FCN cryptocurrency, also known as Fantomcoin, is one of the most interesting mining projects I’ve seen.
But how do they stack up against competing projects?
And is their development community still alive?
In this coin review of FCN, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the blockchain project.
We’ll also look at the pros and cons of their Merged Mining, CryptoNote and MinerGate integrations.
1. What Is FCN Cryptocurrency?
FCN is the first cryptocurrency to allow merged mining.
So why is that important?
Well, merged mining means you can mine two different cryptocurrencies at the same time – without requiring extra hash power.
Merged mining is also referred to as Auxiliary Proof-of-Work (APoW).
It’s essentially the computing power a cryptocurrency miner has.
Also, it increases the levels of security on the blockchain.
You see, merged mining is designed to prevent 51% attacks.
1.1. What Are 51% Attacks?
51% attacks occur when a cryptocurrency miner has a majority hold of the network.
But wouldn’t it take a lot of hash power to launch a 51% attack?
Well, the problem is miners can pool together to combine their resources.
(This is commonly known as a mining pool.)
And if a large enough group of miners pool together, they can launch a 51% attack.
Fantomcoin’s adoption of the merged miner model means 51% attacks are prevented.
Therefore the blockchain becomes less likely to succumb to fraudulent double spend transactions – whilst also ensuring transactions can be processed more securely.
1.2. Why Is A 51% Attack A Problem?
When you own 51% of the network’s hashrate, you can manipulate transactions on the blockchain.
This creates two problems:
1. Blocked Transactions.
Mining is the process of verifying transactions on the blockchain.
So when you have a group of miners with a 51% majority of the network’s hash power, you can block transactions and stop the network processing properly.
2. Reversing Transactions.
51% attacks can also reverse the network’s transactions.
This creates the problem of double spend.
So the cryptocurrency can be spent twice:
This is a problem unique to digital currencies.
When double spend occurs, an attacker is spending the coins with a merchant whilst retaining a copy of the tokens for themselves.
As you can imagine, this disrupts the blockchain’s public ledger.
And this is the exact reason why Fantomcoin has integrated Merged Mining.
2. Fantomcoin’s Merged Mining Integration
2.1. What Is Merged Mining?
Merged Mining basically allows you to pair your mining of FCN with a cryptocurrency like Monero.
You don’t need extra hash power or more resources to do this – in fact you can use a CPU to mine it.
CPU = just a basic computer/laptop
So you could CPU mine FCN cryptocurrency with a Mac or a Windows laptop for example.
So how is this achieved?
Let me explain.
2.2. Why Is FCN Cryptocurrency Integrated With Merged Mining?
Mining cryptocurrency is the process of solving hashing algorithms on the blockchain.
With merged mining, you have parent chains and auxiliary chains working asynchronously together.
But even though you have two cryptocurrencies being mined, they don’t require any extra hash power.
The parent chain is the actual mining process:
Whilst the auxiliary chain is piggybacking off the parent chain’s hash power.
So you don’t need an extra mining rig to mine the auxiliary chain.
However, you’d receive the rewards of solving the hash on both blockchains.
This incentivises miners because they’re getting a 2 for 1 deal.
And therefore, Fantomcoin’s mining algorithm is appealing to some.
Whilst FCN is the first to cryptocurrency to allow merged mining, there are other coins which now accepting it.
2.3. What Are The Benefits Of Merged Mining FCN Cryptocurrency?
Basically, it’s a more efficient way of mining.So you can mine Fantomcoin at the same time as mining other coins.
You get a 2 for 1 deal.And if you’ve already set up a mining rig, it’s a bonus.You get bonus coins just for merged mining this coin.
It’s like free tokens.Remember:
You don’t need any extra hashpower to mine Fantomcoin.
- You don’t need any extra mining hardware
- You don’t need to spend more money
- You won’t use up more electricity
- You can still mine the parent chain at the same speed whilst also claiming the rewards of mining the auxiliary chain
- Your operation isn’t slowed down by mining two blockchains at the same time
- You provide Proof of Work to two different blockchains at the same time
- You reap the hash rewards from two different blockchains
Also, the network is more secure – because FCN cryptocurrency is designed to prevent 51% attacks.
