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Nxt is a second-generation, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency based on the Proof-of-stake system, created in November 2013[1] by pseudonymous developer BCNext. Nxt is referred to as a cryptocurrency because it uses public-key cryptography for security. Users send payments by broadcasting digitally signed messages that transfer ownership of Nxt, the unit of currency. A decentralized network of computers verifies and timestamps all transactions using a proof-of-stake system. The owners of those computers, known as forgers, earn Nxt from the transaction fees included in the transactions they verify.

The currency is still in development, and is slated for a formal launch on January 3, 2014.[2]

Differences from Bitcoin

Nxt offers the following differences[3] from Bitcoin:

  • Transaction blocks are generated once every 60 seconds, in contrast to the 10-minute block generation time for Bitcoin
  • New Bitcoins are generated as a result of the mining process, with a total of 21 million coins expected to be mined by 2140. Nxt consists of a total of 1 billion coins that were all generated[4] from a seed investment of Bitcoin, and no new coins will be created.
  • With Nxt, the term "forging" is preferred over "mining".
  • Nxt is a pure Proof-of-stake currency, as opposed to Bitcoin's Proof-of-work system. With Bitcoin, the ability to mine coins is dependent on raw processing power. With Nxt, the ability to forge coins is dependent on the amount of Nxt held in the forger's account.
  • Both currencies reward people who help verify transactions on the network. Bitcoin block verification is rewarded with the creation of new coins (currently 25 per block[5]) and will eventually be rewarded with transaction fees. With Nxt, block verification is rewarded entirely with transaction fees.
  • Bitcoin is infinitely divisible. Currently, Nxt supports division to two decimal places (one-hundredths).

Key features

Nxt's key features[6] include:

  • The desire to become a "second-generation" cryptocurrency that builds upon the success and evolution of Bitcoin. The code for Nxt was written entirely from scratch, in Java, instead of adapting Bitcoin's open-source code.
  • The supply of Nxt is limited to 1 billion coins, and all of these coins were created with the currency's genesis block.
  • A 100% Proof-of-stake (PoS)[7] currency. Transaction fees are used to reward account holders who help verify transactions and operate the Nxt network, since no new Nxt coins can be mined.
  • the implementation of a "transparent mining" system that will temporarily penalize accounts that do not participate in the proof-of-stake block verification process. This helps distribute rewards among active accounts, and reduces the risk of a 51% attack on the network.
  • A brain wallet. All Nxt account information is stored on the network. Using a secret passphrase, an account can be accessed from any instance of the Nxt software. This raises concerns about account security[8] , since it is possible to brute-force account passwords on any Nxt node.
  • Fast transaction processing, since Nxt creates a new transaction block every minute. The currency does not use "scripts" (or predicates) in the manner that Bitcoin does, which simplifies transaction processing. Advanced transaction features (such as multisignature transactions) can created on top of the Nxt core as third-party services.

Future features

Planned features of Nxt include:

  • Currency Exchange
    • A mechanism for trading Nxt coins with other commodities, such as Bitcoin, will be built directly into the Nxt software. Standalone currency exchanges can be used to purchase and sell Nxt, but the currency will support the first decentralized exchange.
  • Colored coins[9]
    • Cryptocurrencies use a blockchain to record every transaction that takes place on the network. This means that every transaction is traceable. Nxt will implement an additional facet to this feature. "Colored coins" allow a Nxt coin to be designated or tied to a specific commodity, which implies that the Nxt currency can be used to trade almost anything. This would facilitate trading Nxt for other cryptocurrencies, but could also be extended so that colored coins could represent physical objects, allowing them to be traded as well
  • Decentralized Stock Exchange
  • Online Marketplace
  • Messaging system
  • Voting system


A peer-to-peer network similar to Bitcoin's handles Nxt transactions and balances. Each account that is active on the network has a chance to generate a block every time it is opened, with the chance of block generation proportional to the account balance. The chance of a specific account generating a block increases with the length of time since that account last generated a block.[10] Nxt is currently traded for both fiat currencies and other cryptocurrencies, mostly on online exchanges such as DGEX.com. The proof-of-stake verification mechanism affords exchanges the opportunity to trade Nxt for 0% fees, since the exchange itself can acquire Nxt through block verification with its account balance.


Payments on the Nxt network are made to accounts whose addresses are based on digital signatures. The core of Nxt is based on the Curve25519 algorithm[11] A secret passphrase, generated by the account holder, serves as the private key. The Nxt account number serves as the public key.


Transactions on the Nxt network are confirmed via a Proof-of-stake mechanism.[12] Like proof-of-work, proof of stake provides a mechanism for determining who signs transactions.

With Proof of Work, the probability of mining a block depends on the work done by the miner (e.g. CPU/GPU cycles spent checking hashes). With Proof of Stake, the resource that's compared is the amount of Nxt a forger holds. For example, someone holding 1% of all available NXTcoin can forge 1% of the "Proof of Stake blocks".


September 28, 2013

Bitcointalk.org member BCNext creates a forum thread announcing Nxt, and asking for donations of Bitcoin to help fund development of the cryptocurrency.

September 29, 2013

The very first version of the Nxt software is released by BCNext.

October 19, 2013

Stakeholders vote on which advanced features they'd like to see developed next.[13]  "Colored coins" is the winning feature.

November 14, 2013

BCnext stops posting directly to Bitcointalk.org,[14] and goes underground.

November 18, 2013

Fundraising for Nxt is closed,[15] with 21 BTC raised.

November 24, 2013

Nxt is created, and the genesis block reveals that 1,000,000,000 coins were distributed to 73 stakeholders, with the proportion of coins received dependent upon the each stakeholder's portion of the original funcraising total.  Nxt's original market capitalization was $800,000USD.

December 11, 2013

Software developer Come-from-Beyond BCNext's intention to release Nxt's source code[16] on January 3, 2014. To encourage peer review of the code, three security flaws will be introduced into the released code, with bounties made available to those who discover and publish them.

December 21, 2013

The "Alias System" for Nxt is implemented, causing a massive spike in demand[17] .

See also

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External links


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