Interview with Feathercoin

Feathercoin is a Bitcoin-based open-source cryptocurrency ecosystem with low fees & fast transactions, catering to the hobbyist miner. Cryptocurrency: FTC

A resilient blockchain running since 2013, this Litecoin fork has everything that Bitcoin promises. FTC has seen a re-surge in popularity thanks to the Merge, which has crowned the cryptocurrency one of the least unprofitable coins to mine for the GPU miner. Feathercoin is a great way to test apps for BTC/LTC, use separately for scalable uses, and has no developer’s share, meaning that it’s 100% community-driven in terms of its roadmap.


Ludovic Duvetter—Community & Marketing, Feathercoin

#1. I guess my first question would be how much have you guys managed to build upon the LTC core and where have you diverged primarily since 2013?

The initial main component specific to Feathercoin was the Neoscrypt Algorithm which can only be mined with CPU or GPU. Today this algorithm is still ASIC resistant meaning that dedicated circuit board designed to mine crypto can’t be used on Feathercoin.

To protect the network from 51% attack, a specific Advanced Checkpointing feature has been implemented on Feathercoin.

Thereafter every main Bitcoin feature has been added and activated on Feathercoin; at the moment we are running an equivalent to the core wallet v0.19.

Lately we have implemented omnifeather which adds OmniLayer functionality to the Feathercoin blockchain. This allows for the creation of additional assets on the Feathercoin blockchain other than the native feathercoin. Assets can be either managed or have a fixed supply, can be introduced via crowdsale and exchanged via a decentralised exchange built into the OmniFeather protocol.

#2. To the new crypto adopter, what value does FTC provide over other popular ecosystems that share similar core values of low transaction fees and fast transactions?

Feathercoin is a truly “community driven” cryptocurrency. It means that anyone could join the team and participate to the definition of the roadmap. Of course, it first requires some effort to prove your dedication and be entrusted by the core team.

Feathercoin started in 2013, we are almost 10 years [old]. This is huge for crypto. So many projects disappear. Many top projects of today might not be there in 5 years.

Feathercoin has proven its robustness; anything Bitcoin can offer, Feathercoin could offer it as well with much less resources enhance less impact on the environment.

Lately, with the end of Ethereum POW mining, Feathercoin offers a new opportunity for Proof-of-work miners all over the world.

#3. Feathercoin is definitely one of the oldest cryptocurrency ecosystems ever, having forked from LTC around 9 years ago. After the ceremonious launch, what were the biggest issues that the network faced?

At the very beginning in July 2013, while we were still using the Scrypt algorithm (like Litecoin), we had a 51% attack [Full story].

Thereafter we have introduced the Neoscrypt algorithm + the Advanced Checkpointing in order to protect the network.

Since that event, Feathercoin had no downtime nor any other network issue.

Then came the Ethereum era which, in my opinion, killed a lot of small POW projects.

#4. The post-Merge period has been quite haphazard for miners, especially the hobbyist or small-time miners. FTC has come out as a solid alternative. Though no coin is profitable right now, FTC is definitely one of the least unprofitable coins. Where do you see this going, and how have you guys tapped into this newfound interest in mining FTC? Any specific hurdles you faced or achievements that you had?

Until 2018, Feathercoin was mined a lot and was profitable, then came the Ethereum era which, in my opinion, killed a lot of small POW projects.

In fact the mining reward is a great incentive to attract and retain new people on the ecosystem.

There was no pre-mining on Feathercoin hence no budget for the team to develop it. Over the last 3 years Feathercoin was not profitable and was mostly mined by a huge miner (aka the mega miner) which was providing a huge hashrate.

One of the best successes is that the adaptation for Feathercoin has been now reused by Litecoin.

#5. Tell us about the success you’ve had so far with OmniLayer and what are its best capabilities, especially when compared to the Ethereum and Polygon layers.

Omnifeather [website] is an adaptation of the Omnilayer for Bitcoin enhance is doing the same features with a near-zero transaction cost and a faster transaction time.

At the moment, Omnifeather is used by different initatives such as BeerToken, FeatherDollar (a stablecoin similar to Tether) and some other tokens.

