What is Verge?
Bitcoin’s greatest technological achievement was the blockchain – a distributed ledger that provided anonymity to anyone using it. The blockchain is “anonymous” because no one know who owns a Bitcoin address, but Bitcoin isn’t private. When you join the Bitcoin network you connect in a peer-to-peer fashion to many other Bitcoin nodes, and your IP address can be seen by those nodes you’re directly connected to. Seeing your IP address means that, though they don’t know who owns the Bitcoin address, someone can see that you connected.
Verge is a direct descendant of Bitcoin, but with several improvements. Verge has a 30 second block-time, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, and can support up to 100 transactions per second, compared to 7 with Bitcoin. Also, Verge supports a number of different proof-of-work algorithms, some of which work best on CPUs, some on GPUs, and some on ASIC chips, meaning that anyone is able to mine Verge on a level playing field.
It also will eventually have 16.5 billion coins in circulation, compared to Bitcoin’s 21 million. The increased coin count was done intentionally to keep the price for an individual Verge coin low to make it more appealing to users, who may balk at seeing a coin priced in the thousands of dollars.
Every time you connect to the Verge network, you do so over TOR. TOR (The Onion Router) is a world-wide network of servers that lets people browse the internet anonymously. When you browse the internet through TOR, your request is bounced between a number of different servers, each one obscuring the original source of the request. There’s no way for someone outside of the TOR network to know where the request originally came from, so it can’t be traced back to you.
The next major milestone for Verge is called the Wraith Protocol. Wraith will dramatically increase the privacy offered by the currency by making transactions either public or private – your choice. When the Wraith Protocol is turned on in a Verge wallet, it will automatically generate “stealth” addresses, which are one-time-use addresses that cannot be publicly linked to your primary Verge addresses.
Verge is also working on implementing Smart Contracts by way of a RSK. The Smart Contracts will operate on a side-chain pagged to Verge, meaning that executing the smart contracts will happen indepenently of Verge and won’t congest the network, but will still rely on the Verge blockchain to settle accounts.
In its current state, Verge isn’t as private as Monero, which already obscures transactions automatically. However, the Wraith Protocol would bring Verge up to par, and it’s slated for release within the next month. And Verge is faster and has much lower transaction fees than Monero. With the future additions of Smart Contract, something no other privacy-focused coin is working on, Verge is poised to move to the head of the pack.