Frequently Asked Questions

What is Spectrecoin?

Spectrecoin (XSPEC) is an innovative privacy focused cryptocurrency, featuring an energy-efficient proof-of-stake algorithm that provides rapid transaction confirmations, ring signatures for privacy and anonymity, and a fully integrated Tor+OBFS4 layer for IP obfuscation within the wallet.

Spectrecoin is actively developed, with an ambitious roadmap that prioritises privacy, security, and true decentralisation with features such as default stealth addresses and stealth staking, and low-power mobile wallet staking in our upcoming Android wallet.

How does Spectrecoin work?

Many cryptocurrency wallets can connect to other nodes on the network through Tor, yet the other nodes can still be identified by their IP address as the user routes the traffic through several relays on the Tor network, including one entry and one exit node.

In Spectrecoin however, all nodes on the network are operating as Tor hidden services; they are not addressed by their IP address, but by their onion address which encodes a public key used for traffic encryption along with a way to find a route to that node. No exit nodes are involved, and at any point in time, the communication between two nodes is fully encrypted.

Spectrecoin comes bundled with the latest Tor software that has been included without any functional changes. It is not possible to connect to the Spectrecoin network without using Tor, as all nodes are only reachable via their hidden service address. No real IP addresses are known to any network participant except for their own, and it is infeasible for an attacker to analyse the network structure or censor the network.

Spectrecoin has inbuilt support for OBFS4, an obfuscation protocol that hides the nature of the traffic that goes through it. By incorporating OBFS4, it is possible to use Spectrecoin even in countries where access to the Tor network is censored, like China or Iran. In short, the integration of OBFS4 effectively ‘wraps’ the Tor traffic in another layer making it appear as normal internet traffic.

Why is Spectrecoin needed?

Privacy, security and anonymity are a basic human right; these rights are being eroded by increasingly draconian laws which seek to criminalise privacy.

Furthermore, people all over the globe use centralised remittance (money transfer) services on a daily basis by sending billions of dollars across international borders. Remittance services such as banks, Western Union, PayPal or other mainstream services are highly controlled and centralised. However, many people, especially immigrants in western countries, do not have a bank account or they lack the funds to pay the sometimes exorbitant fees.

Spectrecoin thus provides a secure, decentralised, low cost and private option to send funds to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Where can I buy Spectrecoin?

You can use exchanges to buy and sell Spectrecoin (XSPEC) for Bitcoin (BTC). Once you register an account on an exchange and deposit some Bitcoin, you can buy and sell Spectrecoin for a small brokerage fee.

A list of exchanges that support Spectrecoin can be found here.

After you have purchased XSPEC from one of the exchanges you should transfer the coins to your wallet. Sending coins to someone else directly from an exchange does NOT give you the same anonymity guarantees as using the standalone wallet.

(Additionally, exchanges can undermine your anonymity or even freeze your assets if you store them on the exchange; BISQ is a decentralised exchange that operates on the Tor network and consequently avoids these issues.)

Why does Spectrecoin have a rich list?

With the use of a block explorer it is possible to view the transactions that have occurred on the public blockchain; this data can be used to compile a rich list. However, any such list is inaccurate, as Spectrecoin has both public and stealth addresses, and the stealth addresses are not visible on the public blockchain.

Once stealth addresses and transactions become default with the planned 2.0 update, the already inaccurate rich list information will become obsolete.

According to the public blockchain, a large amount of coins appear to be held by only a few wallets, is this an issue?

Some people express concern that a large amount of Spectrecoin is concentrated in a few wallets and that the individuals who own the wallets may sell a large quantity of Spectrecoin at once, thus causing the price to drop drastically.

If this were to occur it would simply be a natural process of supply and demand, and under most conditions the price would correct in a reasonable amount of time as buyers purchase the Spectrecoin for a cheaper price. Additionally as the daily traded volume of Spectrecoin increases, the chance of a significant price drop due to a large amount of Spectrecoin for sale on the market decreases.

Furthermore if it were to happen multiple times, the chance of it happening again would exponentially decrease as the Spectrecoins would be distributed more evenly throughout the network, further reducing the risk of a sudden massive sell-off of Spectrecoin by any single individual.

