Bytecoin BCN is the original privacy coin. Yes - it came before Monero, Dash, PIVX, Verge etc etc (Monero is actually a fork of BCN, but has evolved considerably). Despite this, it is still relatively unknown to the modern crypto community. You won't see it mentioned too often in crypto groups, it is not really marketed much. Hype is at a minimum (which isn't always a bad thing).
Bytecoin has had a lot of criticism over the years due to a somewhat shady beginning. Prior to becoming available to everyday crypto investors, 82% of BCN was pre-mined and granted to founders, developers and stakeholders. What's more, no one really knows who these people are. Their original dev team is shrouded in darkness, and communicating with them (until recently) has been an absolute mission. As a result, a majority of the coin is held by a minority of unknown people. This is dangerous - it means these folks could massively influence the price by unified buy/sell action - they could dump their coins on the market at once and cause the price to plummet. As Riccardo Spagni, Monero dev, has said: "Even if the premined coins weren’t done so maliciously, it still means 82% of the coins in the hands of persons unknown and invisible. It basically centralises a decentralised currency.”
Shady business? Many seem to think so, and a part of me agrees. For me it's not so much the fact that the coins were premined: I've no doubt that a large proportion of Bitcoin is held by a small number of people from its earliest days (we know that the top 1000 Bitcoin addresses hold 1/3 of all Bitcoin). It's more that the team has refused to go public with their names and percentage holdings despite being asked by the community multiple times to do so. Despite this, they have started to make some changes and they recently started to get more involved with their community, including Q&A sessions on reddit and telegram. Within the last 24hrs they have also released a new website and a new roadmap. But still, no significant details on who is actually behind Bytecoin...
On the topic, I'm not overly impressed by the new roadmap. It contains 5 milestones to achieve, one of which is to come out on 1 Nov 2017 and dubbed: "The set of the new features." Uh... what??
But what about the tech? Well, Bytecoin's privacy tech is actually decent. It uses the proof-of-work hashing algorithm CryptoNight. This thing was coded from scratch, which is pretty cool. Regarding security, BCN utilises CryptoNote (like Monero). This protocol uses ring signatures and stealth addresses to provide transactions that are both totally unlinkable and untraceable. BCN payments are fast, but not the fastest, with a typical transaction being processed in about 2 minutes. Payments are also free, which is a bonus. More recently Bytecoin have started to move away from the purely privacy based coin and are focusing on developing an e-commerce platform and smart contract capability, which could be handy for them going forward.
I can't go further without mentioning the coin supply. It has a max of 184,470,000,000 BCN and there are currently 183,253,534,612 in circulation. This means that it has almost been fully mined. When it reaches this point Bytecoin believers suspect it is going to shoot up in price due to scarcity. The more optimistic (/delusional?) chaps are calling for a price of $0.50c over the next few years. As it is currently trading at $0.001398 this would certainly be a decent profit. I don't see Bytecoin's price going that high, mostly because of the competition from other privacy coins, but also because it has been tarnished with the 'scam' brush. But who knows. Even if it made it to $0.05c many would be happy with that.
Personally, I haven't invested in Bytecoin but may look at throwing some spare change at it, just on the off chance that it moons. What about you guys? Who's holding Bytecoin and why?
Until next time folks.