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An Interview with Lead Developer of Vertcoin James on the Roadmap and Outlook for Its Future Development

Over the weekend, Bitcoin price rallied to a record high, passing the $6000 threshold. However, the price increase has had a negative effect on altcoin prices. Most of the top altcoins have experienced price decreases in the past 48 hours. Vertcoin has become one of the few top-50 altcoins to see positive price movement. In the series, the lead developer of Vertcoin James will share his insights on everything about Vertcoin from its current price surge to outlook and strategy for future development.

Vertcoin price surpassed $3 and its market cap reached $125 M. It beats Dogecoin. This is a milestone. What do you think is behind the price surge?

I never thought we would reach such an important milestone so soon. I think the most immediate reason is Ledger support, which will have exposed VTC to a lot of holders of BTC and other coins for the first time. But this is not the first time it has happened to VTC. Half a year ago we were only worth a few cents per coin. So I guess those who have been around for a while are used to it by now.

I checked reddit and found that VTC users are very active. I want to know who these users are? Or what are the users base of VTC that other coins don’t have?

Originally most of them would have been miners, we pride ourselves on having the miners and the users of the coins being mostly the same people. Now the price has risen, I’d imagine there are a lot more investors and traders involved in the cohort too. Some of the community members have been here from the beginning, so there is at least some continuity.

Vertcoin is ASIC-resistant and truly decentralized. Before Bitcoin and Litecoin were both GPU mined, but now they are mined with ASIC hardware. And now there are ASIC miners for Dash. How to make sure VTC stick to ASIC-resistant?

At the moment it’s two-three things.

  • First, the mining algorithm is quite large and thus expensive to implement on an ASIC, so the price of VTC will have to be a lot higher before it becomes profitable to make one rather than just buy graphics cards.
  • Second, we developers and the community built up a social contract to hard fork the mining algorithm if ASICs/FPGAs are ever found on the network. We did this before when Scrypt-N ASICs were created, then we moved to Lyra2RE (v1). So there is a precedent which shows that we can and will hard fork, making the expected value of any ASIC produced fairly low, close to 0 or even negative perhaps. The Scrypt-N ASICs must’ve have been fairly expensive to design, and yet we made them worthless within weeks.

We always make sure we have a secret alternative waiting in the wings in case it needs to be deployed on short notice. For our community/miner it’s just a quick software update, but for the ASIC miners, it makes their hardware worthless overnight. So I think it’s a very strong deterrent to making on in the first place.

Speaking of GPU, have u heard of Bitcoin Gold? A “fork coin” of Bitcoin. Some even think it is a scam, or just purposely messing with BCC. It is also GPU mined. Do you see it as a competitor? Or you think it’s good for the community to have another GPU mined coin to enhance mining decentralization?

BTG is definitely a scam. I don’t think Bitcoin Gold has the community support that we do. They have not been working for years building up resources to get people mining like docs and our one-click miner. If people really want ASIC resistance/decentralized mining, they should chose the coin that’s been focusing on it for 4 years now and has a track record of following through on our promises. Furthermore, it’s massively premined which goes against the ethos of decentralized currency.

It seems like a get rich quick scheme rather that a serious effort at ASIC resistance. And there is no commitment to hard fork away ASICs in the future, no precedent set and most importantly no replay protection!

Let’s talk about the roadmap of VTC. Why activated SegWit when Vertcoin doesn’t have the problems of congestion and high fees?

SegWit is an important bug fix that all coins should get regardless of scaling. It makes writing many kinds of contracts a lot easier than they previously were due to transaction malleability problems. For us, VTC is deeply involved with the development of the Lightning Network. We are not interested in it at this stage so much for its scaling properties, but more for the instant settlement and cross-chain swaps that it provides or will provide.

Now that we’ve made banks obsolete, LN will allow us to make payment processors and exchanges obsolete too. After that, we’re going after derivatives and other financial instruments.

It took so long for SegWit to be activated on BTC. How about VTC?

When we were trying to activate SegWit on our network, I was renting some percent of the network hashrate to get the extra few % over the 75% threshold. But then, someone was bidding against me with uncapped bids to the point that they were spending >30 BTC per day on hashrate just to stop Segwit activation. The bidder would buy any amount of hashrate to keep it below 75%, which caused a big spike in April. So clearly someone had an interest in stopping altcoins from activating SegWit too. Assuming it was one of Jihan‘s cronies or something.

the spike

Yet, when you have strong community consensus, you can do things like UASF. It was never actually needed for us because the threat of UASF was enough to stop the rental ‘attack’.

