Of the many hundreds of competing blockchains growing like so many weeds around Bitcoin, it is difficult to separate the ‘Scrypt’ from the ‘SHA-256.’ Not to mention the ‘Blake-256’ from the ‘X11’s’ or even ‘X13’s.’
In fact, the cryptocurrency (crypto) space has developed its own sets of specialists, programmers and even universities have begun teaching the new freely distributed technologies. What one thinks about private currencies may be irrelevant, however, even in the short term. They are changing and improving faster than many of us can imagine.
From Bitcoin to Paccoin, the ever increasing number of crypto’s grows unabated. Recently, Crypto Currency Market-Capitalizations listed at least 688 different crypto’s. Where this will end is anybody’s guess. But what is the burning question? Which one will win? Which crypto will become the most widely used? Right?
Doesn’t that keep the crypto-enthusiast up at night? Don’t lie. I know you’ve stared at the ceiling thinking about the potential of crypto’s to deliver us from the pit of government spending. That is, unless governments decide to make such private currency creation illegal or otherwise sideline them via over-regulation. Conjecture has it that governments will choose to replicate blockchain technologies.
But there is a problem with blockchains in general. They publish the total number of coins in existence. Some crypto’s, such as Bitcoin have a limited supply of coins. Other crypto’s factor in small percentage increases to account for growth and potential future demands. There are few that have no fast number or percentage at all.
Governments would require the ability to generate or mine as much cryptocurreny as needed. Given the histories of monetary policies in most countries today, that would necessarily result in permanent and ongoing price inflation. Imagine Peercoin or Infinitecoin gone wild.
However one feels about the right to create currency is also tempered by how public one would like financial transactions to become. Many blockchains do not keep the transactions invisible from prying eyes. But some do. Coins like DASH, which currently utilizes an X11 algorythm, offers private transactions. But DASH also operates more like a private/public business. This is not to say that DASH cannot become a serious competitor to in the crypto space, however, many innovators are negative about the long-term prospects of DASH.
There are also concerns that ultimately, any cryptocurrency, especially those displaying a public database or having known developers, can be required by governments to hand over the records. Many would say that being able to obtain transaction records of all persons is the price one pays to live in a free society. But this sentiment is misplaced, to put it politely. Few would agree that everyone needs to know that you purchased a chocolate bar with cash at the convenience store at 5:30 p.m. More would agree that anyone who uses cash, credit or crypto to commit crimes – to steal – should be brought to justice.
And that is the genius of the right kind of crypto. The kind of crypto that more closely resembles cash. But secure and private electronic cash. The kind nobody else can see but you. The kind that criminals cannot find. Bitcoin, however, does not cut the cash cake. Bitcoin is more like a check or debit card. If it does not have your name on it, it certainly has your account number for all to see.
One of the first serious attempts to create a more cash-like crypto was Bytecoin. Bytecoin, a CryptoNote based crypto, is currently not very popular. It has yet to become a Fintech household word, but the technology is designed to keep the currency, the “BCN,” cash-like. Bytecoin is the “dark horse.” Although, some would call it a dead horse.
As the privacy-minded Bytecoin continues improving, however, many hope it will assume its rightful role as a serious competitor to Bitcoin. The fact that its developers remain private is certainly a critical factor for many a blockchain purist. Privacy through anonymity means that blockchain records cannot be confiscated from developers. It also allows users to send and receive crypto’s with peace of mind.
Where Bytecoin lacks in popularity, however, Monero has gained. Monero, a fork of Bytecoin, with some rough beginnings, chugged along and earned the respect of the loosely organized crypto community. Today, Monero is actively garnering a grassroots support structure via Stack Exchange. And to say it resembles CryptoNote any longer, is a stretch. But as with DASH, at least one critical developer is known in the Monero “dev” club. Does this make Monero easier to compromise? Some argue in the negative – that reliable hackers would save the day.
On the other hand, the fact remains. People can be targeted. It’s a bit more difficult to target a decentralized system of financial records, however. For all its improvements and continuing upgrades; and community support, the Monero parents birthed a new crypto with even more promise. Again — debatable.
Enter AEON. It is, like Bytecoin, resistant to external political-monetary pressures. But, AEON has been and is being modified and streamlined. AEON is a fork of Monero. The developers of AEON have remained private. But just as in Bitcoin, their cash-like currency has been made public.
AEON is based on the CryptoNote Protocol and differs from Bitcoin in one big way: privacy. But that is not all. AEON uses CryptoNight-Lite algorithm to vary block rewards and a limit the supply. This is new tech.
Think of it this way. Bytecoin is the Aircraft Carrier. Monero, the escorting Submarines. And AEON is the squadron of new jets warming up on deck. Fast and sleek. Care to fly one? Buckle in.
Another major adaptation with AEON is “pruning.” Many will understand this term, as it relates to bloated blockchains. Monero has that issue, but it can change. For the layman, just know that the amount of data stored in a the blockchain ‘ledger’ becomes more unwieldy each passing second. If one can reduce the data storage requirement without loosing critical information, the entire system speeds up.
Think: jet fuel. Think streamlining.
Bitcoin, as we all have read, continues to experience slow downs. There is even speculation that breakdowns could occur. Can you see billions in currency frozen forever in a blockchain? What of the upcoming halvings? If one were to imagine Bitcoin, it would have to be like the castles of old. They served their purpose, but eventually they outlived their usefulness. They became giant crumbling — sitting targets.
We are in a new AEON now. The Bitcoin Castle does not need to be torn down. It is crumbling all on its own. Its ragtag army of developers, innovators in their own right, are in disarray or have moved on. And AEON is just beginning. Its innovators eat, drink and breathe crypto.
The cryptocurrency space has little time for stragglers camping around crumbling castles, for sure. And that is why I wrote this blog.
I’ve experimented with a number of crypto’s. As a layman, I’ve clocked the transfer speeds of various cryptocurrencies, especially from the exchanges to my personal computer. Some, like Peercoin and DASH are very fast. But many of the crypto’s are extremely slow to process. Some take seconds, others, including Bitcoin on occasion, take hours – if they don’t ‘break’ altogether.
Running into user unfriendly software isn’t fun either. AEON has what is called a “GUI” Wallet, which is generally easy to use. But I used what is called a “simplewallet.” A simple wallet will remind most of a DOS based interface. But hey, some of us older gents cut our teeth on BASIC. In any event, I used the simple wallet and thought I was loosing my CPU’s.
I transferred AEON crypto’s from an Exchange called “Bittrex” to my personal computer. At first, nothing special happened. As usual, one transfer took a few minutes. Then another, took fewer minutes. Then, quite by accident, I was shocked by the third transfer.
I thought: jet fuel. I had just initiated a transfer from Bittrex. I then moved my eyes right, where I had my simple wallet open on my screen and the command “balance” already typed in. I pressed the enter key.
My transfer was already processing in my wallet. I’d have to say it was about a second. Even Vcash never went this fast for me. Maybe Ripple could compete, but many a purist would advise that Ripple isn’t really crypto.
— Stay tuned…more about AEON and other crypto’s to come. A little more history about AEON is here.
(Note: I am not a developer of AEON, just a user.)
Disclaimer: The above blog is the author’s opinion. Do not base any investment decisions upon the information provided. Please conduct your own research.