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What Is Bytecoin? Introduction to BCN

Can there ever be too much anonymity?


What Is Bytecoin?

Bytecoin is a cryptocurrency that can reliably be used for purchases anywhere in the world. While Bitcoin is better-known, it’s not the fastest nor the most secure crypto on a blockchain. Bytecoin fixes these problems with a fast, secure blockchain that has been under development since 2012.

As such, Bytecoin is one of the earliest altcoins, and its CryptoNote ring signatures are still ahead of their time. Monero is a fork of Bytecoin and is quite popular itself, making it a Bytecoin competitor along with ZCash and Dash.

It may be old in crypto years, but Bytecoin has a solid and devoted following that’ll keep it in circulation for years. Before explaining how it all works, let’s explore how BCN, Bytecoin’s proprietary crypto coin, is performing on the market.

Breakdown of BCN Coin

Bytecoin has a market cap of $343,159,897 as of August 18, 2018. This is based on a circulating supply of 183,890,481,254 BCN (out of a total supply of 184,470,000,000) and an exchange rate of $0.001866. The peak value so far of BCN was $0.017537 on January 6, 2018.

Bytecoin was launched in July 2012, and it become embroiled in controversy when it was discovered over 80 percent of BCN was already premined by the developers. This centralist move made Monero the privacy coin of choice in most circles.

Mining Bytecoin is achieved through an Egalitarian Proof-of-Work function called skrypt. This makes it mineable by both CPU and GPU. Bytecoin is one of few cryptocurrencies that can be successfully mined (albeit at a much slower rate) by a PC against an ASIC rig. This class of coin is called a CryptoNote coin because of the memory-intensive algorithm used.

BCN is tradeable on some popular exchanges, including Binance, HitBTC, Poloniex, and OKEx. It’s typically paired with BTC but can also be traded for USDT and ETH. The price of BCN ballooned on its Binance listing. It’s market cap went through the roof and both HitBTC and Poloniex halted trading, funneling frantic sellers and buyers into the biggest of the cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bytecoin formed a formidable trading pair with the Binance Coin BNB, Bitcoin and Ether. Bytecoin BCN gained 800% in terms of market cap in just 24 hours.

Because it was launched before ICOs were the du jour thing to do, there never was a Bytecoin ICO. However, Lydian, a blockchain-based marketing cloud partnered with Bytecoin to accept BCN for its ICO.

BCN can be stored in a desktop, mobile, or web-based wallet and its trading volume is relatively low when compared to other top coins. Despite its impressive market cap, Bytecoin BCN rarely makes the news at the cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Vanilla Cryptocurrency

Modern blockchains resolve a lot of technical problems, but some cryptos remain vanilla. When Bytecoin was launched in 2012, there was no need for an altcoin to be anything other than Bitcoin-with-a-twist.

Bytecoin improves upon Bitcoin on a technical level due to its scalability and flexibility. Bytecoin was the first blockchain to implement CryptoNote, which provides end-to-end encryption and makes transactions untraceable. However, a bug in CryptoNote was discovered by the Monero team in May 2017 and it looks like the source code had issues.

The network generates one-time public keys and ring signatures for each transaction. This helps keep everything randomized and harder to trace. You can opt to further obscure the information for a higher transaction fee and, in theory, use a fully anonymous cryptocurrency.

Because it uses open-source code and was released in the early era of cryptocurrency, Bytecoin maintains a cult following, even if never reaching Monero’s popularity level and the Bytecoin price remains low.

Its founders are themselves anonymous, and a former writer for Cointelegraph even alleges Bytecoin secretly owns that outlet.

A serious lack of transparency and the premining rumors lead many crypto analysts to believe Bytecoin is a scam. Cynics aside, this crypto is making moves to be more accepted as currency around the world. Whatever reason it was created, it maintains value and relevancy in today’s crowded market. If the source code of the blockchain finds its own niche, it effectively creates value.

Bytecoin Summary

There’s a blockchain out there that can do pretty much anything you can think of. With so many flavors available, simple vanilla cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Bytecoin have a quaint, almost retro appeal. Bytecoin isn’t as popular as Bitcoin or even its own fork Monero, but it does have a few key things going for it.

  • Bytecoin is based on CryptoNote and promotes itself as more accessible to home computer mining and more secure than Bitcoin in terms of the source code.
  • Despite differences of opinion on when Bytecoin was truly made available to the public, it’s one of the oldest cryptos on the market.
  • Completely anonymous transactions are a matter of opinion, but Bytecoin sustains a cult following that continue trading (however slowly) BCN on crypto markets.

Bytecoin has been alleged by some to be a scam, but if that’s true, it’s one that still has value if handled properly. Unlike many blockchains, the use-cases for a pure crypto are simple. If we agree it has value, then it has value, even if Bytecoin brings nothing unique to the table besides an air of mystery.


The author is not invested in any cryptocurrency mentioned in this article.


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