By September 2016, Komodo’s first block had been mined. Fast forward almost exactly 2 years, and Komodo successfully mined their 1 millionth block. Although their roadmap isn’t laid out in a simple fashion like most crypto projects, the team keeps their community updated through continuous blog posts, and is currently in the process of creating an updated roadmap for the end of 2018 and 2019.
Many of the altcoins are built up on the basic framework provided by Bitcoin. Thus most altcoins are peer-to-peer, involve a mining process by which users solve difficult problems to unlock blocks, and offer efficient and cheap ways to carry out transactions on the web. But even with many overlapping features, altcoins vary widely from each other - altocoins differ themselves from bitcoin with a range of procedural variations, including different proof-of-work algorithms, different means by which users can sacrifice energy to mine blocks, and application enhancements to increase user anonymity.
Additionally, national governments and exchanges are mulling over regulation of the whole realm of cryptocurrencies. Japan has recently introduced legislation to protect users after Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox collapsed in 2014. Similarly, introducing taxation such as capital gains tax on Bitcoin sales may also impede the cryptocurrency industry.
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As of February 2018, the Chinese Government halted trading of virtual currency, banned initial coin offerings and shut down mining. Some Chinese miners have since relocated to Canada. One company is operating data centers for mining operations at Canadian oil and gas field sites, due to low gas prices. In June 2018, Hydro Quebec proposed to the provincial government to allocate 500 MW to crypto companies for mining. According to a February 2018 report from Fortune, Iceland has become a haven for cryptocurrency miners in part because of its cheap electricity. Prices are contained because nearly all of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources, prompting more mining companies to consider opening operations in Iceland. The region’s energy company says bitcoin mining is becoming so popular that the country will likely use more electricity to mine coins than power homes in 2018. In October 2018 Russia will become home to one of the largest legal mining operations in the world, located in Siberia.
NEM is written in Java; built on an entirely new codebase separate and apart from Bitcoin’s open-source code. There are a few other intriguing differences from Bitcoin as well. In NEM, you harvest rather than mine. It’s essentially the same as mining in Bitcoin, only that multiple people profit - albeit in much smaller quantities - from a generated block.
What’s so special about Bitcoin? There are many arguments on whether the new virtual currency will succeed or fail. We will not get into this nor discuss the politics behind the project. Our concern is strictly with the profit opportunities provided by this new payment phenomenon. In the next few pages on the new digital currency we will outline our thoughts from the perspective of a trader and a potential investor in this upcoming market.