It’s a strange time in the cryptocurrency world, particularly for second-tier tokens that don’t have the market cap size and name recognition of massive projects like bitcoin. Keeping an “alt-coin” project going requires an entire community, and now that the world is finally taking the idea of cryptocurrency seriously, those communities are facing new challenges. At the very center of this shift in priorities are cryptocurrency miners, a group that typically gets overlooked by mainstream news coverage.
Here are three stories from alt-coin mining world that should definitely be on your radar.
1. Bitcoin Cash block goes unmined for more than 5 hours. Much like the original bitcoin blockchain, the Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) network is designed to produce a solved block every ten minutes. That block-mining number is an average, and it’s not uncommon for BCH blocks to go unmined for 30 minutes or more. When the network fails to mine a block for 5 hours and 19 minutes, however, people take notice. That’s exactly what happened early this morning. Interestingly, when the long-delayed BCH block was eventually mined, it contained just 2.3MB of data, far less than BCH’s 8MB block cap. The BCH mempool was also cleared immediately, suggesting that there was no backlog in transactions even after five hours of delay. Not surprisingly, some cryptocurrency observers have cited the situation as further evidence that BCH has few real-world users.
2. Zcash moves forward with new developer support plan. Since its creation in late 2016, privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash has supported ongoing development by granting around 20% of the block reward to its founders and devs. That scheme is scheduled to end with Zcash’s “halving” event in November, making it unclear where future development funding would come from. This has caused something of a panic in the Zcash community, as many fear the project could become yet another “zombie token” without continued revisions and testing. Earlier this week, Zcash’s founders at the Electric Coin Company proposed a new support structure that would set aside 20% of the block reward for additional development, project management, and community grants. The proposal appears to be widely supported by Zcash miners. If approved by stakeholders, the new system will be rolled out later this year.
3. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee suggests 1% donation to support development. Once seen as the silver to bitcoin’s gold, Litecoin (LTC) has struggled to maintain its place as a top-tier cryptocurrency in recent years. Like many other tokens created during the open-source era, Litecoin has no built-in system for compensating developers. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee suggested on Twitter last week that LTC miners should voluntarily contribute 1% of their block rewards to the Litecoin Foundation. This proposal has largely been met with skepticism by the mining community.
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