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How to buy Electroneum
A guide to Britain's first coin, including where you can get ETN.
The Electroneum coin (ETN) is a standard digital coin with no particular features other than being able to transfer it between addresses, hold it in wallets and use it in lieu of currency wherever it’s accepted.
The Electroneum platform itself is what makes it different. It’s a mobile-only coin, and anyone with a phone can quickly download the app, create a secure wallet and simulate mining their own coins to get started.
Where to buy ElectroneumWhat wallet do I need?
You can download the Electroneum wallet and app to get started.
How does Electroneum work?
Like many other cryptocurrencies, Electroneum doesn’t have any features other than the ability to be held, sent, received and spent.
But unlike most other cryptocurrencies, Electroneum is entirely based on a mobile app. Mining takes place through the mobile app or through the downloadable desktop program, and it includes a built-in offline wallet.
To keep mobile mining somewhat effective, it’s specifically designed for CPU mining rather than ASIC mining. Unfortunately, you’re not actually able to make more than a negligible amount of ETN by simply mining with your phone. As such, Electroneum also offers a kind of promotional mining experience to let new users quickly get some coins and feel a sense of accomplishment for doing so.
Electroneum is specifically geared towards simplicity, with the goal of driving quick user uptake. You can think of it as a mobile game, which you can download from the app store. It is designed to get people hooked and it lets you purchase in-game tokens that you can redeem for real money or spend in other mobile games.
The main differences between Electroneum and any other mobile game is that it’s based on the blockchain. The developers want to see real-life stores accept the in-game tokens, and “playing” ETN simply means leaving the app running.
About ETNThe ETN token is set at a supply of 21 billion. The developers chose this number because bitcoin has 21 million, but Electroneum’s market research showed that people prefer to see whole numbers instead of fractions.
The mining algorithm precludes ASIC processors of the kind that dominate bitcoin to ensure users can still get a sense of accomplishment from downloading and “playing” the Electroneum app.
It uses the same CryptoNote algorithm as Monero to offer a high degree of privacy on the chain.
Should I buy Electroneum?
Electroneum was built on a foundation of mobile gaming and developed by a team whose experience mostly lies in the field of mobile gaming. The absence of coin features means it has no inherent value other than what can be created by the Electroneum network.
But that doesn’t mean the token is worthless. The Electroneum team has laid plans to help drive a quicker uptake of Electroneum and wider use of the token, which should help drive its value upwards.
The following are its most immediately promising use cases:
- Cross-game transactions. The Electroneum team specifically plans to implement ETN as a multi-game currency, letting users bring their tokens with them from one game to another. It plans to offer this to companies as a way of cutting out the gold farmers and black market suppliers that tend to be active in most popular games.
- Criminal activities. A simple and easy mobile-based cryptocurrency with privacy properties similar to Monero could see quick uptake among anyone who wants to launder money or make untraceable purchases on the go.
The main problem is that Electroneum’s success is far from guaranteed in either of these spaces.
Other cryptocurrencies have been involved in the gaming space for much longer and offer a much more compelling proposition to game creators. One example of this is the creation of a platform on which game developers can publish to directly earn a higher proportion of the total revenue.
By contrast, Electroneum has little to offer, except maybe some kind of prepackaged in-game currency system for creators and the potential for driving its own users towards certain games based on the promise of letting them spend ETN tokens there.
And as a dark coin, Electroneum is simply unproven and unable to match the advanced features of privacy coins like Verge or the value of the original Monero. Plus, there’s probably something imprudent about carrying it all around on your phone
In the long run, Electroneum’s vision is to have the coin accepted in stores around the world as a real currency. But this is still a very long way off. Older and better-known coins than Electroneum are still struggling with that, so it has a long way to go yet.
Electroneum might succeed at its goal of getting people into cryptocurrency, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay with ETN, use ETN or ever spend any money on it. Each new user that comes in to check it out, gets their simulated mining rewards and then gets bored is actually hurting currency value by adding inflation to the ecosystem and then bailing.
The Electroneum commercial white paper said it best.
“The average lifecycle of a mobile game includes nearly 80% of its userbase migrating away from it within two months after intense use… the average retention rate of a multiplayer online game is just 20% after the first 30 days… only 1.9% of players opting to make in-app purchases.”
ETN is more likely to be a victim of these problems than the solution to them.
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