this Vertcoin review. Compared to its nearest competitor, Litecoin, Vertcoin has yet to be integrated as a usable currency, such as being used for payments. Within the Vertcoin community, VTC tokens are used as a peer-to-peer currency to quickly and cheaply exchange stores of value between its users.
VTC cryptocurrency tokens are earned through mining as a reward that is attained by miners for powering, securing, and validating transactions on their network. As we've mentioned earlier, Vertcoin's mining algorithm has been made to be resistant against more powerful ASICs. This means that more casual users can mine Vertcoin easily on their existing computers. Even lower-end or less intensive hardware such as entry-grade laptops can be made to mine VTC.
Miners can mine for VTC and contribute mining power for Vertcoin's Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm, even with simple graphics processing units (GPUs) found in most computers. We'll learn more about this down below in our Vertcoin review as we'll discuss its features more in-depth. For now, we can draw a lot of parallels with Litecoin. Just like the latter, Vertcoin has a relatively speedy 2.5-minutes block timing and a maximum token supply of 84-million VTC.
This means that Vertcoin's network has four times the faster block timing than Bitcoin and a four times larger supply. As of writing this Vertcoin review, one VTC cryptocurrency token is worth $0.549853 – marking a colossal gain of 10,191.29% since its lows in 2015. With a circulating supply of 59,017,372 VTC, this puts a market capitalization value of $32,450,893 for Vertcoin's VTC tokens. Currently, this makes Vertcoin the 506th-most valuable cryptocurrency.
What Are The Features of Vertcoin?
Once again, and as we've mentioned earlier in our Vertcoin review, little is known about this relatively obscure and fascinating project. Vertcoin does have an impassioned community and is fairly active in its social media channels. However, there doesn't appear to be an in-depth whitepaper that can be found detailing Vertcoin's core functions or technology. Its website is fairly simple, as well.
But from what we've found, here are some of the key features of Vertcoin:
1. Verthash Mining Algorithm
First and foremost, in our Vertcoin review, we'll look more deeply into its mining. This is perhaps the most important aspect within the Vertcoin network and how its community is actively taking a stand in support of decentralization. One of the major fears of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain networks has been the centralization of mining power. Slowly, more and more decentralized systems are falling at the mercy of large mining farms and their owners.
These large mining farms often hold massive sway over a particular blockchain network. This both side-lines the community and those mining with lesser hardware while also making the distribution of rewards more disproportionate. As a result, some blockchain networks are no longer decentralized in their on-chain governance. Vertcoin has since created its own unique mining algorithm to combat this, called ‘Verthash'.
Verthash, at its core, shares some similarities to Ethereum's Ethash mining algorithm. Verthash has been programmed to intentionally make it harder for ASICs to compute its Proof-of-Work (PoW) model. The end goal is to encourage more casual mining, such as using one's laptop or home computer to mine for its VTC tokens. This has the result, theoretically, of making the network more federated and equitable for all network participants.
2. One-click Mining Software
This marks a continuation of our explanation of the Vertash mining algorithm and to discuss more on their unique one-click mining software for our Vertcoin review. As per before, the inclusion of this software is done to encourage more people to mine within the Vertcoin network, with fairly lightweight and easy-to-use mining software. It can then be run on a large number of compatible computers, not requiring resource-intensive or costly hardware to run it.
Some miners have been able to run Vertcoin's one-click mining software on their laptops and mining on a relatively low-power integrated GPU. This shows the ease with which anyone with a computer can help to secure the Vertcoin network and earn mining rewards by doing so. To ensure improved security for the ecosystem, Vertcoin has implemented a more active mining difficulty adjustment for every block, instead of Bitcoin's once every two or so weeks.
3. Similarities to Bitcoin Code
We learned earlier in our Vertcoin review that its network shares much of its underlying code with Bitcoin. There have been some changes and improvements made to it, however. For one, Vertcoin's block timing is four times faster (2.5-minutes vs. 10-minutes) than that of Bitcoin and with four times the larger cryptocurrency supply (84-million VTC vs. 21-million BTC) for its VTC tokens. There are some other benefits with running nearly identical coding with Bitcoin, too.
