One year ago, Primecoin was launched by Sunny King, also co-founder of Peercoin. At the time, it was one of the few altcoins in existence. More significantly, it is one of the few that the employs a unique proof-of-work algorithm with real-world practical significance. This, despite it technically being based off of Bitcoin.
The coin searches for prime numbers as part of its hashing mechanism. It can be argued that this is a more productive use of mining power, which conventionally goes to waste, save for the value of its hashing. It also has shorter confirmations of 1 minute and adjusts its reward difficulty level at each interval. The reward isn’t fixed over a given period, rather calculated based on the inverse value of the current difficulty level.
King today congratulated the community on its bitcointalk forum. He thanked users and mining developers, whose efforts helped them claim 5 out of the 21 current world records for prime numbers:
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“This is a feat that I couldn’t have imagined at the time of primecoin’s design, when I was still in doubt whether it could break any world record or not. One year after primecoin’s public debut, the cryptocurrency designers are still focused on mixing hash functions with hash-cash proof-of-work, or finding ever more ‘cpu friendly’ proof-of-work, primecoin’s unique proof-of-work remains the first and one of the very few useful and actually interesting proof-of-work designs, that preserves the decentralization property of cryptocurrency.”
According to its site, miners additionally broke 11 world records for the Cunningham and BiTwin chains, which are specialized sequences of prime numbers.
The value of Primecoin, however, has not been something to celebrate. It has extended its gradual decline for over 6 months, losing over 80% in the process. One coin is now worth $0.37. Its market cap is now $2.37 million, ranking it 22nd among all cryptocurrencies.