What Is Viacoin?
Viacoin is an old cryptocurrency (launch 2014) based on the Bitcoin protocol with some fundamental differences. Like most other classic cryptos, it's meant for secure, peer-to-peer transactions.
In this beginner's guide, we touch the following:
How does ViaCoin work? 
Viacoin implements some unique features that provide relatively fast transaction times and interoperability with popular blockchains. Let's have a look at each of them individually.
Scrypt Merged Mining (Auxiliary Labor Test)
Viacoin mining uses the Scrypt mining algorithm, initially a popular choice for coins due to its ASIC strength. It reduced the effectiveness of ASIC by a factor of ten compared to the SHA-256 Bitcoin algorithm, leveling the mining playing field. Now, however, several companies produce ASIC miners specialized in Scrypt. Thus, the ASIC resistance of the algorithm no longer exists.
Alongside a handful of coins, Viacoin implements the combined extraction. Also called Auxiliary work test, the combined extraction is a process in which two coins can be extracted at the same time. In this practice, an auxiliary chain, ViaCoin in this case, straddles the hash power of a more consolidated parent chain. Most miners set up Litecoin as Viacoin's parent chain.
Mining has several advantages. As a miner, you do not need to spend extra energy to pull out both chains, but you still get rewards from both. The auxiliary chains get more security thanks to the hash power of the main chain. And the parent chains experience a phenomenon of negligible blockchain when they include the hashes of the auxiliary chains.
However, these advantages have more work. Auxiliary chains require development work to implement combined mining and miners / mining pools have added set-up and maintenance to support it.
Almost all of the total 23,176,392 VIA is already in circulation, so the rate of inflation is significantly lower than other cryptocurrencies.
SegWit and the Lightning Network
Viacoin supports both Segregated Witness (SegWit) and Lightning Network. These features help the network to scale by reducing transaction size and opening off-line payment channels, respectively.
Another advantage of these implementations is the atomic exchange with other cryptocurrencies. Using cross-chain atomic swaps, you can directly exchange Viacoin for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Decred, Vertcoin and other similar currencies without relying on centralized exchanges.
The development team is currently in the process of passing Viacoin's signature mechanism of Elliptic Curve digital signatures to Schnorr's signatures. The main advantage of the switch is the ability to check a batch of signatures at the same time rather than having to do it individually. This change could reduce the use of blockchain bandwidth by more than 25 percent.
Viacoin past, present and future
Viacoin was launched in 2014 and currently has a central core of seven. Most of the team chose to remain anonymous by sharing their GitHub account and sometimes their Twitter.
The 2018 Viacoin roadmap is packed with improvements including:
- Trezor Support (complete)
- ATM Support General Byte (Complete)
- Multi-Signature Wallets
- Samourai Wallet Anonymous
- Implementations Viacoin in Golang (complete), .NET (complete) and Java
- Schnorr Signatures
- Smart Controls compatible with Ethereum
Competitors  Viacoin competes with almost all other cryptocurrencies focused on the transaction. So your first instinct could be to see Bitcoin and Litecoin as two competitors. But, since Viacoin can atomically exchange with these coins, should work together. Ideally, if a blockchain becomes inflated, you simply have to switch to a less congested cryptocurrency for the transaction. After the exchange, they exchange again.
Cryptocurrencies that fail to perform an atomic exchange with Viacoin compete more directly. Nano, for example, uses an Acyclic Graphical Direction (DAG) instead of a blockchain. Nano has the advantage of free, almost instantaneous transactions. However, DAG technology is mostly untested compared to blockchain technology.
Bitcoin Cash is another competitor. The hard fork in Bitcoin Cash is mainly due to the division into the community between the size of growing blocks or the implementation of SegWit to help with resizing. Supporters of Bitcoin Cash have chosen the block size solution. Therefore, Bitcoin Cash can not make atomic exchanges with Viacoin and competes as a transactional currency.
At launch, the EIA price was volatile from around $ 0.10 (~ 0.00016 BTC) to around $ 0.34 (~ 0.0006 BTC) in less than a month . Only a year later, however, you can get VIA for only $ 0.004 (~ 0.000018 BTC), with an almost 99% drop in the USD price. And you thought that the current bear market was negative!
VIA remained latent for almost two years before sticking to the rest of the market for the increases and falls we saw in 2017 and the first half of 2018. As a small coin (<$ 50 million market capitalization), the VIA price movement mainly follows the Bitcoin movement.
It will be interesting to see what effect the Lightning network and atomic exchanges will have on the value of VIA. With the increase in the adoption of Bitcoin, we could see Viacoin becoming a reasonable transactional alternative when Bitcoin or Litecoin networks become too congested. If this happens, the EIA price should increase accordingly.
Where to buy VIA
Although technically VIA is still possible, awards at this point are so low that it is probably not worth it. The good news is that you have many trading options on which you can also buy VIA.
With nearly 40% of the trading volume, Binance is by far the most popular platform to buy VIA on. On Binance you can exchange BTC or ETH for VIA.
Bittrex is another recommended exchange where you can exchange BTC for VIA.
If you are interested in buying VIA with fiat currency, you might consider Coinroom. Coinroom supports VIA purchases using USD, EUR, GBP and PLN. Be careful, however, since Coinroom is not as reliable as Binance or Bittrex.
Where to Store VIA
The Viacoin team has created an entire suite of portfolios to choose from for your VIA archive. The Core portfolio is available on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Mobile wallets plus your style? Copay is available on Android. You also have the Vialectrum portfolio at your disposal.
If security is your priority, you have additional options. The project has paper portfolio capacity. Or you can archive VIA using Ledger or Trezor hardware portfolios.
Viacoin is a p2p cryptocurrency that integrates the well known Bitcoin and Litecoin. With atomic swaps, all three coins are directly interchangeable. And through combined extraction, you can extract Litecoin and Viacoin simultaneously.
Even if you've never heard of it before today, Viacoin could become a household name when the adoption of Bitcoin grows and the atomic exchangeable chains become even more interconnected.