I don’t want to put any pressure on you, but you work at the LN center in MIT, can you tell us what is the current stage of LN?

I’m a researcher at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative (DCI). There are only a handful of developers working on it, and on competing implementations. I work on it sometimes, I have a few commits to the code. Tadge Dryja who’s the author of the original LN paper is the principle author of MIT’s LN software.

All the code for LN is on our public Github, single channels work well. We’re working on stability first, then onto atomic swaps and multihop. Until recently it was unclear if Segwit would even activate on BTC, so development on LN was slow in general up till that point. Now things will go a lot faster I think.

Charlie Lee demonstrated an atomic swap between LTC and BTC on twitter, when will the Vertcoin have a swap demo with Litecoin or Bitcoin?

charlie lee

We also did the same thing the day after LTC did it with DCR. Vertcoin was the first coin to be merged into DCR’s repo after BTC and LTC.

Decred is also a coin that no Chinese exchanges listed it. China is tough on crypto, but Japan, Korea, Australia are very friendly to crypto. Does the team have a plan as to get listed on more exchanges, especially Asian ones?

We have contacted all of the exchanges. Most want more money than we have to list or want us to do a ‘community vote’ that involves buying their token only to hand it back to them. You would not believe how high listing fees are. I think they assume we have a big bucket of ICO funds somewhere. They always ask “is your ‘token’ an ERC20 token?” “Is it listed on other exchanges?” And I don’t want people to do that, it’s not worth it.

Money is always a problem given that we’re supported only by donations.  At the moment we’re all volunteers so we don’t get a salary. But with the price rise, our resources have increased, so you will see more marketing in the future. And exchanges will notice us. 

What wallets support Vertcoin now?

Right now our own Vertcoin Core and Electrum-VTC wallets. Then there’s also Coinomi on Android, and now Ledger’s wallet.

Bitcoin community hard forks to solve problems and make each side happy. Will Vertcoin consider fork if development difference occurred? How do you coordinate with each other?

We currently have 5 technical developers including myself, 2 “mining experts”, and two focused on marketing/social media/outreach and we coordinate via Vertcoin channel on Discord. If  we had a different vision of VTC, I suppose we would hard fork. But I don’t see that happening any time in the short to medium term at least.

The community and developers are very united on the direction we should be taking. It’s a lot easier when the community/developers/miners are all the same people. Everyone gets to share in the benefits of the system, and in the transaction fees generated by other people. We don’t get the same fracturing of the community that you get with BTC.

With BTC/LTC, all of the fees and rewards go to Jihan Wu. No matter what you think of him, that sounds a lot like the current system with Goldman and JP Morgan to me!

There are people call you a genius like Vitalik who will change the world for better. You became the lead developer of Vertcoin at 17. Do you see yourself as a genius?

I don’t think I would class myself or Vitalik for that matter as a genius, but I’m definitely above the curve with this stuff. But I took the coin from a low cap of $100K to over $130M in three years, not bad. Changing the world for the better though, that’s what I’m here for! I would love nothing more than to make JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs obsolete. And I’d like to disrupt such traditional societal structure as banks and credit card companies.

What do you think about the Vertcoin price rally? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS(55)

  • Mr_HODL
    4 weeks ago Mr_HODL

    Good stuff, thanks

  • myriadforce
    4 weeks ago myriadforce

    Great article

  • greeniscolor
    4 weeks ago greeniscolor

    Agree 100% “BTG is definitely a scam”

  • CryptoHaga
    4 weeks ago CryptoHaga

    Amazing ! Love you James and the dev/mining team 🙂

  • goldandchild
    4 weeks ago goldandchild

    There are people call you a genius like Vitalik who will change the world for better. You became the lead developer of Vertcoin at 17. Do you see yourself as a genius?

    I don’t think I would class myself or Vitalik for that matter as a genius, but I’m definitely above the curve with this stuff. But I took the coin from a low cap of $100K to over $130M in three years, not bad. Changing the world for the better though, that’s what I’m here for! I would love nothing more than to make JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs obsolete. And I’d like to disrupt such traditional societal structure as banks and credit card companies.

    This statement alone makes me want to invest my soul in Vertcoin!

