The Next Next

It makes for a funny title, but Next coin is already spawning offspring. There is a special section in the Bitcoin Forum for announcing new cryptocoins, and it’s one that I probably should be paying attention to. But for the time being I count on people I know telling me about the really good new cryptocoins.

Next coin now trades on Vircurex. Apparently all the quality testing that Vircurex was doing over the last couple days checked out. It seems to me that the listing caused an immediate drop in value, and I wonder if that’s from people dumping their holdings after being frustrated with either the client or the Bitcoin Next exchange.

I still have not updated my Next client which means I can’t access my own coins until I do. But that’s the thing–I’m just not a computer nerd–and that’s what makes Devcoin such a good fit for me. I did have to install the Devcoin wallet client on my hard drive, but it was a truly straightforward process. The Next client, on the other hand, is a squirly piece of programming, at least for me. So I can see why some people might be engaged in dumping now that a popular exchange supports Next. Perhaps they are thinking what I’ve thought at times: upgrade to the latest client and get it working long enough to send the entire contents to Vircurex and then dump them. While I think I will be upgrading and fixing my wallet client in the next few days or so, I will not be dumping my Next coins any time soon. In fact, I really want to forge a few more, which means actually running the client/forging thingie.

One of my trusted sources alerted me to this thread announcing the next Next on the Bitcoin Forum. It’s called NEM, for New Economy Movement. NEM is a descendent of Next. I believe it comes from a Next fork, or will soon come from a Next fork, though I lack knowledge or understanding of the technical details. Just like Next, NEM will have a single genesis block which in one fell swoop produces all four billion NEM that will ever exist. Then it distributes them to all the initial stake holders. The early adopters got to stake a claim for free, but us late adopters got to pay a fee, which increases for every ten pages of the thread. I decided to jump in today. You can see my claim on page 87 and I put in 0.03 BTC into the pot. If you want in at that price you should probably jump in sooner rather than later, as I suspect that it will cost more once the thread reaches page 90 or 91.

The main difference between NEM and Next is that while Next coins were allocated based on amount of money sent to the kitty, where the generous donors got a larger stake than the more stingy donors, NEM is simply going to divide up the entire four billion pot into equal shares to all the stakeholders. Anyone who donates more than the current fee will not gain a larger stake but may be thanked for their generous donation. In order to stake a claim you need to have an account on the Bitcoin Forum and each account can only get one share. However I have noted at least one person creating an account for a two month old son so that he too could get a share. Junior will reach adulthood with a share of NEM and his very own Bitcoin Forum account. I momentarily thought of buying shares for my family members, but decided to stick with one share based on the wisdom in not putting all your eggs in one basket. Plus I believe that if NEM takes off as well as its predecessor did, then my one share will be more than adequate.

It’s actually the egalitarian initial distribution that made me want to buy in. No matter what investment I want to get into, there will always be someone with more Bitcoins than I have who can eat up a bigger piece of the pie. But almost everyone can afford to pay the current 0.03 BTC for a single share, and it’s much easier to part with that amount knowing that your share will be just as big as everyone else’s no matter how many Bitcoins they would have had to throw at it had the distribution followed the Next model.

Equal shares for all is a major part of the vision for the New Economy Movement and its accompanying cryptocoin. Many of the current cryptocurrencies suffer from the situation where a rather concentrated group of early adopters holds the vast majority of the coin. Mining usually is easier at the very beginning but gets more difficult as more people get involved in mining, giving those who got in “before it was cool” a perpetual edge in terms of amount of coin held until they dump said coin. Bitcoin was like that, and I’ve heard still is to a large extent, and many of the Bitcoin descendants continue to be like that. Even Devcoin favored the early adopters to the Devtome by giving them very large shares with amounts of Devcoin that are now impossible thanks to all the new writers publishing on the Devtome.

Any cryptocoin which has a single genesis block is also likely to suffer from too much concentration as without a major campaign promoting the new coin, a relatively small group of people will ever know about it, and an even smaller group will buy in. However, at least among those who do buy in, they all get the same amount of coin. While Next only had 72 original stakeholders, NEM already has over a thousand Bitcoin Forum users listed as stakeholders, and as of this writing the document listing all of them has not been updated with the most recent stakeholders such as myself. So even before existing, NEM is doing much better in terms of distribution than Next did at its early stages.

One of the fun features of Next was that stakeholders were willing to give newbies some NXT so that they could get started with forging. I wonder if NEM stakeholders will do the same. I also wonder if NEM will be a forged coin as well. The information at the beginning of its announcement thread wasn’t clear to me.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the next Next. If you’re reading this article, I recommend you check it out. The buy in fee is very reasonable, and you never know; NEM might go to the moon and pay off a few houses in the process.

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