If there is one thing a lot of people would like to change about bitcoin, it is the rather long time in between blocks being generated on the network. This is also why various outcomes are so popular, as they process transactions a lot quicker. Interestingly enough, Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to suffer from very long block times. In fact, there are at least four other well-known currencies, which suffer from this problem.
Similarly to bitcoin, NameCoin is another SHA-256 cryptocurrency using the same proof-of-work algorithm. It also has a total coin supply of 21 million coins, and a difficulty retarget mimicking the one of bitcoin. The similarities don’t end there, though, as Namecoin’s block time is 10 minutes as well. Unfortunately Namecoin never become a mainstream success, even though it is still popular among the early cryptocurrency adopters.
There seems to be a trend among older SHA-256 coins, as quite a few of them have a 10-minute block time. PeerCoin is a bit different than NameCoin, though, as it combines both proof-of-work and proof-of-stake. Moreover, PeerCoin has no fixed coin supply and a much lower mining difficulty compared to other popular SHA-256 coins.
It is worth noting Peercoin offers a one-block mining difficulty retarget, which is rather unusual. Then again, this block reward of over 65 coins per network block is rather high, which may be part of the reason why Peercoin never became much of a success either. Without scarcity and clear use cases, there is not much use for Peercoin, even though it still holds a value of roughly US$0.31 per coin.
BitBar is the odd one on this list, as this altcoin never amounted to much. Whether that is due to the developer abandoning the project, or just a project that failed to capitalize on bitcoin’s hype, is a discussion for a different day. We do know Bitbar has a 10 minute block time, which makes it one of the slowest cryptocurrencies to date. Ten minutes is rather long for a Scrypt-based cryptocurrency, though, as those coins usually generate new blocks within three minutes or less.
Contrary to what most people would like to believe, bitcoin is not the slowest cryptocurrency in the world right now. That title goes to Quatloo, a rather “obscure” altcoin targeting the sci-fi enthusiasts around the world Although this currency has a specific appeal to this group of users, it never became a big success by any stretch of the imagination.
With a block time of 22.25 minutes, Quatloo transactions take ages to confirm. For a Scrypt-based proof-of-work cryptocurrency, that block time was the undoing from day one. Although Quatloo is still being mined as we speak, its community remains rather small and it appears that will not change anytime soon.
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