A Week-Old Cryptocurrency Wants to Capture the Wasted Energy of Bitcoin's Algorithm
Some of us are taken with bitcoin. We have learned its basics, and are more or less versed with its socioeconomic implications. We get it.
Cryptocurrencies Could Crunch Meaningful Code Instead Of Burning Electricity
But when an acquaintance of mine told me recently that he's trading in more than 30 bitcoin alternatives, or altcoins, my mind was blown. Acting as a sort of crypto-FOREX trader, he's the first to answer one of my go-to questions on bitcoin: What would you do to make it better?
The work is to avoid the value conundrum elegantly teased by Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, at the point in the story where shipwrecked aliens adopt the leaf as currency: "We have, of course, all become immensely rich...But we have also run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship’s peanut."
A New Digital Currency Concept Solves One Of Bitcoin's Most Obvious Flaws
Primecoin would have a long way to catch up with Bitcoin, but things move fast in the crypto-currency world, so anything could happen.
Virtual currency speculators shut down cloud
So when the currency launched on July 7, many speculators who had seen Bitcoin's rise to over $100 per coin were keen to find clouds to use to mine the currency. One person on the Primecoin forum posted a walkthrough plus a link to a discount voucher for spinning up DigitalOcean instances on July 9, and things snowballed from there.
New currency Primecoin searches for prime numbers as proof of work
Prime numbers are a valuable mathematical resource. Prime numbers are numbers that are only divisible by one or themselves, and no other numbers. This is useful in encrypting internet traffic (e.g. SSL or TLS), because while it’s easy to multiply two prime numbers together, to create a “public key”, it’s difficult to run the calculation in reverse. I.e. It’s a difficult computation to take an exceptionally large number and find its “prime factors”.