Signum is a digital cryptocurrency and payment system based on the blockchain technology. SIGNA coins are mined using an algorithm called proof-of-capacity plus (PoC+) in which miners use computer storage instead of the more common energy-expensive method proof-of-work (PoW) which involves permanent computational operations.
The energy requirement for Signum mining is minimal compared to most other cryptocurrencies making Signum one of the most energy efficient within the field of proof based cryptocurrencies. The blockchain platform allows for development flexibility, ensuring developers freedom to create their own applications. In this sense, Signum can be considered as a next-generation cryptographic application project (often called 'cryptocurrency 2.0') in contrast to the first generation cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
The crypto coins, called Signa, are fairly distributed. There was no ICO, no pre-mine allocations to early adopters, and no airdrops for any promotions of the cryptocurrency during the launch. The Signum blockchain operates with a block time of 4 minutes, the block reward size reduces at a fixed rate of 5 percent each month. The network offers a dedicated digital wallets.
Origin to community takeover
Burstcoin was released to the public on 10 August 2014 on bitcointalk.org by the original developer who is known under the alias "Burstcoin". Their real identity is still unknown today. The coin was launched without an initial coin offering (ICO) or premine. The genesis block was published on 11 August 2014. Approximately one year later, the main developer "Burstcoin" disappeared without any explanation.
Being an open source project, other members of community then took over the development of Burstcoin. On 11 January 2016, a new forum thread was created on Bitcointalk.org by a senior community member. The core code is being actively developed by an international community of contributors.
Signum was the first cryptocurrency using the proof-of-capacity algorithm. Proof-of-capacity was successfully implemented by the original developer, going by the name "Burstcoin" on bitcointalk.org forums.
Signum was the first cryptocurrency to implement working, "Turing complete" smart contracts in a live environment in the form of Automated Transactions (AT), this occurred before both Ethereum and Counterparty. An application of these smart contracts was shown in the form of the world's first decentralized lottery. It became the first ever program to run on top of a blockchain in a trustless decentralized manner. Other use cases of the Automated Transactions include decentralized crowdfunding.
The Signum blockchain is a public ledger that records every transaction. It is fully distributed and works without a central trusted authority: the blockchain is maintained by a network of computers known as nodes running the Signum software.
Ownership of Signum implies that a user can spend SIGNA linked with a specific address. For this to occur, a payer must digitally sign the transaction using the associated private key. Without knowledge of the private key, the transaction cannot be signed and SIGNA cannot be spent. The network verifies the signature using the public key. If the private key is lost, the Signum network will not recognize any other evidence of ownership; the coins are then unusable and are effectively lost.
A summary of a Signum transaction is as follows : The sender details the parameters for the required transaction type (sending money, creating an alias, transmitting a message, issuing an asset or an order for an asset). All values for the transaction inputs are bounds checked for validity. If the transaction is found to be valid then the public key for the generating account is computed using the supplied secret passphrase. A new transaction is created, with a type and sub-type value set to match the type of transaction being created. All specified parameters are included in the Transaction object. A unique transaction ID is generated with the creation of the object. The transaction is digitally signed using the sending account's private key. The encrypted transaction data is placed within a message instructing network peers to process the transaction. The transaction is then broadcast to all peers on the network. A detailed explanation of the transaction process can be found on its wiki page.
The mining process is based on a proof-of-capacity plus (PoC+) consensus algorithm. In order to mine SIGNA each miner first computes a large data set which is then saved to a computer storage medium. These data sets are known as plots. For each new block in the blockchain each miner will read through a tiny subset (1/4096th - approximately 0.024%) of their own saved plots and return a result as a time interval in seconds known as a deadline. The miner with the lowest deadline wins the block and is then rewarded with the transaction fees and the decreasing block reward of SIGNA down to a minimum of 100 SIGNA.
The computational resources for mining on the Signum network are limited to the time it takes the miner to read the plot files stored on mass storage. Once this is achieved no other computational resources are needed until the next block making Signum highly energy efficient. The total size of a miners plots is comparable to the mining speed used by other cryptocurrencies. The hardware entry point for SIGNA mining is minimal as it can currently be mined on an Android device.
Proof-of-capacity is also claimed to be ASIC-proof. Signum's proof-of-capacity algorithm is based on precomputed proof-of-work, so theoretically one could compute the Proofs in real time. However, it is currently impossible to efficiently compute a significant amount of work during a 4-minute time interval. Inspecting the precomputed work stored on the hard drive is both faster and more energy efficient than any conceivable ASIC device could achieve providing in real-time.
How to mine SIGNA in the pools? Given that it can take a long time to find the smallest deadline, some miners collectively mine in what is known as a mining pool.Mining pools allow miners to have a more evenly distributed Burst income: the reward for each block won by the pool is distributed between the miners of that pool. By use of mining pools smaller miners can collectively compete with the larger solo miners. When a block is won the pool receives the block reward and it is dispersed to all miners based on their mining capacity, commitment and confirmed deadlines submitted. Alternatively a solo miner wins 100% of the block reward and the pool gets 0%.
The Signum cryptocurrency wallet comes in a few versions: The web based wallet (online wallet), a Windows desktop version (Windows Client) which is essentially a wrapper for the web wallet and a local instance with some added functionalities. Users can access their account from anywhere in the world with internet access and a web browser. The features of the Signum wallet include (but are not limited to) the following:
An Android version of the Signum wallet was released in 2016. Although it currently only has a subset of the features of the PC version it allows users to plot the storage capacity of the device, to mine coins with it and to send and receive SIGNA coins on any Android capable device.
The Burst Asset Exchange is a peer-to-peer exchange platform integrated into the Burst wallet. It functions primarily as a secure decentralized trading platform for Burst assets. The popularity of the asset exchange is based upon the absence of any third party, allowing improved efficiency and reduced costs. A burst asset is basically a token to represent anything the asset issuer deems to be of value so that it can be traded, common examples of such assets include shares in the following: mining pools, retirement funds, crypto mining rigs, crypto gambling sites and silver investments.
Automated transactions (Smart Contracts)
Smart Contracts are self-executing contractual states, stored on the blockchain. In brief an Automated Transaction is a "uring complete" set of byte code instructions which will be executed by a byte code interpreter built into its host. An AT supporting host platform automatically supports various applications ranging from games of chance to automated crowdfunding and ensuring that "long term savings" are not lost forever.
The crowdfunding feature allows users within the Signum community to raise funds in Burst for project creators in a decentralized way.
The Signum Wallet has an inbuilt escrow service, it allows a quantity of SIGNA coins to be held by a third-party on behalf of transacting parties.
The Signum Wallet includes a completely decentralized marketplace where Signum users can view other users items for sale by referencing their account id. It will display all items for sale for the designated account holder.