Any superstitious altcoin enthusiasts out there? Today marks the coincidence of both Friday the 13th and the full moon, an appropriate way to end yet another week in the digital currency world.
But, there’s no need to dwell on the existence of luck as it relates to cryptographic payment systems. Instead, let’s kick back and take a look at some of the more notable recent happenings in altcoin for a few minutes – and hope that you don’t see any black cats walking under ladders or breaking a nearby mirror before you post your next buy or sell order.
Altcoins rise to cheer on World Cup festivities
The 2014 Fifa World Cup kicked off this week, pitting the world’s football (or soccer for US fans) champions against one another in Brazil.
To commemorate the event, several new altcoins have launched with competing algorithms and market outlooks but with decidedly identical branding.
Worldcupcoin is an X11 proof-of-work coin that seeks primarily to promote the games and serve as a vehicle for holders to gamble on the matches throughout the World Cup.
This altcoin sports a roughly 3 million coin max supply limit, though according to the coin’s Bitcoin Talk forum post, the project is light on offered services and information.
FIFAWCCoin is a similar project but the developers opted to use the X13 mining algorithm. Additionally, there will only be roughly 600,000 coins in circulation, making it rarer than its similarly-named cousin.
Long-term, the altcoin’s backers hope to promote sports programs worldwide, but questions remain regarding how the project would weather possible trademark violations arising from its name.
Additionally, established altcoin communities are getting in on the action.
The worldcoin development team is hosting a betting bracket for the games. According to Bitcoin Talk, 25% of entry fees will go to a charity that has yet to be chosen by the worldcoin community.
Other coin communities, including those for blackcoin, NXT and the aptly-named soccercoin, are holding betting rounds and other activities to mark the games in Brazil.
StartCOIN seeks to reshape crypto crowdfunding
On the grassroots level, plenty of projects have gained backing on Bitcoin Talk and other platforms through initial public offerings that take bitcoin or other alternative currencies. As well, some coin projects have been pitched as crowdfunding vehicles for charities.
StartCOIN is a new project backed by financial journalist and maxcoin founder Max Keiser and equity crowdfunding firm BankToTheFuture.com that is looking to shake up the digital currency crowdfunding landscape. The initiative pairs an altcoin with StartJOIN, a platform that aims to create a fun, inclusive environment for digital currency enthusiasts who want to support worthy causes.
The altcoin is fully mineable, based on the scrypt mining algorithm. As well, an airdrop is planned to distribute 25 startcoins to every member of the StartJOIN community.
BankToTheFuture.com CEO Simon Dixon explained that StartCOIN aims to create decentralized funding community that works together to provide money to artists and developers, saying:
"I see a coin for crowdfunding like quantitative easing for the people, by the people and without the central banks. People are creating money, money is used for investing in businesses and pushing forward projects, and there is no debt involved.”
Keiser told CoinDesk that, ultimately, the project could fundamentally shift how people use digital currencies as a technology:
“I think that within a few months StartJOIN, by successfully combining [crowdfunding] and crypto - as well as implementing the new features we have coming - will be on our way in completely changing the way people think about what's possible in this space."
Vertcoin rejects anonymity
In recent weeks, we’ve seen a steady stream of developments that bring greater anonymity to digital currency transactions. Notable entries including darkcoin and XC stirred up passionate reactions in the community for their approaches to transaction masking.
The vertcoin community is moving to integrate its own privacy-oriented infrastructure with a new "stealth address" feature. First announced in late May, the project is not an effort to anonymize vertcoin transactions, but instead a way to offer privacy controls as a choice that some consumers may opt to make.
Notably, the developers intimated in a blog post from 30th May that such a direction did not fit within the long-term goals of vertcoin, saying:
"We are of the opinion that mainstream adoption won’t come from [anonymity] features, and that they will actually damage the currencies that go down that route. The fact is, people don’t care about anonymity – if they did, they wouldn’t use social media."
On 10th June, the vertcoin team announced on the altcoin’s official subreddit that the project had reached the alpha stage, with an estimated month-long testing phase to commence before a private-invite beta was launched. Monocle, an alt that is merge-mined with vertcoin, is being leveraged to playtest and debug the feature before it is integrated with vertcoin.
To maintain transparency, the vertcoin dev team is sharing discovered bugs and has made a point to invite any and all feedback from the community.
Strange alt of the week
The altcoin world is no stranger to meme-themed coins. After all, dogecoin, based on the beloved shiba inu of internet fame, has arguably set the bar for how all other so-called memecoins shoot for success.
A new coin is set to debut this weekend that taps a popular, if not highly unusual, internet joke. Watcoin is based on an image of an old woman that has since found fame as a means to express confusion or surprise online. According to KnowYourMeme.com, the word is "the only proper response to something that makes absolutely no sense".
Watcoin aims to tap into the popularity of this phrase, boasting the slogan "in WAT we trust". The altcoin utilizes the X11 mining algorithm, and also incorporate Kimono’s Gravity Well to enable per-block difficulty retargeting.
Notably, the developers premined 1% of the coin’s expected 200 billion WAT max supply, with the idea of saving an undisclosed amount to donate to the old woman embossed on the coin’s insignia.
The developers wrote on the coin’s official website:
"We also kept a portion of the premine for the Wat Lady whose likeness we have used. Once she can be identified we will attempt to set up a wallet for her or her legal guardian. It is our way for her to receive some payback."
Have a tip about a notable happening in the altcoin world? Email CoinDesk email@example.com.
Disclaimer: This article should not be viewed as an endorsement. Please do your own extensive research before you consider investing in the altcoin space.