Verge (XVG) is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency. Originally created in 2014 as DogeCoinDark, it rebranded to Verge in 2016. Verge utilizes multiple tools to enhance privacy including Tor (open-source anonymity software) and an anonymous network layer called I2P. The project claims that locations, IP addresses, and transaction details are obfuscated.
At the time of writing, there are two wallets that can store Verge: the QT wallet and the Electrum wallet. Electrum, an open-source Bitcoin lite wallet, was forked by the Verge team and updated so that it could work with the Verge blockchain. The Verge Electrum wallet is focused on speed. It uses a technology called, Simple Payment Verification (SPV), which verifies transactions on the Verge blockchain without downloading the whole blockchain. According to the website, with SPV, average transaction confirmation times take approximately 5 seconds. The QT wallet requires that users download the full Verge blockchain. It has built-in TOR integration and SSL encryption which obscures user IP addresses.
In January 2018, the project released the Wraith Protocol upgrade. The Wraith Protocol is a technology that enables users to shift between public and private ledgers on the Verge blockchain. This means that when transparency is required (e.g., charging customers for regular purchases), a public ledger can be used. For situations that need anonymity (e.g., sending confidential financial support to an NGO operating in a hostile political environment), then a private ledger can be utilized.
Verge uses five different proof-of-work (PoW) algorithms for mining - 1) Scrypt, 2) X17, 3) Lyra2rev2, 4) myr-groestl, and 5) blake2s. Not only does this allow more people with different types of mining equipment to be able to mine Verge, but (theoretically) it should also provide greater security through decentralization.
Verge was founded by Justin Erik Valo (a.k.a. Sunerok) who, at the time of this writing, continues as the project’s lead developer. According to the website, “All contributors, including the Core Team, are unpaid volunteers who donate their time and energy into the project because they are passionate and believe in Verge.”
In November 2017, 125 million XVG were lost by a wallet app service (CoinPouch) that was recommended by the Verge core team. While CoinPouch blamed Valo (Verge’s lead developer), Valo turned around and blamed CoinPouch for the incident.
In April 2018, Verge announced a partnership with Pornhub which, at the time of this writing, is in the top 40 for the most visited sites in the world. Customers can use XVG to pay for all on-demand products and services. According to Pornhub, a crypto payment method was one of the most requested features by its users.
In April 2018, the Verge network fell victim to a 51% attack. In PoW based blockchains, if a miner (or mining pool) captures 51% or more of the network's mining power, they have the ability to double-spend (spend coins that were already spent). Because the Verge blockchain switches between five different mining algorithms between each block, the attacker found a way to falsify the timestamps of the blocks and mined them with only one algorithm. To exclude the blocks the attacker already minded, the Verge team implemented a hard fork quickly after the hack was discovered.