Anyone who’s looking for smaller, exciting altcoins to invest in will usually scan through Coinmarketcap’s Top 100. For some, this is a daily rabbithole of information, with new coins jostling to edge upwards towards the likes of Ripple, Ethereum, and the fabled Bitcoin. At time of writing, DigiByte (DGB) comes in at number 47 with a market cap of almost $600 million.
DigiByte slumbered for years until its recent eruption onto the market, surging virtually 1,000% in less than a month. Its price is currently around the $0.06 mark for a token. Here is a coin that boldly markets itself as a better alternative to Bitcoin, so what’s going on? Having existed for 4 years, why hasn’t this coin overtaken the king of cryptos?
What Does DigiByte Do?
At first glimpse, DigiByte is another digital asset that exists on its own decentralized public blockchain. DigiByte happily claims to be “the world’s longest, fastest and most secure UTXO blockchain in existence.” It was created as a superior alternative to Bitcoin, imagining a faster, more secure cryptocurrency that reaches a wider community. The blockchain is spread over more than 100,000 nodes, aiming for the ultimate level of decentralization.
In essence, DigiByte exists as a direct challenge to the monopolies of Western Union and PayPal. Bearing this goal in mind, the team has created a set amount of 21 billion DigiByte coins (1,000 times the number of bitcoins in existence) to be mined by 2035. In theory, this makes DigiByte a better method of payment; if DigiByte has the market reach it is aiming for, it will be possible to pay in whole divisions when the price reaches $1-2 (instead of Bitcoin’s messy decimal system).
But what exactly does DigiByte bring to the table to achieve this? Whereas Bitcoin’s average block time sits at 10 minutes, DigiByte’s 15 seconds leaves you barely enough time to open your laptop. The project has an absolute need for speed, with the block time doubling every 2 years – effectively turbocharging the network’s number of transactions per second- with a staggering projected rate of 280,000 p/s in 2035. Mind you, DigiByte’s current rate of 560 p/s already dwarfs Bitcoin’s 7 p/s.
DigiByte’s peripheral interest was to bridge the gap between gaming and digital currencies, with players being rewarded in-game with the DGB token. Things started off with a bang, with DigiByte adding a number of integrations with games including Minecraft and League of Legends. Yet, after paying out millions of tokens, the team shut down DigiByte gaming in May 2017 after serious technical issues.
History of DigiByte
Dissatisfied with the security and speed of Bitcoin, programmer and entrepreneur Jared Tate set out with the bold notion of creating something better. Tate and his team started developing DigiByte back in 2013, with its release and first block being mined on January 10, 2014.
The first breakthrough for DigiByte was its DigiShield hard fork just a month after release, allowing its blockchain to be protected against the threat of multi-pools which inflate the coin’s value when it is mined too easily. This is a valuable technology that has since been implemented to protect Dogecoin and will reportedly be adopted by several other cryptocurrencies, according to the DigiByte team.
The second big win for DigiByte was in 2016, when Microsoft added it to Azure and nominated the crypto for BizSpark, their program that supports software entrepreneurs. While these are promising signs, the coin has been overtaken by dozens of faster-growing projects and has yet to make truly significant steps towards mainstream adoption.
The coin’s value has slumbered for years, but it started turning heads in December 2017 when it achieved a 120% price surge in 12 hours, hitting headlines globally.
The DigiByte Team
As an established entrepreneur with a strong public profile, DigiByte’s credibility rests on the shoulders of Jared Tate. While Tate has a significant presence both in the physical and online world, the DigiByte project is unlike Bitcoin in the sense that it’s an open-source project.
In short, the team is composed of dozens (possibly more) of contributors around the world. While the notion of an open-source venture is admirable, the implementation of such a project is difficult, to say the least. Nearly every sustainable, successful cryptocurrency has a well-documented team comprised of experts from a diverse range of industries – at least, these are the projects that attract corporate partnerships and widespread adoption.
That said, the “team” is supposedly accessible across its vast array of social media channels – Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and more. But you won’t even find the core members of the project listed on the whitepaper. Why? Because there is no white paper – DigiByte’s official stance is “we want to be doers. Not white paper pumpers. It is much better to under-promise and over-deliver.”
Only time will tell to see if this bold claim will be delivered.
Competitors and Challenges
The biggest question mark over this project is not its vision, but its ability to pull it off. With no whitepaper, notable team, or significant corporate partnerships, how will DigiByte slingshot its way into competing with Bitcoin, or even settle for second place?
Without a doubt, Bitcoin is DigiByte’s biggest arch-nemesis, with the entire concept of the DigiByte project being founded on being a leaner, meaner, faster version of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
When it comes to what’s under the hood, DigiByte has every reason to tower over Bitcoin. Its biggest asset is its speed, with transactions being confirmed in just 1.5 minutes in contrast to Bitcoin’s 1 hour. Not to mention how the number of transactions taking place simply dwarfs Bitcoin, with nearly 100 times the number of transactions per second. Lastly, with 5 algorithms compared to Bitcoin’s 1, mining DigiByte is far more decentralized. These algorithms are also capable of being altered, further protecting the project from becoming centralized.
In spite of DigiByte’s superior technology, there are countless issues that pose a threat to its success – not only its competition with Bitcoin, but simply its ability to propagate the cryptocurrency market and make it out of the starting gates.
How to Purchase and Store DigiByte
DigiByte is available on several main exchanges, namely Bittrex, Poloniex, Kucoin, or Cryptopia. A full list of exchanges where you can buy DGB can be found here.
DigiByte (DGB) can be purchased for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETC), or Tether (USDT), depending on which exchange you use. If DGB is your first cryptocurrency investment, you will need to purchase any of these currencies at a fiat/cryptocurrency exchange. Prominent exchanges include CEX, Changelly, and Coinbase.
After exchanging any of these three currencies for DGB, you are ready to transfer your funds to your wallet. The official DigiByte wallet is available for download here.
On paper, DigiByte is a much better cryptocurrency than Bitcoin, being significantly faster, more secure, more decentralized, and open-source. The vision is solid, yet it is certainly lacking a cohesive presence and is heavily dependent on the profile of its founder, Tate.
Moreover, DigiByte’s lassez-faire stance on its lack of whitepaper is indicative of its entirely unorthodox nature. To date, the technology underpinning the project’s success has been solid, and the coin appears to be technically superior to Bitcoin.
But for this project to really move forward, it will require some significant corporate, government, or crypto-advocate backing – all of which will invariably require more of a transparent existence.
The combination of technological prowess and lack of profile make this project truly bizarre. DigiByte is somewhat like a child prodigy performer with no connections, left waiting to be picked up by a talent scout and explode into the industry.
To get the latest news about DigiByte, visit their website.