Vertcoin (VTC) is an open-source peer-to-peer digital currency based on the Bitcoin protocol with such additional features as Stealth Address technology and ASIC resistant Proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. It was designed to make mining profitable for end-users when it’s become obvious that Bitcoin can now only be obtained by specialized equipment (ASICs). Unlike Bitcoin, Vertcoin can be mined on graphic cards (GPU) that are available for almost all PC owners. It was created by a broad community of volunteers in 2014 as a hard fork of Litecoin which is in its turn a hard fork of Bitcoin. Thus, in its functionality, Vertcoin represents a mixture of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Blockchain enthusiasts foresaw that BTC mining will be overtaken by centralized resources and invented their own way to bypass the threat of centralization, i.e. they have undertaken some measures to prevent the mining power from getting concentrated in the hands of a few. ASIC-resistance is one of Vertcoin’s key features that makes it incompatible with high-powered specialized equipment. Vertcoin miner is available for any interested party to download on the project’s website with a pretty simple installation guide. In addition, the system is designed in such a way so as to prevent miners from joining into pools making sure that transactions are validated by a widely spread network of standalone users. To bypass Bitcoin’s problem with slow confirmation of transactions during the network’s congestion, Vertcoin has implemented the technology called “segregated witness”. It allows reducing the amount of data needed to verify each transaction and thus makes it possible to increase the network capacity. Another forefront technology added by the project is the lightning network which is an off-chain solution making it possible to process a practically unmeasurable number of transactions per second. Unlike many projects that emerged during the bullrun of 2017, Vertcoin didn’t conduct an ICO, nor had a pre-mine, neither had it offered any airdrops to its followers. The only explicit goal behind the project’s launch was to make mining available for broad masses. The coin VTC can be stored on the native wallet Vertcoin-core which is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It is also supported by many other popular wallets such as Coinomi, Ledger and Trezor. Of all the popular exchanges, the asset can be traded on just a few platforms including Poloniex, Upbit and Bittrex. Its total supply equals to 84 million VTC. In December 2018, Vertcoin fell victim to the 51% attack. Someone took control over the majority of the network’s hashing power which made it possible for them to conduct double-spend transactions. The attacker changed a part of the transaction history and created a longer chain of blocks forcing the rest of miners to validate the new version. This left the community questioning whether GPU-mined cryptocurrencies are capable of providing the network with the same level of security that Bitcoin’s ASICs do and whether such an approach is viable at all.
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