Tue. Jun 18th, 2019

AltCoins that have good unique features or a good team behind them

Dash (DSH)

The currency was launched in January 2014 as “Xcoin” by Evan Duffield, as a fork of the Bitcoin protocol. It is an altcoin and in its early days it was subject to pump and dump speculation. It was rebranded as Darkcoin, which received press from the media as being used in dark net markets. In March 2015, it rebranded again with the name Dash as a portmanteau of ‘digital cash’. As of August 2016, Dash is no longer used in any major dark net markets worth noting.

In early 2017 Duffield, who lived in the Phoenix area, and some other people working on Dash took space in a business incubator at Arizona State University. The Dash DAO later funded a blockchain research lab at ASU.

As of April 2018, Dash’s market capitalization was around $4.3 billion and it was one of the top 12 cryptocurrencies.


Tether (USDT)

Beginning with a whitepaper published online in January 2012, J.R. Willett described the possibility of building new currencies on top of the Bitcoin Protocol. Willett went on to help implement this idea in the cryptocurrency Mastercoin, which had an associated Mastercoin Foundation (later renamed the Omni Foundation) to promote the use of this new “second layer”. The Mastercoin protocol would become the technological foundation of the Tether cryptocurrency, and one of the original members of Mastercoin Foundation, Brock Pierce, would become a co-founder of Tether. Another Tether founder, Craig Sellars, was the CTO of the Mastercoin Foundation.
The precursor to Tether, originally named “Realcoin”, was announced in July 2014 by co-founders Brock Pierce, Reeve Collins, and Craig Sellars as a Santa Monica based startup. The first tokens were issued on Oct 6, 2014, on the Bitcoin blockchain. This was done by using the Omni Layer Protocol. On 20 November 2014, Tether CEO Reeve Collins announced the project was being renamed to “Tether”. The company also announced it was entering private beta, which supported a “Tether+ token” for three currencies: USTether (US+) for United States Dollars, EuroTether (EU+) for Euros and YenTether (JP+) for Japanese yen. Tether said “Every Tether+ token is backed 100% by its original currency, and can be redeemed at any time with no exposure to exchange risk.” The company’s website states that it is incorporated in Hong Kong with offices in Switzerland, without giving details.

In January 2015, the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex enabled trading of Tether on their platform. While representatives from Tether and Bitfinex say that the two are separate, the Paradise Papers leaks in November 2017 named Bitfinex officials Philip Potter and Giancarlo Devasini as responsible for setting up Tether Holdings Limited in the British Virgin Islands in 2014. A spokesperson for Bitfinex and Tether has said that the CEO of both firms is Jan Ludovicus van der Velde.

According to Tether’s website, the Hong Kong based Tether Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of Tether Holdings Limited. Bitfinex is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges by volume in the world.
For a while, Tether was processing US dollar transactions through Taiwanese banks which, in turn, sent the money through the bank Wells Fargo to allow the funds to move outside Taiwan. Tether announced that on April 18, 2017, these international transfers had been blocked. Along with Bitfinex, Tether filed suit against Wells Fargo in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit was withdrawn a week later.
In June 2017, the Omni foundation and Charlie Lee announced that Tether would soon be issued on the Omni layer of Litecoin. In September 2017, Tether announced they would be launching additional ERC-20 tokens for United States Dollars and Euros on the Ethereum blockchain. Tether later confirmed the Ethereum tokens were issued. Currently, there are a total of four distinct Tether tokens: United States Dollar Tether on Bitcoin’s Omni layer, Euro Tether on Bitcoin’s Omni layer, United States Dollar Tether as an ERC-20 token, and Euro Tether as an ERC-20 token.
From January 2017 to September 2018, the amount of tethers outstanding grew from about $10 million to about $2.8 billion. In early 2018 Tether accounted for about 10% of the trading volume of bitcoin, but during the summer of 2018 it accounted for up to 80% of bitcoin volume. As of June 2018, Tether was the tenth largest cryptocurrency.

Research suggests that a price manipulation scheme involving tether accounted for about half of the price increase in bitcoin in late 2017.More than $500 million Tethers were issued in August 2018.
On October 15, 2018 the tether price briefly fell to $0.88 due to the perceived credit risk as traders on Bitfinex exchanged tether for bitcoin, driving up the price of bitcoin.
Tether Limited has not substantiated their claim of full-backing through a promised audit of their currency reserves.



