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What Is Burstcoin (BURST)? | A Complete Guide

what is burstcoin

What Is Burstcoin?

Burstcoin is the only coin that utilizes the empty space on your hard drive for mining. The mining of most coins requires specialized, expensive, energy-intensive machines to engage in proof of work. However, Burstcoin uses a unique process known as proof of capacity, with a regular hard drive, to perform energy-efficient mining. The mining is so efficient, you could mine from an Android phone or a Raspberry Pi. 

Meet Burstcoin

Burstcoin uses proof of capacity for energy-efficient mining.

In this guide, we explain all about Burstcoin, including:

How Does Burstcoin Work?

The special proof of capacity method means “you just have to plug in your drive, plot it, and leave your computer mining and earning you coins periodically. The more space you allocate to mining, the higher the reward.

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Our article here explores proof of capacity mining in greater depth.

The mining will not hurt your hard drive or cause a noticeable change in your electricity bill. If you ever decide to stop mining, you can delete the information that Burstcoin plots onto the hard drive and use the space for its originally intended purpose.

Energy Usage

Comparison of Mining Energy Use Between Bitcoin and Burst

Since Burstcoin allows for such easy entry into mining, it’s naturally more decentralized. It takes a huge financial commitment to start mining Bitcoin effectively, but with Burstcoin you could even start mining on an Android phone.

Once you look beyond the proof of capacity mining, Burst will feel quite familiar. It offers a decentralized blockchain to keep track of a public ledger. It also offers several other decentralized features such as asset trading and crowdfunding. You can sell digital goods in a peer-to-peer marketplace or even auction off your items. With all of the transactions you engage in on the Burst network, there’s the option of attaching messages as well.

History

An anonymous user introduced Burstcoin on bitcointalk.org in 2014. The coin was developed off of the Nxt platform and thus offers many of the same features.

Following in the footsteps of Satoshi Nakamoto, the Burstcoin creator never revealed his identity. After the creator disappeared, the cryptocurrency community organized to continue developing the coin. A team called the Proof of Capacity Consortium (PoC Consortium) is currently developing the project.

Burstcoin is not just famous for its proof of capacity mining. It was the first blockchain to implement Turing complete smart contracts. The most famous application of the smart contracts was a completely decentralized lottery

Team Progress

In 2015, the team was able to achieve atomic swaps, the ability to trade Burstcoins and Qora without the use of a third party exchange.

The PoC Consortium released “The Burst Dymaxion” white paper on December 27th, 2017. The developers are hoping to create a lightning network for Burst, what they refer to as “the Tangle.” This network would add new layers to Burst, improving the scalability of transactions. The team is hoping that with The Dymaxion fully implemented, “every new user making transactions is increasing the total transactional capacity of the network.

The developers are also looking into dynamic fees, removing the current minimum fee of 1 Burst. If they lower the fees now, there could be a spam attack on the network. With dynamic fees, they are hoping to be able to change the fees depending on the level of traffic. 

Burst Roadmap

Burst Development Team Plans for 2018

In June 2018, Burst implemented a hard fork that created both dynamic block sizes and dynamic transaction fees. Burst can now adjust fees and block sizes to mirror traffic levels.

Although the Dymaxion release was scheduled for Q2-3 2018, the team has yet to complete it. Their Github remains active, though, so we should expect the release sometime soon.

Mining with Hard Drives

Estimates towards the end of 2017 calculated for each terabyte of hard drive space you commit to the network, you would mine an average of 21 Burstcoins per week. At the time, there were over 150,000 terabytes of storage devoted to the network. Today, that number has increased to over 270,000 terabytes.

The online Burstcoin wallet will also walk you through how to start plotting your hard drive so that you can begin mining right away. Burst is designed to be a miner-friendly coin to ensure decentralization of the blockchain.

Coin Supply and Sustainability

The Burst developers pre-mined zero coins, continuing with the theme of decentralization. The block rewards started at 10,000 per block but decrease five percent each month until all 2,158,812,800 Burstcoins are released. Burstcoin dynamically adjusts mining difficulty to have an average block time of four minutes.

Trading History

Burstcoin’s price remained constant for the majority of its history, until John McAfee highlighted the advantages of Burstcoin to a wider audience, causing a sharp increase in price.

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With the release of The Dymaxion white paper and an emphasis on scaling the Burst network, Burstcoin increased in price from the time of McAfee’s tweet, until the crypto markets began to fall in the spring. Currently, the price is sitting barely higher than before this sharp increase. Perhaps the release of the Dymaxion, slated for later this year, will bring an increase in price.

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Where Can You Buy Burstcoin?

You could simply mine Burstcoin with your hard drive. However, you can also purchase it on several popular exchanges such as Upbit, Bittrex, or Poloniex.

Where Can You Store Burstcoin?

You can download an online wallet here, where you can also access many of the decentralized features borrowed from Nxt.

Burstcoin Wallet

Burst Wallet Interface

The mobile Burstcoin wallet is currently only available for Android and can be downloaded here.

Summary

With Bitcoin receiving criticism over wasted energy, Burst offers a more environmentally friendly way to mine and run a decentralized blockchain. If you are looking to mine cryptocurrency but were intimidated by the loud and expensive machines, you might want to check out proof of capacity and consider mining Burstcoin. Or if you simply want a fairly distributed decentralized cryptocurrency with an active development team, then keep your eye on this coin.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated by Rachel Lantz on October 29, 2018 to reflect the recent changes of the project.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul is a crypto-enthusiast, strategy game world champion, mathematician, and educator based in Taiwan. When he’s not drinking coffee to fuel these interests, you can find him on the way to a coffee shop.