Oh, Fork it! The Future of the decentralized network depends on the quietest project.
The hype in the crypto market has reached a fever pitch, as ICO launches stack on top of each other at an accelerated pace in a desperate attempt to squeeze every last dollar out of the inflow of new money that sees this emerging market as their chance to become rich overnight. Unfortunately, the best and most innovative projects that can have a real impact on our daily lives are often overlooked in the throes of mass hysteria.
The Litecoin project, once thought of as just a clone of bitcoin with no real innovation has become a hot topic among crypto traders in the face of a split in the bitcoin community over the activation of Segregated Witness (A Network Scaling Solution) and the exorbitant transaction fees brought forth with a congested block chain. Even with the peaceful activation of Segregated Witness and an impressive roadmap, there is still an issue that plagues litecoin. The litecoin algorithm, Scrypt, is highly susceptible to ASICs. The leading manufacturer of these specialized miners, Bitmain, has held the bitcoin community hostage for years blocking innovative solutions aimed at scaling the Bitcoin network. The concentration of hash power in the hands of so few is truly the Achilles hill of any decentralized network.
In 2014, the Vertcoin project was born to combat the centralization issues that came with the adoption of ASICs. Vertcoin is a fork of bitcoin source code with changes in the hashing algorithm to resist ASICs. In its current incarnation, the network is secured with the Lyra2REv2 algorithm, this has made it easy for the general public to mine with off the shelf graphics cards while punishing miners that try to utilize specialized mining equipment and work together in mining pools to control the network. The Vertcoin strategy discourages centralization by any single entity and is one of the only solutions for a truly decentralized network.
The Vertcoin network successfully activated Segregated Witness on May 7th 2017 opening the door to even more interesting innovations. The most exciting is the Lightning Network, this revolutionary technology enables private off chain transactions to occur that are nearly instant and are merged onto the main chain after the transaction is complete. This is the technology that can finally bring mainstream retail businesses into the cryptocurrency universe. Transactions that are as fast as a credit card, vastly cheaper without the expense of merchant fees and are cryptographically secure is the blockchain’s “Killer App”. The Vertcoin development team has already activated this technology of the network’s main net and is almost ready for a full deployment. With the Lightning network also comes Atomic Swaps. Imagine your favorite retailer only accepts Litecoin but you only have Vertcoin. With Atomic Swaps, you no longer must choose. You can send the merchant Vertcoin and it will be automatically converted to Litecoin at current market rates and sent to the merchant’s wallet. You get to use your favorite cryptocurrency without the cost and hassle of exchanging those coins or keeping up with separate wallets.
I encourage everyone to read up on the project and visit the community to understand why this is currently one the most promising projects in the crypto sphere. This one has flown under the radar for quite some time but has a bright future ahead of it.