FCN cryptocurrency only has a small network, so they’re more at risk of network manipulation than more established coins which have thousands of miners.
So with their merged mining compatibility, the FCN blockchain is safer for holders of the token and so transactions are less prone to manipulation.
Another benefit for Fantomcoin is that they can bootstrap their network’s hash power.
So they can piggyback the computing power from miners of other more established cryptocurrencies, without requiring miner’s to commit to solo mining their network.
In theory, Fantomcoin’s network would grow and attract miners of more established cryptocurrencies.
And all the while, the FCN network would gain more hashpower. Additionally, the parent blockchain doesn’t need to be aware of the auxiliary chain.
So let’s say you’re mining Monero whilst also mining Fantomcoin:Monero’s blockchain doesn’t need to know that you’re also mining Fantom at the same time.
The parent chain’s proof of work algorithm isn’t affected by the auxiliary blockchain.
3. Fantomcoin & CryptoNote
3.1. What Is CryptoNote?
Fantomcoin is also integrated with CryptoNote’s protocol.
So what is CryptoNote?
This is a technology that’s designed to be more private and anonymous than traditional cryptocurrencies.
3.2. CryptoNote Vs Traditional Cryptocurrencies
So let’s take compare CryptoNote vs a traditional cryptocurrency like Bitcoin:
To send money to someone with Bitcoin, you need their wallet address.
Once you have their wallet address, you can look up this address and see their previous transactions.
This is like a digital footprint of every payment they’ve made.
3.3. How CryptoNote Integrates With Fantomcoin
With a CryptoNote cryptocurrency like Fantomcoin, your payment history is much more anonymous.
You can’t see the payment history of a wallet unless you’re the owner, unlike Bitcoin.
3.4. Ring Signature Technology
When you send payments with traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, your digital signature is on the payment to verify it.
This confirms that you sent the payment – it’s a unique identifier that can’t be anonymously processed.
So it’s basically a digital footprint.
With Cryptonote’s ring signature technology, there’s more than one digital signature to verify each payment.
You basically get a group of signatures, where no one knows who the exact user who verified the payment is.
So your identity is hidden.
For example, let’s say you send a transaction:
Yours, Bob’s, Mary’s and Jim’s signature on the payment.
And one of you has made the transaction, whilst the rest haven’t.
A third party can see that one of you made the payment, but they can’t determine exactly who that is.
This doesn’t mean your transaction history is completely anonymous, but it does mean your payment verification is more hidden.
No one would know where the route of the payment came from.
One Time Addresses
CryptoNote’s technology also creates unique, one time addresses.
These addresses are derived from one public address.
So whilst the payment looks to a third party like it went to a one-time public address, it’s actually been sent to your public address.
That means your address is hidden, and there’s more barriers to finding out who actually received the payment.
A third party couldn’t just look at the signature addresses and see that it’s yours.
You’ll also see this technology integrated with many privacy coins (check out my list of the top privacy coins here).
It doesn’t ensure complete anonymity – but is it an extra layer of privacy that’s difficult to decipher.
3.5. Double Spending
We talked about Double Spending earlier with regards to Fantomcoin’s merged mining integration.
Ring signatures also reduce the threat of Double Spending, by creating a proof of spend.
Every transaction is tied to a private key on the network.
This is implemented via an image linked to the user’s private key, created each time a payment is made.
This image can’t be replicated.
So every user has a permanent history of their images.
And every time a new payment is made, the transaction is verified against your image history.
So if the image tied to the payment is duplicated, the payment is rejected because it’s interpreted by the network as double spend.
Private keys are hidden from other users on the network, and a third party can’t discover a user’s private key from an image.
Each image processed on the network is a deterrent against double spending.
