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What is Primecoin?

Primecoin (XPM) is a peer-to-peer open source cryptocurrency that implements a unique scientific computing proof-of-work system. Primecoin’s proof-of-work system searches for chains of prime numbers. Primecoin was created by a person or group of people who use the pseudonym Sunny King. This entity is also related with the cryptocurrency Peercoin. The Primecoin source code is copyrighted by a person or group called “Primecoin Developers”, and distributed under a conditional MIT/X11 software license.

Primecoin has been described as the main cause of spot shortages of dedicated servers because at the time it was only possible to mine the currency with CPUs. For the same reason, Primecoin used to be the target of malware writers.

Features

Scarcity is governed by the nature of prime number distribution
Almost all cryptocurrencies in existence define their scarcity properties merely by a set of predefined values in source code, whereas scarcity of Primecoin is based purely on a relationship of a simple function and mathematical property of natural occurrence of prime chains in the set of whole numbers that are.

No predefined ultimate number of coins
Instead of having hard-set ultimate number of coins in its code like many other alternative cryptocurrencies, number of Primecoins released per block is always equal to 999 divided by the square of the difficulty. There has been some attempts at approximating this number. The number of Primecoins that will be mined will be determined by the progress of its adaptation by the mining community, improvements that will be done to the mining algorithms and ultimately by Moore’s law.

Difficulty adjustment is more frequent
XPM protocol adjusts its difficulty slightly after every block. The difficulty change that occurs each block is targeted at achieving target of one new block created once per minute. As comparison the bitcoin protocol adjusts its difficulty every 2016 blocks, or approximately every two weeks.

Faster transaction confirmations
Since XPM blocks are generated 8 to 10 times as fast as bitcoin blocks on average, XPM transactions are confirmed approximately 8 to 10 times as fast.

Source: Wikipedia

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