Viacoin is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2014. It was based on the Bitcoin protocol. Unlike Bitcoin, Viacoin uses the same Scrypt algorithm for consensus that Litecoin uses.
There are five main features that Viacoin emphasizes:
Fast & Secure
Viacoin claims a 24 second block time, which calculates out to a 25x advantage over the speed of Bitcoin transactions. 175 transactions per second before SegWit or Lightning Network means that Viacoin can natively support fast transactions.
Viacoin supports cross-chain atomic swaps between different cryptocurrencies. This allows someone who holds Viacoins to exchange them directly for other cryptocurrencies without any dependency on a centralized exchange.
Viacoin uses a mining scheme known as AuxPOW, or merged mining. This means that a miner can simultaneously mine multiple blockchains. Since miners can earn Viacoin from the same work that they use to mine other coins, they are getting rewarded without having to apply additional work than they otherwise would. This allows Viacoin to have a high hashrate which contributes to the security of the blockchain.
Viacoin has activated BIP 141, also known as Segregated Witness, or SegWit. This reduces the size of a transaction by segregating the witness data from the transaction. This helps the blockchain cope with UTXO growth and improves per-block transaction throughput by a factor or 2 or 3. The reduced size also makes it faster for new nodes to synchronize with the rest of the network.
Viacoin is ready for Lightning Network, a transfer network that operates at a layer above the blockchain. The offloading of transactions outside the blockchain itself allows for an improvement in transaction speed by several orders of magnitude.
Roadmap & Implementation
Trezor Hardware Wallet Support
Trezor is an offline cryptocurrency wallet. Trezor Wallet can be installed on computers, phones and other devices. Trezor also produces a line of hardware wallets like the Trezor One and the Trezor Model T. Viacoin’s back-end service for the Trezor wallet is Blockbook. This feature was included in the 2018 roadmap for Trezor and was announced as tested and completed in April 2018.
General Bytes ATM Support
General Bytes is a manufacturer of Cryptocurrency ATM machines. Viacoin finished the code necessary to integrate with General Bytes. The code has been reviewed, merged and uploaded to the server for General Bytes, providing the owners of these ATMs the ability to accept Viacoin on their machines. At the time of this writing, there have been over 7,000 of these machines sold to buyers in over 60 countries.
BTCPay Server is an open-source payment processor for cryptocurrencies. It can be self-hosted and supports SegWit, Tor, and several implements of Lightning Network (including LND, c-lightning, Éclair and Ptarmigan). BTCPay relies on NViacoin, a .NET implementation of Viacoin which has been fully completed. Viacoin is listed as a supported altcoin on the BTCPay website.
Viacoin Core 0.16.3 was released in May 2019. This release enabled full support for SegWit in the wallet and in user interfaces. Support for BIP 173/Bech23 addresses was also added. With the release, wallets that are created with version 0.16.3 are rejected by previous versions. Wallets created with 0.16.3 will be hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallets. Sha256 hashing optimizations were added to provide for faster synchronization and block validation. Various RPC changes and low-level improvements were also made.
Vialectrum is a wallet for Viacoin that doesn’t download the entire blockchain or sync to the network, allowing for quick and instant use. The coins inside are protected by a 12-word passphrase and private keys that never make contact with the vialectrum servers. Using this passphrase, your wallet can always be restored and recovered. Vialectrum can be used for cold storage of your funds and third-party add-ons are supported to offer multisig services, hardware wallets and other features. The latest release of the wallet is 4.0.0a0 and was released in April 2020 for Windows, Linux and MacOS.
Viacoin Éclair is another implementation of the Lightning Network. Éclair gives you the capability to run your own Viacoin Lightning Network node for making Viacoin Lightning Network payments. With Viacoin’s 24-second block time, the opening and closing of channels is much faster than it is with Bitcoin.
