Gareth Johnson
Gareth Johnson
Updated on December 7, 2021

Burstcoin was a decentralized digital coin that uses blockchain technology to create a fast and secure network, much like the first and most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Burstcoin was launched on August 10, 2014, by an unknown developer through an announcement on bitcointalk.org. Like Satoshi Nakamoto, the coin’s developer remains unknown, but further development on the coin is still ongoing by a team that calls themselves the PoC Consortium.

Burstcoin was a new generation digital currency that uses 2.0 crypto technology. You may be familiar with the 2.0 technology from Ethereum 2.0 a.k.a Serenity, which basically alters the procedure the coin is made by, from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Capacity (PoC). 

PoW is a widely used mining protocol, however, it is quite cumbersome for GPUs.

In addition to the altered protocol, Burst claimed to be loaded with new features compared to the other coins. However, when Poloniex delisted Burstcoin in May 2019, the Burst price decreased significantly. After going through technical enhancements, in June 2021, Burstcoin was announced to have changed its face – or rebranded – as Signum.

How Does Signum Work?

Signum operates using a consensus mechanism algorithm called the Proof of Capacity or PoC, where the PoC Consortium gets its name. The way it works is by utilizing the empty disk space on the mining devices.

The PoC algorithm stores a list of possible solutions to a puzzle and a pseudo deadline in the hard disks of the nodes (miners) even before the mining activity starts. Then, when the mining begins, the first one to find a solution to the puzzle wins the prize, i.e. reward. The larger the empty disk space that you allocate to mining, the more possible solutions you can store on your hard drive and the greater the chance you have for finding it.

Disc with binary code written in green

There are two stages of the mining process of Signum: the plotting stage and the mining stage. The plotting stage is a pre-mine stage where plotting software computes and stores the results of cryptographic hash functions. It is called plotting because, as an analogy, the hard drive space is plotted into segments of all possible solutions by creating plot files through repeated hashing. Because these puzzles are too complicated to solve in real-time, plotting needs to be done before mining. This way, the mining problem is more of a search problem than a cryptographic hashing problem. Thus, the competition for processing power needed to earn the prize is reduced.

After the plotting stage is complete, the mining software searches through the plots for the best answer. All the plots generate a pseudo deadline, a unit of time in seconds, and the miners pick the smallest deadline while running through the plots. The smallest deadline in the mining process is also the amount of time for that specific mining round. When the round ends, the one with the shortest deadline is allowed to produce a block and earn the block reward.

What Is Unique About Signum?

PoC consensus algorithm is an entirely different algorithm than PoW (Proof of Work) and PoS (Proof of Stake) algorithms. Coins like Storj, Chia, and Spacemint followed the PoC algorithm, however, Burstcoin was the first to introduce it. The procedure is so efficient that you can even mine using an Android phone. Plus, Signum brings a number of innovative features such as easy smart contracts, sustainable mining, encrypted messaging, aliases, and personalized tokens in addition to the native coin, Signa. 

Smart Contracts

You may know smart contracts from coins or blockchains like Ethereum. It is a computer protocol that procedurally eliminates specific formal juridical roles from a negotiation. It reassures the confidence that the contract will be executed without the traditional juridical authorities or any sort of intermediary.

Signum smart contracts are implemented as automated transactions. They can be programmed to execute when the requirements are met automatically. You can write your own smart contract just by knowing a little bit of Javascript.

Woman signing contract on mobile phone on desk

As it eliminates intermediaries, it eliminates the red tape around negotiation while ensuring trust among the two parties, protecting their anonymity and autonomy, and providing efficiency at the same time. Smart contracts may have numerous implementations. For example, you can hold a decentralized automatic lottery, an auction, crowdfunding, or even games.

Decentralized Exchange

Signum’s exchange network is based on smart contracts, which means it doesn’t rely on any other third party such as a central website or a server. Because it provides trust among parties without an intermediary, it enables a radically decentralized exchange that can be used for numerous activities. It is a much more efficient way of ensuring that users send and receive digital payments in comparison to Bitcoin-type blockchain technology. Plus, the protocol is open source.

Payment Solutions

In addition to the option to make a single regular transaction, you can send multiple receivers – up to 128 to be exact – the same amount of Signa, or you can send different amounts of Signa to up to 64 recipients in one transaction with negligible transaction fees. You can make a subscription plan for months, days, or even minutes that let you send recurring payments automatically. Plus, it allows you to attach a message to your payments, and the message can either be encrypted or publicly accessible.

Tokens

The Signum chain allows you to create your own coin (token) for a 110.25 Signa fee. You determine your coin’s ticker symbol, the total supply, and the maximum number of digits. It’s a very user-friendly process and it only takes a couple of minutes. The tokens are transferable right after they are created. The coins can represent certain assets such as company shares or can be used directly for investing, saving, and making purchases like any other cryptocurrency. Also, these tokens are exchangeable for Signa. 

Hand holding lightbulb with city skyline with sunset on background

Energy Efficiency

The major flex of the Signum chain is its energy efficiency, which makes it a crypto champion in sustainability. There is a massive debate on the impacts of the whole crypto market on the environment. PoC authentication systems emerged as one of the many alternative solutions to the problem of energy-intensive BTC mining rigs. Compared to the POW algorithms, PoC requires much less energy and much simpler hardware. Its energy consumption is only 0.002% of BTC’s energy consumption, according to CoinMarketCap. Because its network runs on low-powered hard disks instead of GPUs or ASICs, it is a greener alternative to Bitcoin and similar cryptos.

A Few Words Before You Go…

Signum, formerly Burstcoin, seems to have brought a game-changing technology to the cryptocurrency market. Smart contracts, a decentralized exchange, and a greener crypto base alternative to the Proof of Work algorithm are undeniably impressive. However, even though Burstcoin was the first to implement the Proof of Capacity algorithm, the technology is improving each day. Today, many coins thrive on the PoC consensus algorithm such as Btchd, Disk Coin, and Boom. Moreover, Signa’s Proof of Capacity algorithm is not the only green alternative to BTC. Proof of Stake is another algorithm that is claimed to be green, and today on CoinMarketCap, there are many PoS-based coins such as Cordana, Solana, and NXT.

Still, Signa’s smart contracts, built-in asset exchange, crowdfunding platform, marketplace, encrypted messaging platform, and room for customization are definitely eye-catching. Signa is available for trading on Finebox, Bittrex, BHEX, and STEX.