Nimiq – The World’s First Browser Based Blockchain
Nimiq is a new browser-based blockchain coin that aims to create a cryptocurrency for the masses. Typical blockchain based currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and the rest of the pack are not simple enough for an average person to understand. According to Nimiq’s vision, the true potential of the blockchain’s magic cannot be realized if the mining pool is to be limited to the technical people alone.
By making this new currency easy to use and mine, the creators of Nimiq want to unleash the power of blockchain on the world and see what good it can do. This new “altcoin” has just finished with its token sale (ICO) and easily raised the maximum amount to start further development and deployment of the platform. Nimiq used Ethereum blockchain (ERC20 tokens) for its ICO but will eventually shift to the Nimiq blockchain, built from the ground up, and currently can run in Chrome and Firefox browsers.
Nimiq is Simplicity Itself
The Nimiq platform is by far the easiest to install of any cryptocurrency invented. It’s native to the web platform, its installation is free and it synchronizes in a matter of seconds. You can currently try mining the “beta” Nimiq coin in your web browser, but keep in mind that this coin is just a beta/test, not worth anything, and could disappear at any time when they reset their blockchain. Early testers were awarded with a free t-shirt if they successfully mined 10000 coins. Test the Nimiq betanet for yourself ridiculously easily here: https://nimiq.com/betanet
This approach of getting the blockchain technology to go global is a big selling point. Imagine a blockchain-based currency whose mining even your grandma can do. Normally if you ask people, especially non-geeks, about blockchain, bitcoin or mining, you get confused answers since most people haven’t actually tried it as it is now, probably never will. Nimiq plans to change that.
With the help of their revolutionary approach, more people can actually be involved in the blockchain revolution. With this paradigm shift, even your skeptical old-school uncle or even grandpa could be mining a blockchain day one.
Now the success of bitcoin has been limited to trading and other sectors that are enlightened by its out-of-the-box approach. But still, you can’t pay for your groceries in the shop in your building. According to the creators of Nimiq, the only way to do that is to work for mass adoption of the currency. For this to happen, you need simplicity and lots of it.
Robert Linus, the creator of Nimiq was of the opinion “The success of projects such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have proven the enormous transformative potential of Blockchains. But yet you still can’t pay for your coffee with cryptocurrencies. Nimiq is a next-generation blockchain changing that by introducing the missing ingredient for mass adoption: Simplicity.”
Ease of Payments
There is also the case of wallets. Most non tech-savvy people don’t know much about the blockchain and cryptocurrency in general. So they deal in it using third-party wallets and exchanges. Conventional programmer level techniques require intricate complex installations and that is not everybody’s cup of tea.
There is also a very useful built-in wallet in the website of the Nimiq coin. The Nimiq team is aiming for their final wallet to allow peer-to-peer interchangeability between fiat currencies and other cryptocurrency, in a foolproof way.
Currently, most of the major money transfer companies like Western Union and Moneygram take hefty fees for each transaction. With this breakthrough coin, the people with low-end machines and slow internet can make transactions without the need of these high fees and have them completed nearly instantaneously. Nimiq hopes that this will help society break the monopoly of these money transfer companies in the current market. Since it is the first cryptocurrency that can go truly global, applications of the Nimiq blockchain are virtually endless.
The Nimiq ICO / Token Sale
During their successful ICO, in which they raised 50,000 Ether in a couple of weeks without any advertising or fanfare, around 3500 unique investors participated. Nimiq now has to deliver the “Mainnet”, which they hope to have ready by December. They are currently organizing and hiring to make this happen.
The main challenges for the team will be to translate the core blockchain technology to a web-based model that hasn’t been tried before. The main hurdles would be related to networking or peer-to-peer connections, storage and employing cryptography for verifying, confirmation and encryption of the data. And they plan to re-code in web assembly.
Moving to Proof of Stake
Embedding a blockchain into web browsers also offers new constraints (but also new opportunities.) Currently the betanet is a PoW (Proof of Work) algorithm, which is processor and electricity intensive. For the Mainnet, they plan to move to PoS (Proof of Stake.) This means that coin holders will be able to mine/mint new coins simply by holding Nimiq in their online wallets.
The storage part of the problem is really interesting as web browsers will use Indexed DBAPI to store blockchain data of the new currency. Since the blockchain can’t get the space it’s used to in other regular platforms, we compress the blockchain into something like Blockchain Lite or as the original developers are calling it a “Mini-blockchain” scheme.
Right now, there’s also the lingering issue of using private keys in the system. The private keys are left unprotected unless you flush the memory of your browser. If you do so, the keys are lost. In the Mainnet however, the private keys are expected to have much better security standards and will offer a kind of cold storage in your own system for that.
As part of their ambitious project of making crypto simpler and much more accessible to common people with no technical knowledge, the Nimiq team has come up with a unique way of sending money. You just create a link with the amount of coins in it, and send it off to anyone. Since it’s a web-based system, whenever a user opens the link, the money can then be directly deposited into their own wallet.
So, you can basically whatsapp, email, text or even Skype the link and the money will be transferred to the relevant person’s account. If they don’t have a Nimiq account, they’ll be asked to make one, and it just downloads right into their browser. Nothing anywhere close to this exists in the other 800+ cryptocurrencies out there, and Nimiq’s prototype is already working on their website! This is the type of idea that’s possible when the blockchain is built into the web browser, and we expect to see Nimiq come up with a lot of other good new ideas too over the next few years. According to founder Robin, “We’re not just trying to make a great cryptocurrency, we’re out to make THE cryptocurrency, and our target is to overtake Bitcoin.” If there’s any crypto out there that can beat Bitcoin, then Nimiq seems the most likely.