Spectrecoin (XSPEC) was created in December 2016 as a fork of ShadowCash (SDC), with its initial difference being that it ran over the tor network for added privacy. Since then, it has continued to make strides, developing into an even more user-friendly and anonymous cryptocurrency. These advancements include OBFS4 Bridges, Wallet UI improvements, improved stealth addresses, updated tor, and better syncing. At just over a year old, the project has come a long way and has big plans for the future, such as stealth staking (a first for any crypto) and the implementation of Android and iOS mobile wallets.
Strengths of the Project
Privacy coins are a growing sector of the cryptocurrency market, especially with growing concerns about potential bans, tracking, and monitoring of use in certain regions. When it comes to privacy coins, the bare minimum that they need to be private, anonymous, and untraceable are:
- Tor to hide the location and make tracking more difficult
- Stealth addresses to keep the receiver anonymous
- Ring Signatures to keep the sender hidden
Spectrecoin has gone some way to ensure that it has all three of these covered, and it continues to look for ways to make further improvements. It currently has native tor implementation, that is, every wallet automatically conects tot he tor network with no additional steps, making it noob friendly and easy to set up. This includes OBFS4, another added feature that hides the use of tor from external sources, making it look like normal internet traffic.
Spectrecoin currently offers the choice of public or stealth addresses, but in Q2 of 2018 it will be switching to solely stealth addresses for added anonymity when using the network. Spectrecoin currently utilizes dual-key stealth addresses (DKSA). Without these, the contents of a user’s wallet and what has been sent there can be seen.
Ring Signatures are used to keep the flow of funds from being monitored and the senders and receivers of transactions from being potentially tracked. There are current plans to improve this even further, and the lead developer JBG has stated that long-term they are looking to find some way to hide transaction amounts. This could be done through RingCT, ZKP, and Bullet proofs, and it is something planned for in the not too distant future.
The Ghosts in the Machine
In fact, JBG is one of the great strengths of the Spectrecoin platform (naturally, as the head of a privacy-based project, they do not want to reveal their actual name or any identifying information), who is incredibly active on Spectrecoin’s Discord channel. Anyone who has spoken to them will assure you that they are polite, knowledgeable, and, above all, professional. As the project has grown, volunteers have started taking over some of the support issues, but JBG is still active and willing to help whenever possible.
Brycel is the second developer and the project’s cryptographer. They are the power behind the much-touted stealth staking feature, to be released with the 2.0 wallet. Proof of Stake on Spectrecoin is currently 5% annually, with plans to review this figure over time if needed. Stealth staking is probably Spectrecoin’s most innovative upcoming feature. Stealth staking will hide coins that are being staked as well as stakes received. Brycel is a private individual, not active in chats, but they and JBG are in regular contact, giving each other updates and feedback on work.
Another interesting item on the roadmap for 2018 is the introduction of mobile wallets, which JBG says will be true mobile wallets capable of staking. This is interesting, as other proof of stake projects have stated that their mobile wallets will be unable to stake.
Potential Areas for Development
The developing team takes a tech-first approach, in that they believe the underlying technology will promote the coin. In many senses, they have been correct so far, with project funds almost exclusively being directed toward development. But now the ever-growing community and fans of the project are keen to push this truly innovative privacy coin. Through volunteer collaboration, a completely communal and organic marketing campaign is now beginning to take shape. This aims to address the frustration some investors share, as they feel Spectrecoin is often overlooked due other, subpar privacy coins having larger budgets and thus being able to afford flashier marketing campaigns.
Some believe that the project is not being developed actively or enough. This is in part due to JBG performing all commits in a batch, which is then counted as a single commit. JBG and Brycel are looking into this, as they recognize that while it is not a problem in terms of the platform’s functionality, many will look at this deceptively scanty output and have their doubts.
Another issue is that some confuse the github with other projects that are not actively developed. As a result, the community is actively seeking out erroneous links and redirecting them to the correct github.
There is currently no whitepaper, although the altcoin.wiki for the project effectively acts as such. Despite this, a new, more expansive whitepaper is currently being written. This will cover the majority of tech the project uses or will use, as well as its aims. Additionally, Brycel will be releasing a separate whitepaper focused solely on stealth staking.
Spectrecoin is only on a limited number of exchanges, which means it’s relatively low-volume. It is currently listed on Cryptopia, Livecoin, TradeSatoshi, and Bisq. Cryptopia is the largest of these exchanges, and thus oversees the most trading, but Bisq is definitely the most interesting. Bisq fits in well with aims of the Spectrecoin project, as it is a decentralised exchange, meaning it’s difficult to regulate and adds another layer of privacy. Unfortunately, volume on Bisq is low, but this could change in the future.
As an investment, even when it was at its all-time high of $6, Spectrecoin was still a project with the capacity to show 10 to 20 times growth in value in the medium term. It has a low circulating supply of approximately 21 million, which is similar to the maximum supply of Bitcoin. As a proof of stake coin, Spectrecoin’s supply will grow over time, but its set inflation rate of 5% means it will see a controlled growth, and its inflation could even be lowered over time. Remember, as with all proof of stake coins, when the overall supply grows, so does the amount of coins you hold. So as long as you are staking, your coins keep a steady value.
The market cap is also small, currently at roughly $35 million, and while that’s a lofty goal for an altcoin, keep in mind that Monero has a market cap of $3.5 billion, with only a slightly lower supply. If Spectrecoin could reach only 1/10 of Monero’s market cap, that would mark a 1,000% increase from its current price.
Clearly, the financial potential of Spectrecoin is sound, and its capabilities for stealth staking and anonymous transactions have already been proven. With the fervent support of its growing community, this cutting edge cryptocurrency is worth a look for any privacy enthusiast!