Which crypto currency becomes the future payment system

Aat de Kwaasteniet
Nov 26, 2018 · 11 min read

(Dutch version here)
A considerable number of crypto coins would like to become a generally usable means of payment. Some want to exist next to the Euro and some want to exist instead of the Euro. Which cryptographic coin has the best papers and has made the right design choices?
In this research, 32 crypto currencies, that have this wish, will be examined and investigated in the areas of Security, Availability, User-friendliness, Technical user aspects, Maintenance, etc. It does not look at the Marketcap or value of the crypto currency but only whether they are well equipped to perform the task as a means of payment.

Which Crypto currencies are participating? To this end the 350 first mentioned currencies on Coinmarketcap were examined and if the website of the coin in question specifically mentioned that they wanted to be a means of payment, the coin was included in this investigation. The currencies on place 351–2079 are not included to limit the amount of work somewhat. Maybe there are jewels in between but unfortunately :)
Coinmarketcap is only used for the selection method and source of data. No attention is given to the ranking method Coinmarketcap uses. For criticism of that method see this story (Dutch only)

It turned out that 32 coins met the criterion. Most Tokens/coins present themselves as a platform to facilitate other functions and therefore fell outside the scope of this study. The 32 are:

The list is in alphabetical order except for the last two. These coins, the Apollo currency (APL) and the E-Dinar coin (EDR) did meet the criterion but on closer look both coins appeared to have so much ambiguity that they were excluded from participation.
What is striking is that there are also 6 coins participating which are a fork of another coin. Namely BCH, BCD, BTG, BTCP, ZEN, ZCL. Where BTCP is a combination of BTC and ZEC.

Once the list was complete, the specific characteristics of all the coins were searched and placed in a spreadsheet. Then we assessed how the coins score on seven topics that will be discussed below. The different coins are assessed per subject via the scale:
Excellent: 10 punten
Very good: 8 punten
Good: 5 punten
Fair: 3 punten
Poor 0 punten
In addition, the subjects are given a value coefficient by which the score is multiplied. This is done because certain topics are considered more important than other topics. When all scores are taken together, we get a ranking to see which coin most closely matches the requirements to form a means of payment system.

Safety

The security of the blockchain depends on a number of things such as which mining system is used with which protocol, how much mining power is on the network, what it costs to perform a 51% attack, whether the wallet can be encrypted during Stake and whether extra measures such as masternodes etc. are taken. Below a table with the rating of the subject security. The remarks column contains a justification for the chosen rating. Please note that PoS is rated slightly higher than PoW.

Table 1 Safety

Availability

Table 2 Availibility

Use aspects in relation to wallet

Technical aspects of use

Short simplified explanation:
When a new block is mined it is announced with a very short (small) message. If a node notices that this is a new block for him, he will make a request to download it. Then he gets the whole block that can be big (data transfer speed slows down if the block is not 2 kilobytes but 2MB (Not everyone on this planet has fiber) and then he really has to count on the data. Only when that is done will this node have the block available for other nodes that are interested in what is the newest block in the blockchain at that moment. If you have a large network of 1000 nodes 70% will be up to date within 10 seconds but 5% will not be aware of the latest block after one minute.
If after 20 seconds another miner finds a block with the same ‘heigth’ and shoots into the network you have a good chance that you will have a temporary softfork on part of the network. According to the mentioned PDF Bitcoin with its block time of 10 minutes had a chance of 1.7% per block. Let alone if the block times are much shorter.
Therefore, it was decided to block times shorter than 1 minute with Fair or with Poor (block times of 15 seconds etc.) to assess.

The assessment should also include the number of transactions/seconds that the network can process. But because this data is not available with many coins while others claim they can handle 1000 transactions but cannot prove this because the busiest network so far only has to process a meager 3-4 transactions per second, it was decided not to include this item in the assessment. See also this article. (Dutch only)
The value coefficient is 2

Table 4 Usability tech-wise

Maintainability

Table 5 Maintainability

Inflation

With crypto this can be achieved by mining new coins via PoW or via Stake with PoS. It is then important that this is done a bit dosed and neatly. However, there are coins with a very high inflation and the market must be able to absorb all this influx of new coins. Because if all these newly mined coins are dumped directly on the market it can be very disadvantageous for the market.
The inflation is calculated on the basis of the block rewards against the “circulating supply”, so not of the maximum supply. The chosen method ensures that inflation will decrease over time and is therefore a snapshot with a reference date of November 2018. But this method seems fairer than including inflation in the maximum supply.
In this study, it was assumed that healthy inflation should be at least 0.5% and no more than 5% per year. More or less is therefore valued lower. There are coins with an inflation rate of more than 50%. Of course, these are not best assessed.
The value coefficient for inflation is set at 1.

Premine

Negative points

To build a safer blockchain, some coins have sacrificed the decentrality of the blockchain by introducing the central master/supernodes. This practice is also “punished” with -5 points. Finally, the crypto world wants to be an alternative to the centrally controlled Fiat world. Decentralized solutions are possible to achieve a safer blockchain, perhaps slightly more difficult but decentralized. So why choose the simple central solution?

Transparency of a currency is also important. If a coin cannot be fathomed through the public sources (for example the Website) in its actions, this also results in 5 penalty points. Two coins themselves were so little shrewd with information that they were not allowed to participate in this research.

Value coefficient is set at 1.

Conclusion

Nevertheless, this study gives a nice picture of how the different coins score in those areas that are important to become a generally accepted means of payment.

And now to the final score…….drum roll:

We see that Dash scores the most points and that a small coin like Gulden is second. Bitcoin comes in third place and has that third place due to the worse scores on transaction fee and confirmation speed.
All forks of Bitcoin, such as Bitcoincash, Bitcoingold and Bitcoindiamond score mediocre to bad. Apparently these are crypto’s that are only designed to give you a profit during the fork.

Accountability

Important data sources were:
Coinmarketcap
Bitcointalk
Coinwarz
The websites of the various cryptomunten
Research by Christian Decker, Roger Wattenhof
Bitinfocharts
White paper PoW2
Github

Other maybe relevant articles of the writer are:
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Classifying the crypto-coins.
The nonsense of Marketcap

Coinmonks

Coinmonks is a non-profit Crypto educational publication. Follow us on Twitter @coinmonks Our other project — https://coincodecap.com

Aat de Kwaasteniet

Written by

Pensionado, en crypto-lover

Coinmonks

Coinmonks

Coinmonks is a non-profit Crypto educational publication. Follow us on Twitter @coinmonks Our other project — https://coincodecap.com

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