Welcome to the CCN weekly altcoin news update, where we profile newsworthy items that have flown under the mainstream radar. This week’s edition features an exceptionally impressive lineup of stories. In the past week, the Darkcoin price fell below $5, which may be partly due to Cloakcoin’s announcement that their unique Proof of Stake Anonymity algorithm entered public beta. Finally, Feathercoin is set to become the first noteworthy altcoin to adopt the NeoScrypt Proof of Work hashing algorithm.
Investors seem to be losing confidence in Darkcoin. After rising 2,000% in the month of May to over $17, the Darkcoin price has trended downwards throughout June and July. Since July 15, the Darkcoin price downtrend has become increasingly steep. From July 20 to July 31, the Darkcoin price fell from $7 to $4.37, according to CoinGecko.
Part of that downtrend is due to the recent Bitcoin price fall, but Darkcoin has also been losing ground against the Bitcoin price. Over the past 30 days, the Darkcoin price fell from .01 BTC to .007 BTC.
While the Darkcoin price has been in decline for quite a while, the recent drop may be due to developments with Cloakcoin, another coin seeking to provide anonymous transactions for the cryptocurrency market. Cloakcoin made another important step toward a trustless, anonymous ecosystem by moving Proof of Stake Anonymity (PoSA) into a public beta testing phase.
Investors have responded quite positively to the announcement. Since PoSA entered public beta testing, the Cloakcoin price rose from a mean of around $.70-$.85 throughout the latter half of July to $1.95 on July 30. The Cloakcoin price is still fluctuating greatly, but at present it sits at $1.76.
To learn more about PoSA, read my interview with the Cloakcoin developer behind the algorithm.
ASIC miners completely changed the Bitcoin mining market, and the recent introduction of Scrypt ASICs such as the Zeusminer line have already begun to transform Scrypt mining. Because ASICs are so powerful, it is relatively easy for a person or group to control enough hashing power to threaten coins with a low hashrate.
To combat this, John Doering led a team of developers to create a Scrypt-derivative, called NeoScrypt. NeoScrypt is not ASIC-proof, but it can resist ASIC miners for the near future. Doering’s Phoenixcoin will be the first coin to move to NeoScrypt, making the change on August 10.
Soon after, Feathercoin will become the second coin to adopt the NeoScrypt algorithm, though the date for Feathercoin’s hardfork is still undetermined.
Feathercoin founder Pete Bushnell said he decided to move to NeoScrypt to keep the Feathercoin mining network decentralized.
Avoiding ASICs forever may not be possible, but the current version of Scrypt makes this easier than it should be, as it uses relatively weak components that have been broken by differential analysis, this means you can get the same result without going through the process expected by Scrypt design. This is why you now see cheap ASICs for Scrypt coins coming out. We are moving to a hashing solution that uses stronger components that have not been broken yet and should not be for the next decade at least. The performance and cost of NeoScrypt ASICs would be prohibitive and this is the best way to protect the decentralised mining of Feathercoin.
If Phoenixcoin and Feathercoin can successfully transition to NeoScrypt, other Scrypt coins may be wise to consider NeoScrypt. In addition to decentralizing the hashrate, NeoScrypt coins can attract GPU miners who can no longer make a profit in an ASIC-laden Scrypt mining industry.
That’s it for this week. Have an article you think we should feature in next week’s altcoin news update? Email me at JosiahWilmoth@gmail.com
Disclosure: The Author has about 400 CLOAK and has done marketing consulting for Cloakcoin.
Last modified (UTC): July 31, 2014 18:48