All Things Alt: The MintPal Fallout, Viacoin’s Big Haul and an Altcoin for Kids

Stan Higgins
Jul 19, 2014 at 04:40 UTC
Updated Jul 31, 2014 at 12:49 UTC

With the summer (or winter, depending on where you are) nearly half over, there’s been seemingly no end to the exciting times in the world of alt.

Events both positive and negative have shaped the space in the past two weeks, but as always, there’s simply not enough time to sum it all up. From new service launches to catastrophic conclusions to altcoin projects, the ups and downs of the altcoin ecosystem still show no sign of abating as we head into the final days of July.

Developers debate vericoin block chain rollback

VericoinLast week’s successful attack on digital currency exchange MintPal drew both support and condemnation for the decision by the vericoin development team to roll back the blockchain and reverse the theft of roughly 8 million VRC.

Many observers took to social media to comment on the developments. On 15th July, litecoin founder Charlie Lee posted a statement on the official litecoin subreddit. He said that he believed the vericoin rollback was a mistake, and one that the litecoin team would not repeat should a similar large-scale theft occur.

He remarked that developers should have “no right” to intervene, saying:

“The rules are set forth since the genesis block and cannot be changed. If a theft happens on top of the network, the developers will not fork the coin to reverse any transactions. It is up to the market to decide on how to handle the theft.”

However, he acknowledged that the vericoin team was put into “a bad position” and, owing to the nature of proof-of-stake mining, faced the alternative of a fraudulent actor in control of roughly 30 percent of the vericoin network.

Vericoin developer Patrick Nosker replied to the litecoin subreddit thread that Lee’s comments were “well said”. However, he said that “to not fork would guarantee the death of vericoin”, and that the situation, in the broader history of cryptocurrencies, was unprecedented

He explained:

“When someone is faced with a critical question like this with very little decision-making time it is very difficult to make a wise decision. We quickly analyzed the blockchain and determined that if the coin count was above 6 million coins it was able to attack the coin by mechanism of a 51% attack. That left us with only two options: Fork (like we did) or to blacklist the new addresses in a wallet update and hope people upgraded before the thief sent the coins to new addresses.”

The two developers continued to discuss the nature of the attack, agreeing that the situation was fast-paced and uncertain, but Lee said that the “implications” of the event may not yet be fully understood. Notably, Nosker said that the developers had no stake in the large amount of stolen coins, confirming earlier statements that the move was designed principally to protect investors keeping funds on MintPal.

Viacoin presale raises 610 BTC

Viacoin

A new altcoin project attracted more than 600 BTC in a pre-sale prior to the launch of the block chain.

The eight-day presale of viacoin brought in just over 610 BTC, an amount worth more than $380,000. The round consisted of both large and small investors, as shown by a presale distribution list provided on the alt’s official Bitcoin Talk forum post. Notably, the document shows that one investor purchased 75 BTC worth of the alt.

Viacoin is being developed in conjunction with another initiative called ClearingHouse, a decentralized protocol that will be built using Counterparty as a basis for development. Developer BTCDrak said on the official viacoin blog that services for viacoin will be the focus until ClearingHouse is released, which will also include its own internal currency.

BTCDrak told CoinDesk that he was surprised by the outcome, saying that he hoped to generate about 150 BTC during the presale. However, he cited enthusiasm from multiple sectors of the crypto community – as well as the body of investors who work in altcoins – as key to the successful presale.

He added:

“It’s pretty surreal.”

Poloniex launches market for NXT-backed asset

Poloniex

Digital assets denominated in altcoins aren’t exactly a new idea. But in what may be an industry first, an established, centralized exchange is launching a new tradeable asset connected to a variety of NXT-based projects and initiatives.

The JLH (short for jl777hodl) asset, now available on Poloniex, consists of 20 different assets that are available on that project’s decentralized exchange. According to Poloniex, these assets include shares in payment processors, mining groups and other parts of the crypto ecosystem being built around NXT, as well as stakes in real estate or other tangible points of investment.

Poloniex owner Tristan D’Agosta explained that, in part, the launch is a step toward centralized exchanges in the altcoin space offering more than just coin pairs.

He told CoinDesk:

“Alts are tied to currencies, and the vast majority aim to be currencies. Assets can be anything: shares of real estate, gold, shares in a company, etc. Listing managed assets on Poloniex brings greater visibility to cryptocurrency; it sets the precedent that centralized exchanges are now empowered to offer investing beyond speculation of widespread adoption and now tie value to performance.”

Since launching on 18th July, the feature attracted immediate if not modest volume, and at press time, the 24-hour volume for BTC/JLH was just over 3 BTC.

Strange alt of the week

ip.bitcointalk

A new coin is hoping to capture the imagination behind the Tooth Fairy by creating a strange yet potentially effective means of distributing digital currencies.

Toothyfairycoin (sign: TFC), is a proof-of-work/proof-of-stake hybrid that uses the X15 hashing algorithm. The flagship service is to be specialized paper wallets that parents can presumably deposit underneath their children’s pillows. Instead of using paper money or coins, kids who lose their teeth can receive an altcoin instead.

For this unusual distribution method, toothfairycoin has won this week’s Strange Alt of the Week award.

The team behind TFC, which according to Bitcoin Talk has not yet launched, announced that it would hold a paper wallet design contest, with a winner’s purse of 250,000 toothfairycoins. But at it’s heart, the coin seems to be about injecting a bit of fun and imagination into the altcoin world.

As the developer wrote:

“Do you remember when you lost a tooth as a child? It was like Christmas when you woke up and found money underneath the pillow. It is for this reason that we have decided to release toothfairycoin.”

Images via Bitcoin Talk

Debate image via Shutterstock

Have a tip about a notable happening in the altcoin world? Email CoinDesk at stan@coindesk.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.