One of the major concerns with Bitcoin is the mining centralization. Despite being a decentralized and global cryptocurrency at heart, Bitcoin mining has become a largely industrialized practice, available only to those that are capable of hosting large mining operations.
This is due to Bitcoin’s algorithm, which due to its low memory requirements has spawned a new generation of miners, known as ASICs. These machines have rendered Graphic card (GPU) and CPU mining useless (unless you like playing the lottery) and gave way to a new era of Bitcoin mining where it can no longer be done by ordinary people on ordinary computers, but only by those with capital and large mining facilities.
Litecoin was created to return mining to the common computer. The Scrypt algorithm, due to its memory requirements, was able to bring back GPU and CPU mining. However, Scrypt ASIC miners already exist and have merely been delayed by the memory intensive feature of Scrypt. No update or change was made to stop this, and even if attempted, those with the majority of mining power (ASICS) would simply vote against it. As so, one must assume this issue of centralized mining must be dealt with from the start.
Since Scrypt’s memory requirements were not high enough to block ASIC development and even if adjusted, there would always come a time where ASICS would be achievable, Vertcoin was created and the Scrypt-N algorithm was employed.
Scrypt-N relies on the “Adaptive N-Factor” to ensure that ASIC development will never be feasible during the period in which mining will occur. The Adaptive N-Factor, in which N is the memory required to complete new hashing functions, ensure that the memory increases with time to stay ahead of any possible ASIC development.
As so, mining remains decentralized. Although it is still possible to build large GPU mining operations, mining remains fairer than the current Bitcoin scenario, where to mine any amount profitably, one must spend at least $2000 to $3000.
Most recently, Vertcoin has also decided to introduce the SegWit solution, following the path of Litecoin and Bitcoin. Vertcoin has recently released a statement on their official website announcing the update and asking the community to “spread the word”. The statement read:
“The Vertcoin Development team has been busy the last month working on updating our wallet to the latest Bitcoin core with Segregated Witness (SegWit) […] we are excited to announce that everything is working as it should on the test-net ,and if time permits we should have the new release ready sometime early next week, if not sooner. This should serve as a heads up to miners and pools since we will need a 75% consensus for Segwit to activate. Please spread the word.”