Out of the top 5 cryptocurrencies by market cap 3 are mineable coins. Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). All three operate within the proof-of-work consensus mechanism. However they all use different hashing algorithms.
Bitcoin uses SHA-256 hash function and Ethereum currently uses Ethash Proof of Work hashing algorithm. In the near future Ethereum will no longer support PoW as it will completely switch over to Proof of Stake. Litecoin on the other hand uses Scrypt algorithm. Apart from Litecoin; Scrypt algorithm is also being used on various other PoW blockchains.
Previously we’ve covered about SHA-256 coins. Likewise here in this post we’ll list scrypt based cryptocurrencies.
Before we take a look at Scrypt coins here is a quick overview of the scrypt mining algorithm.
What is Scrypt hashing algorithm?
In cryptography, scrypt is a password-based key derivation function (KDF). Password based KDF are designed to be computationally intensive and they are efficient at preventing brute force attacks.
Scrypt being both computationally intensive and memory intensive hashing algorithm it was originally used for Tarsnap’s online backup service. The algorithm was designed by Colin Percival. On May 2009 Colin published scrypt paper titled, “Stronger Key Derivation Via Sequential Memory-Hard Functions.”.
You can read the full technical specifications here: https://www.tarsnap.com/scrypt/scrypt.pdf
Scrypt offers high level of security and is one of the safest hash functions out there. Also being a memory hard algorithm it improves network security by resisting large scale custom hardware attacks. Because of this scrypt is considered to be perfect for distributed systems.
Due to large amounts of memory requirements performing large scale custom hardware attacks on scrypt gets costly. This hash function is designed in such a way that it requires miners to generate numbers quickly. These randomly generated numbers are stored in RAM (Random Access Memory) of the processor. This then needs to be accessed on a continuous basis before submitting a result.
Due to its memory intensiveness it is considered as a solution to mitigate custom hardware’s like ASIC and FPGA which is the main cause of centralization of cryptocurrency mining. You can read about the importance of ASIC resistance here.
Because of its ability to hinder ASIC mining machines it is considered to be the most effective alternative to Bitcoin’s SHA-256 hashing algorithm.
Origin of scrypt in cryptocurrencies
Today Scrypt is being used by a number of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies. But the first cryptocurrency to implement scrypt as a PoW hashing algorithm is Tenebrix (TBX) which was released on September 2011. But that project failed and it no longer exists. Later coins like Litecoin and Dogecoin started using scrypt.
Scrypt was implemented on blockchain networks and it was initially introduced as an attempt to improve upon SHA-256.
Its high security is what lead projects like Litecoin to implement scrypt as its hash function. One of the main reason is that its ability to resist ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits).
But that is no longer the case.
Mining Scrypt and Scrypt Miners
Scrypt was initially an ASIC and FPGA resistance algorithm. Meaning there were no custom hardware device on the Litecoin network. Only GPU miners were mining Litecoin. However in 2013 the first ASIC for scrypt algorithm appeared. Since then CPUs and GPUs are no longer used for mining Litecoin and other Scrypt based coins.
ASICs are superior. They generate more hash power compared to CPUs and GPUs. Therefore anyone who uses CPUs or GPUs other than the specialized machine will mine at loss.
There are a lots of ASIC that are capable of mining scrypt coins but only the few advanced ones are actually profitable.
According to ASIC miner value only the following miners are profitable at mining scrypt coins currently.
- Innosilicon A6+ LTCMaster,
- Innosilicon A6 LTCMaster,
- FusionSilicon X6 Miner,
- Innosilicon A4+ LTCMaster
- Bitmain Antminer L3+
This will change in the future as more advanced ASIC mining hardware gets developed.
Only if you own any of these machines you should think about mining the following list of scrypt cryptocurrencies.
Also note that in terms of overall hashpower scrypt networks have a lower hash rate than SHA-256 networks. Its because of the memory intensiveness.
Alright! So what coins use Scrypt algorithm?
List of scrypt coins
The two most prominent projects that uses scrypt algorithm are: Litecoin (LTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE).
Litecoin (LTC) launched in 2011 and Dogecoin (DOGE) in 2013. When Litecoin was launched it branded itself as an ASIC-resistant network. But that ultimately failed.
Dogecoin on the other hand forked Litecoin and it was launched as a fun currency. But it gained a massive following and is one of the top cryptocurrency with large market cap.
Other than these two there are hundreds of coins based on scrypt hashing algorithm. But here we are not going to list them all. Most of the scrypt coins are dead so listing them is pointless. Also we’ve excluded PoS (proof-of-stake) coins as they are non mineable.
Here we’ve only included the PoW (proof-of-work) mineable scrypt coins that are in the top list and has a reasonable amount of trade volume.
Scrypt cryptocurrency list:
|1||Litecoin – LTC||https://litecoin.org/||litecoinpool.org
|2||Dogecoin – DOGE||https://dogecoin.com/||www.multipool.us
|3||MonaCoin – MONA||https://monacoin.org/||vippool.net/
|4||Advanced Internet Blocks – AIB||https://www.aib.one/||coinstop.me/
|5||Einsteinium – EMC2||https://www.emc2.foundation/||coinstop.me/
Low cap coins based on scrypt:
- Aryacoin – AYA
- Gulden – NLG
- Viacoin – VIA
- Lightning Bitcoin – LBTC
- GridCoin – GRC
- PotCoin – POT
- FLO – FLO
- Quasarcoin – QAC
- VeriCoin – VRC
- Omni – OMNI
- Matrix AI Network – MAN
- Gulden – NLG
Hybrid PoW and PoS coins using scrypt:
- WhiteCoin – XWC – Hybrid – PoW & PoS
- ReddCoin- RDD – Hybrid – PoW & PoS
- SaluS – SLS – Hybrid – PoW & PoS
Multi algorithm coins using scrypt:
- DigiByte – DGB (Multi)
- Verge – XVG (Multi)
More info on Scrypt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrypt