Skycoin claims to be the third generation of cryptocurrencies. Find out how it works today in our review.
What Is Skycoin?
Skycoin, found online at Skycoin.net, is a cryptocurrency that, according to the official website, “is designed to implement Satoshi’s original vision and fix the problems with bitcoin.”
Skycoin sees itself as the third generation of cryptocurrencies. Typically, in 2017, when someone calls themselves a “third generation” blockchain or cryptocurrency, they’re referring to bitcoin being the first generation and Ethereum being the second generation. Skycoin, however, was launched back in 2013/2014 and pre-dates Ethereum. In this case, bitcoin is the first generation and Litecoin is the second generation.
Skycoin tokens (SKY) are available online today at a price of around $3 USD per token. There’s a total supply of 100,000,000 SKY, although only around 6 million SKY are currently in circulation. The currency has a market cap of around $19 million USD.
Skycoin’s development is led by the Skycoin Project.
Skycoin is also the currency for Skywire, announced in 2016 as a new, distributed internet capable of distributing content safely, quickly, and anonymously. Skycoins are distributed over time to those involved in the Skywire network, including anyone who provides connectivity and services.
Skywire is a free, open internet where users function as their own ISPs. It could change the face of the internet as we know it – especially as we face growing net neutrality regulations and restrictions.
How Does Skycoin Work?
Skycoin has been in development since bitcoin was launched to the public. The platform was first announced to the public in December 2013, where a Bitcointalk forum thread described it as the “successor to bitcoin” and “a new internet”.
The key technological innovation behind Skycoin is called Obelisk, which is a new consensus algorithm. Obelisk uses neither Proof of Work nor Proof of Stake. Instead, it’s a “next generation” consensus based on a “web of trust”.
Some of the advantages of that algorithm include no mining, no 51% attack, and no double spending. International transactions can be completed in seconds instead of hours.
The unique advantage of that consensus algorithm is that it avoids bitcoin’s problem with centralized mining pools. Over time, bitcoin has become less and less democratic due to the influence of major mining pools. This wasn’t foreseen in Satoshi’s original vision.
Another advantage of this consensus algorithm is that Skycoin is immune from 51% attacks. No matter how much money or hashing power an adversary has, they cannot reverse transactions. Like all good blockchains, there are also no duplicate outputs, no transaction malleability, and no signature malleability.
Skycoin Features And Benefits
Overall, Skycoin aims to provide superior security, privacy, usability, and sustainability benefits compared to alternatives like bitcoin. Core features and benefits include:
Security And Privacy:
Skycoin was built from the ground up in Goland using proven cryptographic standards. The blockchain is immune from 51% attacks, regardless of how much money or hashing power an attacker has. There are no duplicate Coinbase outputs, no transaction malleability, no signature malleability, and significantly reduced edged cases. Skycoin also has native support for G Maxwell’s “coin join” algorithm, which provides a higher level of user anonymity compared to similar cryptocurrencies.
Usability And Sustainability:
Skycoin uses neither PoW nor PoS. The consensus algorithm (called “Obelisk”) is based on Ben-Or’s decision procedure, which leads to two core benefits. Those benefits include transaction times as fast as 4 seconds with no transaction fees, as well as increased environmental efficiency (Skycoin doesn’t waste electricity by consuming unsustainable amounts of electricity through mining).
Supply And Distribution:
The total supply of Skycoin is capped at 100 million coins. Those coins can neither be created nor destroyed, and the supply is immutable. As mentioned above, there are currently around 6 million SKY in circulation. SKY tokens are being distributed to anyone who provides connectivity and services in the Skywire network.
What Is Skywire?
Skycoins are the in-platform currency for Skywire, which is a separate project created by the same team. Skywire claims to be “the new internet” and is “designed to distribute content faster, safer, and anonymously.”
Skywire consists of two core components, including:
- Aether: A peer-to-peer replicated object system.
- Skywire Meshnet: A distributed networking backbone.
Together, these core functions power the distribution of immutable, anonymous web content. Some of the possible applications for the project include video streaming, message boards, chats, and other services.
Skywire’s meshnet is a source routed, public MPLS network where every user can essentially function as their own ISP. Skynet functions in its own namespace and is built on a whole new networking stack.
Ultimately, Aether is the state/storage data module while Skywire’s meshnet is the communication platform.
How To Get Skycoin Tokens
There are multiple ways to get Skycoin tokens, including:
- You can buy them on an exchange for bitcoin
- You can run Skywire node and forward packets on the MPLS network for coins
- You can cache Aether/CXO objects and act like a CPN and receive credits to your Skywire node
- You can run a public Skywire VPN endpoint
- You can join the development team and receive coin bounties or write applications for the Skycoin ecosystem
- You can build your own neighborhood/community or ISP and receive skycoins from local users in that community
- You can run a business that accepts Skycoin as payment
Ultimately, Skycoin was built with a noble goal: to take control of cryptocurrencies away from ISPs and miners and give it back to users. It’s a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that works quickly, anonymously, and securely to complete transactions over a blockchain.
Skycoin was first launched in 2013/2014 under the symbol SKY. Starting in 2017, the platform made headlines for its Skywire project, which is a decentralized version of the internet. Skywire is designed to be a free, open source internet where users function as their own ISPs. Projects like Skywire could have a significant impact as ISPs continue to try to push net neutrality through regulatory hurdles. Online censorship is also a rampant problem worldwide – in both democratic countries and dictatorships, by both private enterprises and governments. Skywire would help us avoid these problems.
To learn more about Skycoin, visit the platform online today at Skycoin.net.