Viacoin Copay is a multisignature wallet that is designed to be very user-friendly. The Copay app has the ability to store distinct Viacoin wallets, allowing for separate of personal and business accounts for example. Support for the app extends to Android, Windows, Linux and mac OS.
Viacoin Samourai is a mobile wallet that is highly secure and built with a focus on security and privacy. It features strong AES-256 encryption and operates without connections to any servers. Every wallet that is created requires a BIP 39 passphrase, which enhances the security right from the get-go. Private keys are never shared with any servers and addresses are never reused. Many features are included to attempt to throw off hackers and spies, such as Clustering Analysis Protection (STONEWALL). Tor and VPN are also supported to allow transactions to be routed through an anonymous IP address.
Viacoin Eclair Wallet
“Éclair” is a French word for “lightning.” As you might guess, Éclair is another implementation of the Lightning Network. It is written in Scala and can be run with or without a GUI. It is also accessible using a JSON API. It is considered 80% done on the Viacoin website and is admitted to be of beta quality and a work in progress.
Zap Lightning Network Wallet
Zap is a free Lightning Network wallet with a focus on ease of use. The wallet currently supports Bitcoin and allows users to send and receive coins instantly and trustlessly with the negligible fees that come with using the Lightning Network. The implementation of support for Viacoin is still under development. Viacoin’s website lists its progress at 0%.
Viad is an alternative implementation of Viacoin Core, written in Golang. It works just like Viacoin Core, but provides a Golang frontend that opens up the potential for developers to create user-friendly Lightning wallets for the Viacoin blockchain. Viacoin’s website lists it as 100% complete.
NViacoin is a .NET-based Viacoin library. It serves as a vital component of the BTCPay payment processor support and Styx, an anonymous atomic payment hub for Viacoin that is still in development. The library provides access to Viacoin Core at a low level, allowing developers to build their applications as close to the core code as possible.
ViacoinJ is a Java-based implementation of Viacoin Core. Since it’s implemented Java, it provides access to Viacoin Core from any JVM-compatible language. This allows for access to Viacoin Core without the need for a local copy. Viacoin’s website lists this component as 100% complete.
Lightning Network Daemon
The Lightning Network daemon, or lnd, will be a complete implementation of the Lightning Network. According to the project’s github, it is still a work in progress and the project’s website lists it as 90% done.
Bech32 is a Segregated Witness (SegWit) address format that is specified by BIP 173. These are sometimes called bc1 addresses. Support for Bech32 addresses deliver a whole host of benefits, including smaller QR codes, auto-completion and stronger safeguards against typing errors. Vialectrum and Coinomi already support Bech32 addresses. Ledger and Viacoin Core support for Bech32 is still a work in progress.
C-lightning is another implementation of the Lightning Network. It is a standard compliant implementation that is written in the C language. Viacoin C-Lightning version 0.8 was released in January 2020. In addition to extending the capability of plugins, multi-part payment support was added.
Viacoin has planned to implement Schnorr signatures since 2017. The project’s website marks this task as 35% complete. A Schnorr signature is a digital signature that is produced by the Schnorr signature algorithm. These signatures are more secure and more efficient. They support multisignature natively and allow for multiple signatures to be aggregated into a single one. It is believed that they could reduce the need for storage and bandwidth by 25% or more.
MAST are Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees. These data structures allow transaction validation scripts to be stored in a partially-hashed form. In essence, it allows for the simplification of redemption conditions and smart contracts, and improves privacy by hiding branches that are not being executed. MAST is currently listed as only 35% complete.
Styx is an unlinkable anonymous atomic payment hub which allows for fast, anonymous transfer of funds with zero knowledge proofs. This is due to Viacoin’s script functionality and a mixture of security RSA assumptions and Elliptic Curve digital signature algorithm. Full implementation is something that is still pending from the original roadmap in 2017. The project’s website lists its status at 30%.