These are proof-of-concept / showcase projects rather than real live projects.

One of the best successes is that the adaptation for Feathercoin has been now reused by Litecoin. So it proves that Feathercoin could be a “lab” for Litecoin and Bitcoin.

[More details on Omni]

The Feathercoin team has sought to solve this problem by separating the checkpoint record from the client software. The team has created a “master node” that publishes the series of checkpoints for Feathercoin clients to check against.

#6. What is automatic checkpointing and how does it help protect the network from 51+% attacks? Do you think more ecosystems should be adopting this?

Checkpointing is a lesser known part of cryptocurrencies. It’s a way to maintain the integrity of the blockchain by recording blocks out of it. In bitcoin, checkpoints are stored in the code of the client. This enables it to verify its checkpoints against the copy of the blockchain it has downloaded, ensuring that the blockchain has not been retroactively rewritten in a 51% attack.

This means that as the blockchain grows, client software has to be updated to store new checkpoints within its code. This leaves clients that have not been updated for a long time vulnerable to attacks on the blockchain.

The Feathercoin team has sought to solve this problem by separating the checkpoint record from the client software. The team has created a “master node” that publishes the series of checkpoints for Feathercoin clients to check against.

While it would be difficult for a 51% attack to be carried out against a network as large as bitcoin’s. The checkpoint system that is in place at the time fortunately helped prevent long term damage to the currency.

Having this master node decentralized over trusted nodes would be even a step further in the design.

We can recommend this mechanism on blockchains where the hashrate is very low.

#7. What are the qualitative advantages of choosing the Feathercoin ecosystem to build merchant applications?

As a “copy” of Bitcoin, Feathercoin offers the same security, decentralization and features as Bitcoin. In addition, the open community allows any new participant to influence the roadmap.

With a blockchain up & running since 2013 it also shows its resilience over time.

For larger projects Feathercoin could also be used as a lab, to experiment new features before scaling on Litecoin or Bitcoin.

#8. An altcoin such as FTC is doomed to face a lot of competition, almost eternally. What are some of the hardest challenges and obstacles keeping FTC from even greater adoption?

Get to know the coin. There are more than 20,000 projects today and many of them have massive marketing budgets.

Feathercoin doesn’t have all the latest top features however you can consider it a commodity coin. I mean it is a strong network, a strong foundation upon which we could build even further layers.

The new mining landscape could offer more visibility to Feathercoin.

We see lately a lot of new people joining the community and discovering the coin through the mining profits.

#9. We’re getting close to one whole year since the last halving. How have the mining statistics improved in this time? What were the best and worst things to happen during this time specifically in terms of FTC mining?

At the moment of writing 261,506,278 FTC has been minted [out of] a maximum of 336,000,000 which means 77,8%.

20 FTC are created every minute, meaning 28,800 FTC per day.

At the current price of 0,007$ per FTC it means that the value created per day is 206$.

When you think about it, it is ridiculous; I mean with 200$ per day you can buy all the coins created on a day. Nevertheless, Feathercoin is one of the less unprofitable coins at the moment and it could grow quickly if any big miners would be interested to buy the coins like we saw recently on Ethereum Classic, Ravencoin and others.

The hashrate after being maintained for many months around 4GHz has drastically reduced. Probably driven by a) a lower price of FTC and b) an increase in the energy cost.

Since the end of Ethereum POW we can observe the hashrate growing again while the price is also increasing.

This is exactly what we want to see and I truly believe that we will see an acceleration in both price and hashrate over the next weeks and months.

Reaching again the 100M$ marketcap would be an excellent target to wake up the community and looking at a Feathercoin 2.0.

FTC 3y chart. See full chart on Coinwarz.

#10. Lastly, what are some of the exciting or new things you guys have been working on for the ecosystem at large, including anything new in NeoScrypt?

I must admit that during the bear market it is even more complicated to get people excited. Remember that Feathercoin is community driven crypto with no money or incentives for the developers.

Nevertheless, we see initiatives here and there. More recently Featherdex [GitHub], a user-friendly trading application has been developed in order to interact easily with the omnifeather layer (creating and exchanging token).

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