A total of 100 million NEO were created in the Genesis Block. 50 million NEO were sold to early investors, with the remaining 50 million NEO locked into a smart contract. Each year, 15 million NEO tokens are unlocked which can be used by the NEO development team to fund long term development goals. NEO tokens generate a slowly deflationary amount of GAS tokens which are used to pay for transactions on the network. The inflation rate of GAS is controlled with a decaying half life algorithm that will release 100 million GAS over approximately 22 years.

The core of the NEO feature set revolves around tools that allow developers to efficiently deploy and scale smart contract applications on the NEO blockchain.
NEP5 Communications Standard – the NEP5 gives developers a standardized workflow and template to build decentralized applications. All tokens using the NEP5 standard are automatically able to transact with any other token using the NEP5 standard which allows for applications such as decentralized exchanges and other more advanced cross token communication.
X.509 Digital Identities allow developers to tie tokens to real world identities which aids in complying with KYC/AML and other regulatory requirements
NeoX – A cross chain protocol that will allow NEO tokens to communicate with tokens on other blockchains.
NeoFS – A decentralized file sharing service based on the InterPlanetary File System.
NeoQS – A lattice-based cryptographic mechanism which creates problems that cannot be solved by quantum computers and ensuring being quantum-proof


Ripple (XRP)

In 2014 Bitcointalk forum user known as thankful_for_today forked the codebase of Bytecoin into the name BitMonero, which is a compound of Bit (as in Bitcoin) and Monero (literally meaning “coin” in Esperanto).[3] The release of BitMonero was very poorly received by the community that initially backed it. Plans to fix and improve Bytecoin with changes to block time, tail emission and block reward had all been ignored, and thankful_for_today simply disappeared from the development scene. A group of users led by Johnny Mnemonic decided that the community should take over the project, and five days later they did while also changing the name to Monero.

Due to its privacy features, Monero experienced rapid growth in market capitalization and transaction volume during the year 2016, faster and bigger than any other cryptocurrency that year. This growth was driven by its uptake in the darknet market, where people used it to buy stolen credit cards, guns, and drugs. Two major darknet markets were shut down in July 2017 by law enforcement. From the beginning, Monero has been used by people holding other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to break the link between transactions, with the other cryptocoins first converted to Monero, then after some delay converted back and sent to an address unrelated to those used before.

On January 10, 2017, the privacy of Monero transactions was further strengthened by the adoption of Bitcoin Core developer Gregory Maxwell’s algorithm Confidential Transactions, hiding the amounts being transacted, in combination with an improved version of Ring Signatures.

After many online payment platforms shut down access for white nationalists following the Unite the Right rally in 2017, some of them, including Christopher Cantwell and Andrew Auernheimer (“weev”), started using and promoting Monero.
The operators behind the May 2017 global ransomware incident WannaCry converted their proceeds into Monero.
In June, The Shadow Brokers, the group that leaked the code used in WannaCry, started accepting payments in Monero.

Malicious hackers have previously embedded Monero mining code into websites and apps seeking profit for themselves. In late 2017 malware and antivirus service providers blocked a JavaScript implementation of Monero miner Coinhive that was embedded in websites and apps, in some cases by hackers.
Coinhive generated the script as an alternative to advertisements; a website or app could embed it, and use website visitor’s CPU to mine the cryptocurrency while the visitor is consuming the content of the webpage, with the site or app owner getting a percentage of the mined coins.
Some websites and apps did this without informing visitors, and some hackers implemented it in way that drained visitors’ CPUs. As a result the script was blocked by companies offering ad blocking subscription lists, antivirus services, and antimalware services.

As of May 2018 Monero was led by 7 members, 49 developers and 3 researchers, with the unofficial figurehead of pseudonymous Luigi1111.

In the first half of 2018, Monero was used in 44% of cryptocurrency ransomware attacks.

In July 2018, the Change.org Foundation took advantage of Monero’s mining network by creating a screensaver that mines Monero to raise funds.
In November that same year, Bail Bloc released a mobile app that mines Monero to raise funds for low-income defendants who can’t otherwise cover their own cash bail.

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