RSK Smart Contracts
Rootstock is a smart contract platform that runs a Turing-complete VM called Rootstock Virtual Machine. This virtual machine is compatible with Ethereum’s virtual machine and runs Solidity smart contracts. Implementing support for Rootstock would enable the Viacoin blockchain to work with Ethereum-compatible smart contracts. The project’s website lists the status of this at 20%.
Coin Price Analysis
When Viacoin was first launched in 2014, its price started out in the $0.11 to $0.23 range. It slid down into sub-penny price levels and stayed there from April 2015 until around August 2016. It slowly built up momentum until the Bitcoin boom of 2017-2018, where it reached a peak of $7.84 on January 9th of 2018. It maintained itself above $0.01 ever since, rarely trading lower than $0.20 until the time of Bitcoin’s rise to $50k in early 2021, when it also began to gain momentum.
Why to Buy Viacoin
Viacoin has achieved a lot with very little marketing. It has a passionate group of supporters who anticipate the coin reaching $7 once again or even $10. The coin seems very solid from a development standpoint. It is not as well-known or flashy as Bitcoin or other altcoins, but there is a substance that could definitely increase the coin’s value once use cases for cryptocurrency become more and more mainstream.
Why Not to Buy Viacoin
Viacoin has gotten where it is with virtually no marketing. Its website has not been updated in several years now. Its Medium blog has not been updated since 2019. However, it is clear from the coin’s github that there is development activity happening. If an out-of-date website or very little marketing irks you, Viacoin may not be the coin for you.
How to Buy Viacoin with Bittrex
Bittrex is a reliable cryptocurrency exchange with a user-friendly interface that works well for both experienced traders and beginners alike. Bittrex also allows US citizens to trade.
Bittrex does not allow the direct purchase of Viacoin with fiat currency. In order to purchase Bittrex, you will need to transfer Bitcoin to Bittrex and then purchase VIA using the VIA-BTC currency pair.
If you don’t already own Bitcoin, you will need to purchase some. You can purchase it at Bittrex using a debit card or deposited funds.
1. Sign up for Bittrex and provide an e-mail address and password.
2. Verify your e-mail address by clicking link or button in the e-mail Bittrex sends.
3. You will need to verify your identity before you can fund your account or trade.
4. Once your account has been verified, you can purchase Bitcoin through Bittrex or transfer some from another cryptocurrency exchange or wallet. You can purchase Bitcoin from Bittrex using a debit card or your USD balance. At the top of the screen, click the “Instant Buy & Sell” link and click the “Buy Now” button to get started.
5. Coinbase is another popular and user-friendly option for buying Bitcoin. You could also purchase Bitcoin there and then transfer some or all of it to Bittrex for purchasing Viacoin. To transfer BTC to your Bittrex BTC wallet, click the “Holdings” link at the top right of the page, then search for BTC in the search file (it will likely be the top one anyway). When you click the “Deposit” link, you will have the opportunity to generate a Bitcoin wallet address. This wallet is what you will specify on the Coinbase end, when you are withdrawing the funds.
Buying Viacoin with Bitcoin
Once you have successfully transferred Bitcoin to Bittrex or when you have successfully purchased it from Bittrex it will show up in your wallet as Bitcoin. You are now able to purchase Viacoin using your Bitcoin.
- Click on the “Markets” link at the top right of the screen.
- Scroll down to the Markets section and search for “VIA”.
- You should see “VIA BTC” as the only option. Click on that.
- This will bring up the trading interface. What you want is on the far right of the screen—the buy/sell dialog.
How to Store Viacoin
Viacoin has many options when it comes to storing your coin. As mentioned above, Viaelectrum and Samourai are complete and good options if you just want to store Viacoin. Hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger are also supported. Ledger supports Viacoin in both the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X models of their hardware wallets.
Some regard Viacoin as a dead project, but there are commits being made to the project’s github. It is probably true that Viacoin is undervalued in terms of what it offers, but this could be a reflection of the limited marketing that is done on behalf of the coin. This is a coin that is probably not going to change the world anytime soon, but could definitely offer some trading opportunities.