  • Ki
    4 weeks ago Ki

    La team est bien et la philo est top ! #vertcoin #bitcoin #litecoin #segwit #ethereum #lightningnetwork @jamesl22http://news.8btc.com/an-interview-with-lead-developer-of-vertcoin-james-on-the-roadmap-and-outlook-for-its-future-development …

  • harper247
    4 weeks ago harper247

    What a great article.

    He seems very level headed, for someone working at MIT and referred to as a genius.

  • numzfr
    4 weeks ago numzfr

    at 17 I was faping and playing CS beta, at same age, James was trying to free the people from the banks.

  • s1m0nB
    4 weeks ago s1m0nB

    I like this quote 😀

    I would love nothing more than to make JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs obsolete.

  • gobtron
    4 weeks ago gobtron

    Interesting!

  • Cobjones
    4 weeks ago Cobjones

    He’s fapping to the hype of himself.

  • Dima_Kenose
    4 weeks ago Dima_Kenose

    Spread the joy spread the love, meet you all at the moon above 😉 😉

  • JonOfPoker
    4 weeks ago JonOfPoker

    That’s awesome, teenagers have a lot of free time and energy!

  • thepowerisyours
    4 weeks ago thepowerisyours

    What a legend…17 years old?? Incredible, really.

  • Paekchong
    4 weeks ago Paekchong

    I believe, that was when he took over as lead dev. I think there were other devs that started the coin. Someone correct me if I am wrong in that. Great interview. I love the vision to take on other aspects of decentralizing the financial sector!

  • drzood
    4 weeks ago drzood

    17? That’s it I’m selling up and out of here!

  • drzood
    4 weeks ago drzood

    I’m joking. When I was 17 I spent most of my time hanging about street corners drinking cider. Well done and keep it up!

  • さりー@仮想通貨女子
    4 weeks ago さりー@仮想通貨女子

    Vertcoinのコア開発者が17歳ってまじか…http://news.8btc.com/an-interview-with-lead-developer-of-vertcoin-james-on-the-roadmap-and-outlook-for-its-future-development …

  • TZOfficial
    4 weeks ago TZOfficial

    Was the cider “hard” at least??

  • drzood
    4 weeks ago drzood

    White lightning and other cheap stuff as far as I recall. I’m being a bit hard on myself. I did have a spectrum at home so it wasn’t all wasted.

  • sully_crypt
    4 weeks ago sully_crypt

    amazing guy – actively working with the MIT currecncy initiative too, great achievements for such a young guy…rightly up there with Vitalik!

  • kazu@丸の内サラリーマン
    4 weeks ago [email protected]丸の内サラリーマン

    まじか…すごい

  • TZOfficial
    4 weeks ago TZOfficial

    I partially made my comment because it sounded like you may not be from the U.S. What is White Lightning????

  • Admin-12
    4 weeks ago Admin-12

    I’m new to crypto coins and want to get a vert coin paper wallet or phone wallet on IOS. Anyone know where a good place to start is? The site says vertpunk (guessing online wallet) is down.

  • drzood
    4 weeks ago drzood

    It’s cheap cider here in the UK.

  • throwingaway9987
    4 weeks ago throwingaway9987

    “Now that we’ve made banks obsolete, LN will allow us to make payment processors and exchanges obsolete too. After that, we’re going after derivatives and other financial instruments.”

    And also “Changing the world for the better though, that’s what I’m here for! I would love nothing more than to make JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs obsolete. And I’d like to disrupt such traditional societal structure as banks and credit card companies.”

    This guy fucks.

  • witzowitz
    4 weeks ago witzowitz

    It’s gutrot cider, cheaper than most soft drinks. Cheaper than bottled water. Comes in 2 litre bottles.

    It’s the UK equivalent of a 40, and I spent my youth consuming it too. Only difference here is I had an Amiga 500 at the time, which puts drzood probably about 5 years older than me.

  • JockBlocked
    4 weeks ago JockBlocked

    Holy shit what a gangster…

    This guy just called out the shots and said BTG was a scam. YUGE media drop here. Search engines will pick this up and traders will read it who are considering what to do with their BTG coins.

    This movement is going to get crazy. Cheers to James. Guy is a real leader. Whatever he does post VTC will have my money in it if its ever public as well.

  • Ghostbustaj
    4 weeks ago Ghostbustaj

    Wow, absolutely amazing read.

