On October 1, 2017, Vertcoin was trading at just $0.98 and briefly touched $9.58 before correcting and is now sitting at $5.72, still up more than 500% since then – but does it have potential to go higher?
Vertcoin is not a coin overly complex in nature, but it does the fundamentals of a currency particularly well. The team behind it argues that a token cannot be decentralised if its mining community is dominated by large mining pools. This assertion envisions projects such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, where the communities are dominated by ASIC mining pools.
What are ASIC miners?
ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) is harder designed for one purpose - to mine cryptocurrencies. As opposed to other integrated circuits (ICs) and programmable chips that are more versatile, ASICs are purpose-built for optimal mining. Because of this, they are not mass-produced and are comparatively more expensive than regular computers.
Bitcoin mining ASICs are machines that run 24 hours a day, and you have probably seen photos of large warehouses full of them. This is how most Proof of Work (PoW) tokens are mined. On top of the huge amount of electricity required to run such an operation, it also creates many conflicts with decentralisation ideologies.
Unfortunately, no token can be truly ASIC-resistant, but it is encouraging that VTC is actively trying to retain mining equality.
Why is decentralized mining important?
Miners are the heart of the crypto ecosystem as they dictate the popularity and thus the value of a coin. If Bitcoin lost all its mining support tomorrow, it would be worthless. In theory, this is great because it means that the free market dictates the utility of coins. However, this is only true if the mining process is decentralised.
When majority of the mining power is concentrated in a handful of companies or projects, they can essentially manipulate prices and force decisions that may not sit well with the community.
Vertcoin is aimed at avoiding such a scenario and letting anyone participate profitably as a miner.
One-click mining system
VTC has developed the one-click miner - a system that makes mining far more accessible and user-friendly. In practical terms, this means a person working at home on a laptop has as much chance of mining the block as someone in a sophisticated mining group. As a result, Vertcoin mining is much more decentralized.
What’s next for Vertcoin?
As far as cryptocurrencies go, Vertcoin is pretty straightforward. It does not pretend to be anything it is not – it is a transactional currency and does a fairly good job of it (relatively fast, cheap, secure), and protects its token holders from mining centralisation.
It is Segwit-activated (which means it is equipped for scalability) and also has a cross-chain partnership with Litecoin. Vertcoin is even included in the title on the Litecoin roadmap and when the lightening network is implemented, it will be possible to use Vertcoin anywhere Litecoin can be used.
Without a strong community, any project is doomed, and this is where Vertcoin manages to shine, with its strong community support. Additionally, new updates, including mobile wallets, are expected this year, and people are also looking towards Vertbase, a project which aims to facilitate Vertcoin buying and selling, much like Coinbase.
At the time of writing, Vertcoin has a market cap of just under $250 million and is mainly trading on Bittrex and Poloniex. You can store your VTC in a Mac, Windows or Linux wallet, available for download on their official site.