An Introduction to Vertcoin: an ASIC resistant cryptocurrency

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What is Vertcoin and Why Was it Created?

Vertcoin is a Proof-of-Work (PoW) cryptocurrency originally created on January 2014, as a masters project by a group of students. Just like Bitcoin and Litecoin, it is a peer to peer cryptocurrency of which many of the features are the same. The main difference between Vertcoin and the other coins is that it is heavily focused towards being resistant to ASICs (powerful computers that can mine cryptocurrency rapidly), and decentralization. It is also designed to be easy to use and get into.

Why is ASIC resistance important?

Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm, which has now been around for many years and the algorithm hasn’t been changed since its genesis. This means that large hardware companies have created ASICs in order to mine at a very high rate compared to those who mine with their GPUs (graphics cards) and CPUs (processors) at home. As a result of this, the cryptocurrency’s difficulty increases and means that GPU mining isn’t profitable for many people. Therefore, people stop mining and the large companies control a lot of the hash power. A large amount of hashing power in the control of one entity can mean the network isn’t decentralized and therefore create 51% attacks. Learn more about 51% attacks here.

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If a cryptocurrency is ASIC resistant, the hashing power is more even between its users as they can mine for themselves and this in turn creates a decentralised network.

How does Vertcoin achieve ASIC resistance?

A question you may be asking at this point is “How does Vertcoin achieve ASIC resistance?” or “Surely an ASIC would’ve been created for it by now?”. The truth is that no hashing algorithm can be truly ASIC resistant, and an ASIC was created for VTC at one point.

In the past, Vertcoin used the Scrypt-Adaptive-N algorithm for hashing. An ASIC was produced that could use this algorithm and dominate the network. However, as Vertcoin is dedicated to staying ASIC resistant, a new hashing algorithm was created (Lyra2RE) and Vertcoin hardforked to use Lyra2RE rather than Scrypt-Adaptive-N.

Vertcoin now uses Lyra2REv2 in order to favour GPU mining rather than CPU mining to ensure CPU botnets cannot attack the network.

The fact alone that VTC is commited to staying ASIC resistant, and has demonstrated it will stay that way, is enough of a deterrent for ASIC companies to stay away from those algorithms.

What makes Vertcoin better than Bitcoin/Litecoin?

Vertcoin is a software fork of Litecoin, so many features are the same. Both Litecoin and Vertcoin will only ever have a maximum of 84 million coins and blocks arise every 2.5 minutes (and Litecoin is a software fork of Bitcoin, which will only ever have a total of 21 millions coins and blocks can be found on average every 10 minutes). Other than being ASIC resistant, VTC’s difficulty adjusts with every block rather than ever 2016 blocks so it always remains profitable, slow downs aren’t created in the network and high fees aren’t needed in order for your transactions to be confirmed. In fact, the average transaction fee is less than half a cent (which is amazing as Bitcoin’s transaction fee rised above $11 during a time where it was more profitable to mine Bitcoin Cash and the difficulty could only change after 2016 blocks):

However, Vertcoin isn’t meant to be a replacement for the other coins. It is meant to be able to coincide with Bitcoin and Litecoin. As mentioned before all three of these cryptocurrencies are very similar. For example, Segregated Witness is enabled on all of these coins which will at one point allow for transactions to be sent over the Lightning Network (for quicker transactions – it is currently in Alpha), and Atomic Cross-Chain Swaps (which is currently in development but has been successfully tested) so coins can be swapped easily. i.e. Vertcoin ⇄ Litecoin ⇄ Bitcoin.

Vertcoin is SegWit enabled.

How Do I Buy Vertcoin?

Vertcoin can be bought from exchanges such as Bittrex, or other cryptocurrencies can be “converted” into Vertcoin with a service such as Shapeshift.io. Another way you can obtain it is by Vertcoin mining, which can be very profitable depending on your GPU. Currently it can be mined with Vertcoin’s One Click Miner (which is only optimised for nVidia cards at the moment), and this can be found on Vertcoin’s Slack #OneClick ChannelAn AMD Optimised miner is currently in development, but will need donations to be funded.

In the UK, Vertcoin can be bought directly with GBP with Bittylicious (which rates often aren’t so good), but is still an option nonetheless.

How Can I Store Vertcoin?

There are many wallets that support Vertcoin. The official wallets can be found on their site.

There are three official options here. The first of which is the Vertcoin core wallet available for Windows and MacOS. This will require you to download the entire blockchain (history of all Vertcoin transactions), and may take a large amount of time to sync. The other two options are Electrum-VTC and using a web wallet, both of which don’t require to download the entire block chain on to your computer.

Another option is two use a hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano S, which will support VTC very soon.

A few more options include using a paper wallet, that can be created from downloading the html file and opening in an environment without an internet connection, printing the paper wallets and then clearing any browser/printer caches. If you choose this option you may want to print multiple copies and perhaps even store in multiple paper wallets. Finally, you could also use a mobile wallet such as Coinomi (which actually used encrypted Electrum servers in its back end) for ease of access and quick use.

For which ever method of storage you choose, always make sure you have the private keys or seed recovery phrase or paper wallet written down/stored safely so as to ensure that you can always have access to them.

How can I help out Vertcoin?

One of the best ways that you can help is by Vertcoin mining. This allows transactions to be sent as expected, prevents decentralization, and you can profit off of it. You could also donate to Vertcoin, in order to pay for developers, marketing, and the AMD optimized miner. In addition to that you could also stay active in the community, for example on reddit, or discord, and help out by answering questions or just being a part of the community in general!

 

Is there anything we’ve missed, or anything you’d like to point out? Please let us know in the comments!

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