3.6. Scalable Anonymity
As discussed above, ring signature protocols create a one-time address for each payment.
These one-time addresses for every payment are a combination of both the sender’s and the receiver’s address.
And this data is hidden on the public ledger.
Therefore, every transaction is different and no matter how many transactions are sent, the code is always different.This also adapts as more payments are sent:So the payment’s exact outputs spent for the payment input are hidden.
And every time a payment is sent, the one-time address becomes more complex, because there’s a higher number of senders on the blockchain. As this scales up into thousands or hundreds of thousands of payments, the ring signature becomes more and more complex.
Therefore, anonymity increases as the network’s payment volume increases.
3.7. Randomised Data
With traditional cryptocurrencies, you’ll have ‘constants’.
This could include the network’s maximum block size and minimum fees.
With Fantomcoin’s ring signature technology, every payment is different.
‘Constants’ are randomised for each payment.
3.8. Why Use CryptoNote?
It’s important to understand that Fantomcoin’s Cryptonote technology isn’t totally anonymous.
But at the same time, Ring Signature is a superior privacy model to traditional cryptocurrencies.
Transactions are fairly anonymous, and your payment history would be extremely difficult to decipher on the network.
So what’s the use case for privacy coins?
Hide your transaction history
Pay for items that you wouldn’t want anyone else to know about
Privacy is a liberty everyone is entitled to
3.9 The Ethical Problems Of CryptoNote
So CryptoNote helps it’s users enjoy the benefits of remaining anonymous, whilst hiding their payment history from third party surveillance.
But that could attract the wrong type of payments too.
Sure, anonymity and privacy are liberties we’re all entitled to enjoy.
But you might have ethical concerns about the use of coins like Fantomcoin or Monero.
For example, nefarious online activities such as buying drugs and guns might become one of the reasons why people use privacy coins.
That’s the flip side of Ring Signature technology – and something to consider before you invest in it.
3.10. Paper Trail
The other concern I’d have is that your payment history has to start somewhere.
So unless you arrange to buy Fantomcoin offline, you’d have to use Bitcoin to purchase it.
And if you use Bitcoin to trade BTC for FCN, your purchase history on an exchange will be easily traceable.
So whilst your payment history in FCN will be anonymous, third parties could still work out that you’re holding FCN.
(Because you paid for FCN originally with BTC.)
4. MinerGate & Fantomcoin
4.1. What Is MinerGate?
Fantomcoin is minable via Minergate.
With MinerGate, you can mine FCN cryptocurrency whilst merge mining Monero (another privacy coin) at the same time.
MinerGate is a mining pool for merged cryptocurrencies.
It’s a way of combing hash rates in a pool of other miners, so you don’t need to rely on your own computing power to gain block rewards on the network.
4.2. What Are The Benefits Of MinerGate?
It’s easier to mine Fantomcoin than most cryptocurrencies – because you don’t need expensive hardware to get started
Their community can grow quickly
If their community grows, then their transaction speeds will increase
There’s more incentives for non-serious miners to mine FCN
The other benefit of Minergate is that it’s easy to setup mining for Fantomcoin.
You don’t need to be a technical whiz with a huge mining rig.
In fact, you pretty much just download their software to your laptop.
It’s mainly aimed at newbie miners who don’t want the technical complications of setting up their own mining rig.
All you need is an internet connection, the Minergate software and your own computer.
It’s a click and mine software.
You can even run it in the background:
So you can carry on using your computer whilst MinerGate is claiming mining rewards in the background.
You also have the option to join MinerGate via command line functionality if you want to.
So far, MinerGate has 14 cryptocurrencies you can mine:
Monero and Fantomcoin being 2 of them.
However, with their Smart Mining functionality, you have the option to automatically switch between mining the most profitable cryptocurrency (which constantly fluctuates).
4.3. Criticisms Of MinerGate
From what I’ve seen online, MinerGate has received its fair share of criticism.
A lot of users get frustrated with it – you can see this on the MinerGate forums.
