by Nuno Menezes
The cryptocurrency ecosystem is growing faster than ever before. New solutions for old challenges are being developed and implemented by the day. A lot of promising and innovative projects are flooding the market while the technology keeps improving in plain sight. However, mining is still one of the biggest controversies in the ecosystem.
Mining is a computationally intensive and energy consuming task that requires significant resources from dedicated processors, graphics cards, and other hardware. Lately, there has been a flood of mining malware over the internet, and many sites including Pirate Bay have been reported to have been running hidden cryptocurrency mining over the web browser an individual is using to surf the web.
Several software tools can be used to run a Monero (XMR) miner on a website page. Once a user visits that section, the software will immediately use his hardware resources to start mining monero. And this can be done for all the users visiting the page at the same time. Many sites are adopting this source of income as the classic advertisement is no longer a viable option. Nevertheless, there is a new blockchain-based project called Nimiq that will most likely become a viable source of income for many sites and a promising proposal in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
What is Nimiq?
Nimiq is the first decentralized peer-to-peer browser-based blockchain ever to be built. Nimiq presents itself as a third generation blockchain technology designed for peer-to-peer payments using an open source protocol that is fully decentralized. It is a frictionless peer-to-peer payment protocol that combines technical aspects of both Bitcoin and Ethereum in one innovative web platform.
By enabling browser-based mining, the platform was developed having the simplicity concept in mind. Since it is web-based, users do not need to download anything to access the blockchain or to mine Nimiq tokens. Nimiq brings back the whole original notion that Satoshi himself wanted to introduce which is allowing access to anyone with a computer device and internet access.
What is Nimiq trying to solve?
Nimiq introduced a blockchain technology that can solve a lot of challenges. Nimiq allows peer-to-peer settlements without the interference of a third party and reduces the rate of barriers by establishing connectivity for developers, merchants, and consumers. Nimiq was able to solve the intensive energy aspect of mining by enabling a blockchain protocol that works over a web browser.
The simplicity of Nimiq is also one of its great features as it was designed to make it easy for the average user to use it without the need of having advanced knowledge over cryptocurrencies. Just because it is installation free, Nimiq hopes to attract a load of new users into the world of cryptocurrencies.
Nimiq employs an open-source protocol designed for peer-to-peer payments, and it is abundant with various attractive features:
- Excellent Payment Experience: Nimiq’s is an open source payment protocol, and its main goal is to establish peer-to-peer connectivity for fast transactions. It’s simpler than ApplePay, and its focus lies in payments with no scripting languages. It has cross-chain compatibility, and as such, it can connect with the Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies blockchains to implement smart contract features.
- Installation Free: Nimiq is browser based in nature, and it employs web sockets for establishing network communication. It can run on servers as well if the user prefers, even though it is browser based by nature. Thus, it’s easy to launch Nimiq.
- Fast Synchronization and Transactions: Nimiq provides fast synchronization with other users via peer-to-peer connectivity. Also, Nimiq possesses Hashed Timelocked contracts (HTLC’s), and by employing these users can establish channels for payments with each other to transfer off-chain transactions. Off-chain transactions are more highly secured than on-chain transactions. Thus, transactions are usually instant in nimiq with low cost and no need for block confirmation.
Nimiq is a protocol mainly for payments which are native to the web. Web and online marketing is the biggest tool for selling any kinds of goods and services worldwide. Nimiq is supported for use by almost anyone throughout the world who has internet access, and thus it focuses on mainstream technology.
Based on “The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Scalable Off-Chain Instant Payments,” Nimiq implements Hashed Timelocked Contracts to enable payment channels and within those scalable instant off-chain transactions. This solves the scalability issues beyond micro-payments. Moreover, they enable atomic swaps for cross-chain interoperability. There are also approaches to enable onion routing on top the Lightning Network to provide anonymity in a way similar to the Tor Browser.
Hash Timelocked Contracts not just allow off-chain transactions and scalability. Nimiq also uses them for cross-chain transactions to become compatible with the great work of projects like Ethereum and Bitcoin, thus allowing Nimiq users to access the advanced smart contract features of Ethereum while it allows users of other cryptocurrencies to exchange into Nimiq without an intermediary easily.
‘Nimiq’ is an Inuit word which was used to represent an object or a force that binds things together and that is exactly what the Nimiq team is aiming to do. To introduce a new digital currency for the new global age that will bring people all around the world closer together.
Disclaimer: The author is not invested in Nimiq nor has any intention to in the near future.