    Upvote!

  • Toooolie
    4 weeks ago Toooolie

    Exaclty!! Bitcoin started out like this, but those ASIC farms is making it centralized..This interview was really good!

  • Aleja_333
    4 weeks ago Aleja_333

    I’m already strapped to my rocket. Just gotta make sure I have my bottle of champagne handy before take off. See you all up there!

  • Kpenney
    4 weeks ago Kpenney

    Fuck yeah buddy, me too! Cs_militia and as_oilrig for life!

    Oh man I remember finding the sketchiest of porns back then. But my life changed when that tyradactil stuff came out.

  • Toooolie
    4 weeks ago Toooolie

    Great interview..inline with satoshis dream..

  • Inawood
    4 weeks ago Inawood

    Guy sounds like a legend, VTC seems very promising.

  • noxel
    4 weeks ago noxel

    VTC is an amazing project, can’t wait for their big update

  • Wauri12
    4 weeks ago Wauri12

    Great interview by Cindy23, James and News8Btc. Well done!

  • kingsfordgarden
    4 weeks ago kingsfordgarden

    How does being ASIC-resistant mean anything? Professional miners can still have GPU farms and centralize the majority of VTC. Also even if it is ASIC resistant, professional miners will develop some other technology to gain an edge over amateur miners. It’s only a matter of time. It’s just a cat and mouse game.

  • Wauri12
    4 weeks ago Wauri12

    Thats a great step of James to give interviews. But not to forget: Vertcoin is team-work.

    Thats the great team: https://vertcoin.org/team

    followed by our GREAT COMMUNITY.

    Hope James will manage to stay modest and invest his whole lifetime in Vertcoin.

  • Lourayad
    4 weeks ago Lourayad

    Anyone can buy GPUs . ASICs are made are by a single company which controls the supply tightly.

    also even if it’s ASIC resistant professional miners will develop some other technology to gain an edge over amateur miners.

    Did you even read the fucking interview? Devs promised any time a device is developed to overcome their algo they will hardfork.

  • kingsfordgarden
    4 weeks ago kingsfordgarden

    So what’s to prevent LTC or BTC from doing the same thing?

  • Azyzzz
    4 weeks ago Azyzzz

    Consensus from miners

  • Lourayad
    4 weeks ago Lourayad

    They can’t even resolve scaling conflicts and you want them to go anti ASIC? For LTC though it requires a hardfork which I doubt Charlie would agree to.

  • brooklyn_stompa
    4 weeks ago brooklyn_stompa

    Buy VTC now and hold it for a while. If you don’t, you will regret it.

  • thecointracker
    4 weeks ago thecointracker

    https://vertcoin.org/

    Click Downloads nav link.

    Use the Vertcoin core wallet, it supports the system and acts as a node while it is open on your PC (AFAIU), which helps the platform, overall.

  • Cockatiel
    4 weeks ago Cockatiel

    I wonder what 300% ROI on a soul is?

  • almondbutter
    4 weeks ago almondbutter

    To make JP Morgan obsolete? I’m in.

  • steven2014
    4 weeks ago steven2014

    I had no idea he was only 17 when he took over as a lead developer, that’s awesome! Lovejoy seems like a super nice and genuine guy.

  • steven2014
    4 weeks ago steven2014

    Good call, fixed it!

  • dik2phat
    4 weeks ago dik2phat

    God damn! I have no VTC but after reading this I will start mining tonight and I will put all of my support behind this coin. I love this. I’m a corny idealist and this is what I’m looking for.

  • captainvalentine
    4 weeks ago captainvalentine

    In the UK there is only alcoholic cider. That’s probably why you didn’t get an answer as the question doesn’t make sense to British people.

  • hicoolstorybro
    4 weeks ago hicoolstorybro

    Nice interview, James.

  • NoahWild
    4 weeks ago NoahWild

    This interview…huge!

  • narwhale111
    4 weeks ago narwhale111

    Vertcoin is great and all, but Ethereum is a much more complex project, very different from what existed at the time of its creation. Vertcoin is modified Litecoin with features like ASIC resistance (in terms of development).

    I’m not saying Vitalik is a genius, nor am I saying James is a dumb-dumb stupid pants but I wouldn’t be putting James quite up there with Vitalik in terms of intelligence when we are measuring using technological achievements. The question was pretty dumb, as these projects and their devs are very different.

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