The same way nearly-stock Android mobile operating systems can implement updates from Google faster, Vertcoin can easily and quickly integrate any new upgrades coming along that have been programmed for Bitcoin. Vertcoin has proven this by being one of the first blockchain networks to have implemented SegWit, which was launched on Vertcoin in May 2017. This has had the benefit of optimizing the performance and improving scalability for Vertcoin's network.
What Are Vertcoin's Future Roadmap Updates?
So far in our Vertcoin review, we've learned that Vertcoin's network is governed by a community that is focused on practicing absolute decentralization. As a consequence, there is no controlling entity, parent group, or non-profit organization that sits atop Vertcoin to steer its development. Even while writing this Vertcoin review, there doesn't appear to be a proper roadmap that has been published by its community. However, a set of goals have been outlined for its future.
This includes the creation of a central governing foundation for Vertcoin. This way, more organized and structured governance can better help Vertcoin to evolve and grow in the future. A focused institution like that should be able to work out a much clearer path forward. Next, they'll also work to list Vertcoin's native VTC tokens on more cryptocurrency exchanges as a way to advance its popularity.
It's also worth remembering from earlier on in our Vertcoin review that its network carries over much of Bitcoin's code. This means that future updates on Bitcoin can be easily mirrored over to Vertcoin. They have already implemented SegWit for future scalability in ensuring faster and cheaper transactions. Vertcoin will also soon integrate Taproot when that launches for Bitcoin, which will add improved privacy features, along with hopefully increased security for its network.
51% Chain Attacks Against the Vertcoin Network
It's also worth pointing out before we can conclude our Vertcoin review, some of its more controversial past. There have been numerous security concerns and breaches made against Vertcoin in recent history. The key highlight of Vertcoin has been its focus on attaining maximal decentralization. While this has the benefit of a much fairer distribution of control and rewards to its community, it also means that its network can be exposed to malicious actors.
A paper published in 2018 noted that Vertcoin's relatively unpopularity is a concern, as well. This means that its difficulty adjustment algorithm is highly sensitive to hash rate changes and thus can be exploited for timestamp spoofing, double-spending, and cherry-picking attacks. The Vertcoin network suffered two different 51% chain attacks within a year. The first happened in late 2018, which had costed a loss of $100,000 to the Vertcoin community.
This 51% attack prompted Vertcoin's community developers to make changes in order to improve the security of their network. They aim to accomplish this by changing its Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm to a new and specialized Lyra2REv3 model. But just as its developers were in the midst of implementing this upgrade, it suffered another 51% attack in late 2019. This attack saw 603 legitimate blocks reorganized with 553 maliciously written blocks.
Vertcoin Review – Conclusion
Finally, we can come to summarise our final thoughts and lessons for our Vertcoin review. As of writing this Vertcoin review right now, there is not a lot of insight and clarification over their plans are for the future. Presently, it still retains a highly supportive, proactive, and passionate community. There's also not a lot of news about Vertcoin, aside from chatter within its own sphere. The roadmap updates that it has laid out are also not entirely encouraging.
However, there's still a lot that we can still hope for with Vertcoin. Now, more than ever, we've seen the effects of large and centralized mining power. Hardware-intensive networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum are continually being reminded by their community and outsiders of their large environmental impact. This is caused entirely by the energy required to power its mining apparatus alone. Then, there are high transaction fees and slow processing times.
Vertcoin, on the other hand, has promised to be able to solve some of these limitations. It promises a low threshold for more people to take part in its community and the fact that anyone can be involved in its mining. This means a fairer distribution of income and rewards for those who could otherwise only dream of mining crypto and with a peer-to-peer currency that can be shared easily and quickly. We can argue then that Vertcoin is more than worthy of a second chance.
Ease of Use
- Easy mining for home-grown, or low-resource computer hardware without needing expensive ASICs.
- The adoption of Bitcoin means that Vertcoin can receive future network upgrades from Bitcoin easily and quickly.
- Integration of SegWit to improve future scalability, along with cheaper and faster transactions.
- Lack of clarity over future network updates or developments, and plans for further growth other than mirroring Bitcoin's development.
- Limited usability outside of the Vertcoin ecosystem and tokens are used only for peer-to-peer transactions.