It would also be unwise for any single individual to sell a large amount of Spectrecoins at once because they would not receive a desirable price. It would make sense for the individual to sell them over time.

Similarly, there are large holders of Bitcoin, and although the price has changed dramatically at times due to supply and demand and market corrections, it has increased steadily over time as most large holders know it would be unwise to sell all at once.

Why isn’t Spectrecoin on more exchanges?

The Spectrecoin developers and community leaders aim to have it listed on more exchanges, and are in discussions with several exchanges; however the decision to list a coin is up to the exchange and is often based upon the volume that the coin generates in a given day.

Please do NOT spam the Spectrecoin communication channels by asking the question “When are you getting Spectrecoin listed on Poloniex/Bittrex etc.?”

How do I set up my Spectrecoin wallet?

Download the latest version of the Spectrecoin Desktop Wallet from the download section.

The client has install packages for Windows (32 & 64), Mac, and you can also find a Linux build with instructions on our GitHub.

The Desktop Wallet must be fully synced to the Spectrecoin network; the sync process should begin automatically with an internet connection, however in some cases you will need to manually connect your wallet to the network. (This is a known bug that will be fixed in the next release.)

If you wish to send Spectrecoin to your wallet, navigate to the Receive screen to view your wallet addresses. You will have two addresses listed here: one is a public address and one is a stealth address (presently you can only withdraw funds from an exchange to a Public address).

For added security it is recommended that you encrypt your wallet with a password or passphrase. Navigate to the Encrypt Wallet feature and type in your desired password or phrase; remember to store it in a safe place (not on your computer).

To ensure that you do not lose your coins, navigate to the Backup Feature and save the backup file on multiple devices such as your PC, USB, external drive, etc.

What is staking?

Staking is a method to reward people in a decentralised fashion for supporting the Spectrecoin network; in order to stake, your wallet needs to be open, unlocked, and connected to the Internet.

XSPEC utilises Proof-of-Stake (PoSv3) with an inflation rate of 5% annually; this is a fair and secure way to maintain network consensus and to reward users who support the network by keeping their wallets open. PoSv3 is an energy efficient consensus mechanism that does not utilise large energy consuming mining hubs as is the case with Bitcoin and other Proof of Work coins.

Everyone has an equal chance of getting a staking reward based upon the amount of XSPEC they hold in their wallet.

Note that staking rewards are currently not anonymous; it’s possible for someone to view which wallets receive which rewards. This will be changed in a future update.

How do I stake?

To stake, your wallet needs to be open and connected to the Internet (you also need to unlock your wallet “for staking only” if you have set up a password or phrase for it). The quickest way to do this is to click on the lock icon in the upper-right corner of the wallet, this will prompt you to enter your password or phrase. Once you have entered your password or phrase, the lock will turn orange. If you hover your mouse over the lock icon, you will see a popup that informs you that your wallet is encrypted and unlocked for staking only.

The staking reward is probabilistic and averages about 5% per year. There is no "minimum" amount needed to stake.

Once you have received a staking reward, after 288 blocks the newly minted coins will contribute to your stake weight on the network, and in turn increase your staking probability. (Note that not everyone is staking, so if only 50% of the total coins in existence are staking, you will forge blocks twice as often, and your total reward will increase accordingly.)

Is it necessary to download the Tor browser to use the Spectrecoin wallet?

No, all you need to download is the wallet. It comes with Tor natively integrated and is intuitive and easy to use.

How is Spectrecoin going to scale transactions?

Without any changes, Spectrecoin will easily process 15-30 times the transaction rate of Bitcoin due to the faster block time. If we started to head in that direction, which we are very far from, then we would look at block efficiency improvements such as SegWit. We could potentially have a block size increase combined with improved pruning of the wallet, or more blocks, it’s actually quite simple and easily implemented.

The scaling problems that Bitcoin is experiencing are actually governance problems. Spectrecoin is much easier in that respect because of the much smaller team size. This means that as we continue to grow we’ll need to ensure that we can still make decisions in an efficient way. As long as we can, making changes to scale the number of transactions we can handle is easy. Of course, it’s premature to make such decisions now when our blocks are mostly empty.