After a slight downturn yesterday, the crypto-mania is back with a vengeance. Many of the major gains we're seeing are again flooding into altcoins, with Bitcoin now trading healthily above $15K.
One such altcoin is Burstcoin (BURST), which grabbed "Biggest % Gain" spot on Bittrex, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, yesterday. Burstcoin is the native coin of the Burst network. According to CoinGecko, BURST was trading at $0.0260 at 11:33pm PST Dec. 21. At 4:51am PST Dec. 23, that price was $0.1004—marking 4x growth. Burst is still holding onto fresh gains this morning with a current price of $0.0728 and market cap of $131M.
What is BURST?
Burst calls itself the "green innovative cryptocurrency." It's a network that forked from Nxt, and its community sees blockchain technology as a revolutionary opportunity that often isn't being fully utilized by other cryptocurrencies. It seeks to address the "lack of decentralization, waste of energy, unfair releases, supremacy of big miners and corporations" witnessed elsewhere in the crypto world.
One of Burst's claims to fame is that it—rather than Ethereum and Counterparty—was the first cryptocurrency to implement functional, "turning complete" smart contracts in a live environment. This also makes it the first-ever 'trustless' program running on top of a blockchain. More recently, Burst and Qora (another blockchain-based cryptocurrency) successfully established atomic crosschain transactions. In laymen's terms, this means that Burst and Qora can trade across-platform with each other directly, in a completely decentralized fashion—without any exchange, brokerage, or otherwise.
Emphasis on Innovation
The Burst community prides itself on its technical innovation. It does this foremost through what it calls "Proof-of-Capacity" (PoC) mining, the first of its kind in cryptocurrency. You may have heard of "Proof of Work" (PoW) and "Proof of Stake" (PoS). These refer to how transactions are processed and added to the ledger on the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks, respectively—and most other blockchain networks use (predominantly) one or the other.
Even if you're not a technical person, here's why PoC is relevant to you. Where PoW mining requires expensive ASIC miners, Burst's algorithm allows mining to be conducted at a much smaller scale: in unused hard drive space of "regular" computers.
PoC mining is also purportedly much kinder on the environment, "barely [using] more energy than just leaving your computer on."
This is set in stark contrast to the negative attention Bitcoin has received in the media and on social channels surrounding revelations of how much energy PoW mining actually uses.