Reported problems with MinerGate include:
- There’s a minimum withdrawal limit
- So as reported by their users online, if you’ve mined less than 100 coins, you can’t withdraw your money
- That’s a big problem because it could take months before your laptop has mined enough coins
- So if you’re looking for a short term mining pool solution, MinerGate probably isn’t ideal
- Other users have reported that they’ve lost their coins whilst mining
- Due to popularity, they need to take the server offline for maintenance – which means you’re not going to able to use their service all the time
- Unconfirmed transactions – meaning users can’t withdraw their coins
Regarding the minimum withdrawal amount, MinerGate have reasoned this down to optimising network fees and energy efficiency.
It would be expensive in terms of energy and transaction fees to withdraw such as a low amount of coins.
So whilst MinerGate sounds awesome (because of its convenience, Smart Mining functionality and practicality, it’s far from perfect.
If you use MinerGate, you’re taking a risk – it’s not a quick way to mine coins and make money.
Also, MinerGate is a relatively new technology.
As their user base grows, and their network becomes more popular, they’re likely to have teething problems.
And because it’s a mining pool, users often complain that their hash power is stolen.
Basically, the conspiracy is that MinerGate reports a lower hashrate than you actually have, so they can pay out less tokens to everyone in the mining pool.
But that’s not confirmed.
And it’s just what’s been reported online.
I haven’t had any first hand experience with their software.
MinerGate isn’t an open source project either, so no one can really investigate how it works – and whether they’re getting a fair deal.
5. FCN Cryptocurrency Value
5.1. Current Price
You can find FCN’s current price here.
5.2. Price Chart
You can find a price chart of Fantomcoin below.
5.3. Fantomcoin Price Prediction
One of the biggest problems with FCN Cryptocurrency is that there’s no real use case.
Sure, these tokens have a value.
But it’s a negligible value.
You’d need thousands of FCN tokens to really reap a significant monetary benefit.
And for most people, the monetary value isn’t worth it.
Plus, Fantomcoin’s community is small.
And I’ve actually only seen one cryptocurrency exchange trading the coin.
That means it’s value in the future is less likely to increase, because Fantomcoin doesn’t have a very active community of investors.
Whilst FCN doesn’t require extra hash power to mine the coin, it’s a bit more complicated to set up and administrate.
To begin merged mining, you need more coin daemons.
So it’s a case of time vs reward:
And i’m not convinced the rewards are high enough for someone to being mining Fantomcoin.
I mean, should you really go the extra effort and time required, just to mine a few extra coins?
I’m not convinced.
5.4. Is Fantomcoin Dead?
According to reports, the Fantomcoin project was abandoned by developers in 2016.
However, projects like XDN have been designed to rejuvenate the coin.
Also, Fantomcoin shouldn’t be confused with Fantom project, an ICO launched in 2018.
These are 2 completely different projects – they’re not related.
5.5. Government Regulations
Also, if the Government sees privacy coins as a threat, then CryptoNote technology could be made illegal.
If a Government sees privacy coins as contributing towards a threat to society – or for the evasion of tax – then the technology could end up banned.
Governments rely on hundreds of millions in tax payments as part of their GDP.
So if privacy coins stop these funds flowing in, they’re likely to become strictly regulated.
6.1. When Was Fantomcoin Created?
Fantomcoin was originally created on 8th June, 2014.
6.2. Where Can I Download The FCN Wallet?
You can download their wallet here.
6.3. Which Exchanges List Fantomcoin?
HitBTC is the only exchange I’ve seen listing Fantomcoin so far.
6.4. Is Fantom Coin Listed On MinerGate?
Yes (see my guide to MinerGate & Fantomcoin above).
6.5. How Long Does It Take To Confirm Fantomcoin Transactions?
Transactions can be processed within a few seconds.
6.6. What Cryptocurrency Is FCN & What Does FCN Stand For?
FCN stands for Fantomcoin cryptocurrency – FCN is their trading symbol.
Fantomcoin is a separate project to Fantom.