In a Nutshell: MaxCoin has learned many lessons since its highly publicized 2014 launch. Without the financial backing needed to support its developers, the coin almost disappeared among the rush of cryptocurrencies that launched after it. But the token’s strong community of developers maintains its original philosophy to create a next-gen currency with superior security features and envelope-pushing innovations. As a result, MaxCoin is on its way to becoming one of the most advanced offerings in the token economy today.
Cryptocurrency was founded to provide an alternative to the government-backed banking industry that left many jaded amid bailouts and credit crises. Its decentralized nature made it a perfect way to incite creativity, innovation, and still maintain privacy among transactions.
But, somewhere along the way, the explosion in popular token prices caught the attention of speculators and investors, and the “pump and dump” economy began to take away from the movement’s original vision.
A number of tokens today seek a quick path to riches instead of steady growth and a solid game plan. MaxCoin has been there and learned the error of such thinking.
You may remember MaxCoin as the first token to hold a live launch on the Keiser Report. That added attention sent token prices soaring as many investors jumped into the fray in hopes of riding the wave.
But the truly decentralized coin became a victim of its own success. This was before the days of ICOs, and MaxCoin didn’t have a premine or other source of funding to keep its developments alive. Without funding, the coin soon took a tumble and was mostly forgotten among the myriad coins to hit the market over the next five years.
But MaxCoin never died. In fact, it’s alive and well and secretly becoming one of the most innovative and advanced offerings in the token economy today.
“We were one of the first original coins around at the beginning,” said David Serrano, Admin Coordinator at MaxCoinProject.org. “We don’t do things like ICOs, premining, or fundraising. Everything grows organically.”
And it’s that growth and commitment to advancing the technology that’s put MaxCoin at the forefront of security and innovation. While mega-popular coins like Bitcoin work to keep up with growing security regulations, MaxCoin has integrated next-gen algorithms, including Keccak SHA-3, since its inception.
MaxCoin’s commitment to productivity over profit attracted several innovative developers who sought a platform to create the next generation of secure cryptocurrency.
“We have a lot of developers who are using MaxCoin to do new things, which is exactly what we want,” Serrano said. “We want to keep the coin pure. I, personally, don’t want to see a rush of speculators or investors jumping in to pump the price and create a short-term gain.”
One of the First Adopters of the SHA-3 Algorithm
The Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2) has been a cryptocurrency security staple for years. The hard-to-crack code kept digital wallets safe, and developers and speculators at ease. But this algorithm was created behind closed doors by the NSA, and thus became fodder for independent developers to attempt to break.
And with the rise of quantum computing, that breach may be closer than you think. With the need for next-gen security, the NSA has suggested Keccak SHA-3 — something MaxCoin has had from the beginning — for implementation into all cryptocurrency.
That’s because SHA-3, like MaxCoin, is all about individual developers and innovation. SHA-3 is the product of an open call from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to the cryptographic community for hash function proposals. Anyone could participate in its creation, which yielded a broad array of submissions that each had to contain a description, a design rationale, and preliminary cryptanalysis.
“If quantum computing was able to crack an SHA-2 hash, such as Bitcoin, within 30 seconds, it would take around 14,000 years to crack SHA-3,” Serrano said. “And, considering the block time is every 60 seconds, you have to crack it within that 60 seconds before it changes.”
Serrano noted that a high level of security is key to building a next-gen currency, as new threats regularly pop up and require a dedicated group of developers to remain two steps ahead of cybercriminals. To keep its community strong, MaxCoin doesn’t limit its cooperative work exclusively to online ventures.
“Most of us are friends outside of being online,” Serrano said. “Every year, we conduct a few functions where we meet up and work on projects together.”
Maximizing Security with Schnorr, Kimoto Gravity Well
The Schnorr signature algorithm is a hot topic among traders of mainstream cryptocurrency, as the talk of its implementation into Bitcoin could allow improved multi-signature transactions and greatly improve privacy among trades.
MaxCoin’s founders had the foresight to anticipate these issues back in 2014, which is why the token has used Schnorr as its signing algorithm since its launch.
“Schnorr has great capabilities for enabling smart contracts and tokenization,” Serrano said. “It makes transactions very condensed and very anonymous.”
Schnorr enables potential developments, including native multi-signature transactions, and provides an upgraded cryptographic field for key generation and an increase in performance.
Maxcoin uses Secp256r1 as its cryptographic field to generate key pairs for addresses — a carefully designed elliptical curve from which points are selected and used to initialize the public and private keys.
The use of the Secp256k1 field is specifically recommended by the NIST, an organization that sets the standards for U.S. government cryptography.
“One of the reasons they want to implement it into Bitcoin is its ability to aggregate all of the transactions into one string, which makes it very tiny,” Serrano said. “If you have Schnorr, you don’t have to worry about potential scaling problems.”
MaxCoin also ups its security by employing Kimoto Gravity Well as a difficulty-readjustment algorithm.
“Between each block, the coin has to figure out what the difficulty rate is for the next block,” Serrano said. “Bitcoin writes 2,016 blocks to work it out. With Kimoto Gravity Well, the difficulty is readjusted with every block.”
Maintaining Its Founding Principles of Progress Over Profit
As with most things in life, lessons are best learned through experience — both good and bad. MaxCoin’s initial launch brought it lots of attention and quick profits, but the ensuing growing pains nearly made it one of the many coins that come and go every year.
If the coin’s developers had focused solely on creating profits, MaxCoin would have been abandoned years ago. Instead, a group of innovative creators hung on to the idea that a next-gen token should be about pushing the technological envelope instead of pursuing quick riches.
Today, MaxCoin continues to thrive under a dedicated community of crypto enthusiasts who stick to the original ideology that made cryptocurrency come to life a decade ago.
“I believe it’s much better to create a steady pace if you want to stabilize a coin,” Serrano said. “If you visit our Telegram chat, you won’t see people using that normal seller’s lingo that you hear in crypto chats because people are talking about the technology as opposed to making a fortune.”
Current projects within the community include the development of MaxChop, which will allow users to create their own cryptocurrencies on top of MaxCoin and MaxShop — a secure payment processor and federated barter system using the currency.
“I think we were a victim of our own success in the beginning,” Serrano said. “But that’s led to a strong community of developers who want to see MaxCoin succeed and believe in its principles. That’s what you need to build a stable coin for the future.”