UPDATE: Josh Wise has won the online NASCAR vote thanks to the dogecoin community's efforts.
Wise and his team will now take part in tomorrow's 2014 Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte.
It was another strong week in the world of alternative digital currencies, as several coins saw impressive price gains while developers sparked renewed activity in some established coin communities.
While there's always plenty of action in the alt world, here are some of the more noteworthy developments from the past week.
New life for Maxcoin?
The price spiked to roughly $3 within days, and fell just as quickly. As of this writing, the average price for a single maxcoin is just below US$0.05.
Yet, there may be renewed development taking place in the maxcoin community, according to a post on the Bitcoin Talk forum by one of the altcoin’s core developers, Luke Mitchell.
Mitchell said in a statement that maxcoin is alive and well, declaring:
Mitchell also dismissed rumors that he and the development team acted to secured large amount of maxcoins during launch as "unfounded and false".
CoinDesk reached out to Mitchell for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Keiser himself recently fanned the flames of speculation of a maxcoin revival in a 14th May post to his Twitter account:
Could maxcoin be making a comeback? The alt world will have to wait and see what Keiser and his team have up their sleeves.
Dogecar's second lap
NASCAR driver Josh Wise, beloved sports icon of the dogecoin community, may be getting a second chance behind the wheel of the crowdfunded Dogecar.
Wise is locked in a tight bid to follow up his impressive performance at Talladega last month at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on 17th May in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wise is one of a long list of drivers competing in an online vote, the winner of which gains entry into the race.
Participants can vote as many times as they wish. Since the contest was announced, the dogecoin community has undertaken a get-out-the-vote campaign ranging from Twitter posts, reddit bulletins and, as always, elaborately conceived YouTube videos.
Signs suggest that Wise, despite the odds, may succeed in his bid. According to a member of the dogecoin community on reddit claiming to have a connection inside NASCAR, Wise is currently in second place behind driver Danica Patrick.
Brisbane gains an alt-dispensing ATM
Queensland, Australia, has received its first bitcoin ATM at a local cafe in South Brisbane. In addition to bitcoin transactions, the machine will also provide support for litecoin and dogecoin.
The ATM, developed by Peru-based ATM manufacturer Bit2Bit, is located at The Roastery. Users will be able to buy and sell digital currency, as well as make BTC, LTC and DOGE withdrawals.
One of the co-owners of The Roastery, Bruce Carrall, told the Brisbane Times that the cafe launched the ATM to tap into the local passion for digital currencies, saying:
Best of all, fans of litecoin and dogecoin will be able to use receipts from the machines to make purchases at the cafe. Next time you’re in South Brisbane with your DOGE wallet handy, you might want to think about stopping buy for a cup of coffee.
The rise of X11
In recent months, innovations have come out of the altcoin community that have pushed new mining approaches and algorithms into the fore. From Scrypt-N to Groestl, more advanced systems for veryifing transactions within the coin network are reshaping the altcoin landscape.
According to a document created by pool operator SuchPool.pw, X11 "provides a very efficient way to mine coins". The algorithm does not pose the same power needs as other proof-of-work digital currencies, results in lower heat ranges and and greater hardware longevity as a result.
Pioneered by darkcoin, X11 has slowly gained traction in terms of new coin implementation. Darkcoin, along with Hirocoin and québecoin, are perhaps the most notable examples of X11 coins. Additionally, the algorithm has been integrated by some elements of the multipool community, with several pools offering X11 as a mining option.
For altcoin miners, X11 presents an interesting alternative that could become more prominent within the ecosystem. Those hoping to increase the lifetime of their mining rigs may want to consider this new algorithm as a viable option.
Strange alt of the week
In a recent edition of All Things Alt, we highlighted facebookcoin, an altcoin which wandered into the risky legal area of trademark infringement.
The altcoin development community is at it again with thesmurfscoin, a proof-of-stake coin that relies on the loveable Smurf characters of 1980s cartoon fame.
Thesmurfscoin’s odd name and utilization of proprietary images from the recent The Smurfs feature films for its insignia has earned it this week’s Strange Alt of the Week award.
Unlike most new proof-of-stake coins, thesmurfscoin is launching without an initial proof-of-work phase, instead opting for a distribution phase executed by the developer. Forty percent of the coin’s 100m max supply was scheduled to be distributed to users, according to a post on Bitcoin Talk.
A multipool has been set up to provide buy support for thesmurfscoin, which thus far has only been listed on one exchange. Though, this strategy mirrors the multipool approach previously employed by members of the blackcoin community.
Have a tip about a notable happening in the altcoin world? Email CoinDesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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