Vertcoin

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Commonly nicknamed "The Poor Man's Bitcoin"
Vertcoin (VTC) is similar to Bitcoin Gold, in that it is very similar to Bitcoin (although Vertcoin is not a fork from Bitcoin) while also being ASIC-resistant, which means that it is mined by GPUs rather than hardware specially built for mining. It also touts something called "Stealth Address Technology." The goal of all this is basically to keep mining decentralized, as one of the problems facing Bitcoin is that mining has become prohibitively expensive for all but the wealthy, leading to the power of mining collecting into the hands of a few people. Bitcoin Platinum also had the idea to do this, but, of course, there is already Bitcoin Gold and Vertcoin, which achieve the same effect without being shitcoins.

In Depth

Whether it is desirable or undesirable to have mining decentralized and distributed widely among many people, or whether it's preferred to have mining power concentrated in the hands of a few powerful companies, is a subject for philosophical discussion. The developers behind Vertcoin, who gladly reveal their true identities say that the former is preferred, and have programmed Vertcoin to resist the ultra-powerful, specialized machines that made Bitcoin mining prohibitively expensive for ordinary people, as well as implemented other technical features to assist that goal.

Remarkably, they intend to release a "1-click miner," which is, according to their website, in development, that will allow ordinary people (presumably, high quality GPUs are still necessary) to mine the currency without going through a bunch of setup. Whether all of these steps being taken to keep Proof of Work viable is an endemic problem to Proof-of-Work and can be overcome, or if it means that Proof of Stake is the model of the future remains to be seen.

The grammar on their website leaves quite a lot to be desired, such as this passage:

A previous feature which was disabled but we’re re-visiting the space to offer a great privacy feature. We take privacy seriously so our development team is testing & working on ‘Stealth Addresses’ which provides privacy on the public ledger.

Poor grammar is excusable to an extent, and Blackcoin has the same sort of problems, but it's something that the development team should address. Something as critically important as the method by which people store wealth from one day to the next should be professional, precise, and accurate. Sloppy grammar suggests none of these things. However, the coin does have an active community (again, much like Blackcoin, features a specialized wallet, has a public development team, and has outlined a roadmap for the further development of the cryptocurrency. As shown by their roadmap, development is active and making progress, so there is no risk of the coin being abandoned.

Investigation Results (5 December 2017)

Utility: Low
Stability: Moderate
Coinomi Support: Yes
Whitepaper Availability: Yes
Management Availability: Publicly Available
Birth: 8 January 2014
Death: Still Alive
Scamcoin Likelihood: Nil
Shitcoin Likelihood: Extremely Low

Verdict

Vertcoin is as safe a store of wealth as any cryptocurrency, though, as has been pointed out before, one should view cryptocurrencies not as investments or assets but as currencies--media of exchange. That cryptocurrencies are functioning as investments that make people lots of money is a reflection of how weak the fiat currencies offered up by the governments of the world are, and how much wealthier we could all be by using the currencies of our choice and allowing competition to determine the best currency. As a currency, Vertcoin functions well.

Mining

Perhaps easiest of all cryptocurrencies to mine is Vertcoin. Although staking Proof of Stake currencies is the easiest, Vertcoin has taken considerable steps to ensure that mining remains decentralized and simple. On 10 December 2017, the lead developer of Vertcoin was on The Call to Freedom and explained that Vertcoin has in the past hard-forked in order to break the functionality of ASICs that had been designed for the cryptocurrency, so there is good cause to believe it will remain relatively easy to mine for the immediate future. Their one-click-miner is functional, and can be downloaded from this link. The instructions are simple, and should allow anyone with a GPU to mine the currency, although there is not much information regarding what sort of fees one can expect to garner from mining in the P2Pool that is available.

The instructions are phrased so as to make it sound optional, but the Vertcoin Core Wallet, which can be downloaded at that link, is necessary in order to gain any proceeds from mining; evidently, just any wallet will not work. One will also find in the settings an option to set the Fee and Donation. These default to 0% and 1% respectively, which most users will want to change, since they are using their equipment at high intensities in order to mine. The Vertcoin Core Wallet will download the blockchain, at which point mining will truly begin and one will begin receiving some fees as time goes on.

References

Vertcoin's Website
Coin Market Cap: Vertcoin
Wikipedia: Vertcoin