The Merkle

What Is Gulden?

We live in a time when there are hundreds upon hundreds of cryptocurrencies to choose from and learn about. A recent comment on a post of mine mentioned a cryptocurrency called Gulden that I had not heard of before, and I was intrigued to learn more about it. Thanks to Arjan Stam for sharing your cryptocurrency story and inspiring me to learn about Gulden.

What is Gulden?

On its surface, Gulden is a cryptocurrency aiming for greater adoption by targeting the most elusive market for cryptocurrencies yet: average, daily users. Gulden users are able to send Gulden peer-to-peer, wire money to banks if they know the IBAN, and use it where merchants accept it. Its website also claims that users can see a “very healthy return” since “with every new user the value of Gulden goes up.” Later it does concede that the price fluctuates with demand, as is the case with any asset. That said, the cryptocurrency has apparently found a fair amount of success within the Netherlands, hence its ticker symbol NLG.

Its whitepaper outlines many of the well-known critiques of Bitcoin, the various attempts to solve these shortcomings, then offers itself as the solution to these problems. At the core of solving these problems is something that Gulden calls “PoW2,” and the whitepaper explains how it works. There are two distinct kinds of miners in PoW2, PoW miners and PoS miners. Blocks are mined via PoW, which everyone is familiar with, and once a block is discovered, it is submitted to the network for nodes to validate. However, it is not yet added to the blockchain and remains in a state the whitepaper calls “pre-witnessed.” It only is written to the blockchain once it has been witnessed and signed off on by one of the witnesses. Where this is different from other hybrid models is that PoS witnesses who sign off can add transactions to the block they are signing, which they can collect fees from. This is done to ensure efficiency on the network so that blocks are as close to full as possible. It attempts to mitigate selfish mining, wasted space, and denial of service. Due to potential complexities, witnessing is opt-in.

It seems like a really interesting concept that attempts to fix the problems characteristic of Bitcoin and other blockchain assets. However, even with the cleverness and thorough nature of its whitepaper, it still ranks in the 200s on CoinMarketCap. This is nothing to scoff at, I realize, but it is far from realizing its goal of fixing the problems of many of the coins that outrank it. I was also disappointed to learn that, while it has found some success in the Netherlands, many merchants still do not accept it or know about it, as evidenced (if only anecdotally) by the comment which inspired this article.

I will say that I am terribly impressed with how the system allows 1-2 confirmations to be secure. Waiting for 3-6 confirmations on other chains can be exhausting, depending on the blocktimes.

Are you a Gulden user? How do you like it? Are there other cryptocurrencies you would like us to write about as well? Let us know in the comments section!