While bitcoin mining remains the primary objective for most of the cryptocurrency miners, there is also a trend known as merge-mining. Albeit this trend is not unique to bitcoin alone, we are looking at it from a bitcoin perspective. Mining pools which enable merge mining allow Bitcoin miners to generate additional cryptocurrencies in the process. Below are the original currencies which can be merge mined together with bitcoin, assuming the pool supports it.
GroupCoin the predecessor to Devcoin (discussed below), is a coin where developers could test some ideas before implementing them into Devcoin. Additionally, by applying merge mining to GroupCoin first, the developers could fall back on this solution in case the updates would not work out with Devcoin. GroupCoin is an “inflation-forever” coin, which will continue to generate 50 GRP per block until it is no longer actively mined. Groupcoin only has a market cap of US$1,170, though.
When Devcoin was announced, its developers positioned it as an “ethical currency”. When it was launched in 2011, Devcoin was meant to support open source programmers and writers around the world. The coin had the potential to find all types of developers and creators, although it never achieved that status. Around 90% of the Devcoin supply went to open source projects in the form of bounties and regular payments to active developers. Several merchants initially accepted Devcoin, although interest in this currency died down these past few years. Devcoin’s current market cap sits around US$46,896.
Ixcoin was announced as a bitcoin fork in August of 2011. With an inflation rate of 96 ICX per block and the same total coin supply as bitcoin, IXCoin managed to gain some initial traction. The currency was also designed to allow for easy interoperability with Bitcoin-related third party services. The developers projected all IXC would be generated by 2015, giving the currency a very different mining curve compared to bitcoin. As of today, Ixcoin has a market cap of US$124,735, and 20,999,088 IXC are in circulation as we speak.
This coin’s name should be pronounced as “Izerocoin”, rather than “Iocoin”. I0coin was designed to improve overall transaction speed and security. Rather than using bitcoin’s 10-minute transaction confirmations schedule, I0coin confirms transactions within 90 seconds. There was no premine associated with this coin, and the coin supply will see minimal inflation by 2018. It is worth noting I0coin has been around since August of 2011.
Similarly to bitcoin, I0coin has a coin supply of 21 million. Even though bitcoin already has a rather low inflation rate – due to its block reward halving – I0coin’s inflation rate zeroes out to two decimal places by 2018. It is a perfect coin to merge mine alongside bitcoin, and the currency still has a US$132,506 market cap today.
Everyone in the cryptocurrency world has heard of Namecoin, another cryptocurrency launched in 2011. The goal was to make Namecoin into a naming system based on bitcoin. The NMC currency can also be used to register .bit domain names. Even though Namecoin has a lot of promise, the project never got the attention it deserved. Despite all of that, Namecoin has a market cap of US$9,119,326, with 14,736,400 NMC in circulation It is still possible to merge mine Namecoin and the other currencies alongside bitcoin by using the mmpool code.
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