All right, if you've never looked into Syscoin before or you've tried to check it out but you've had enough of the technical mumbojumbo this article is for you. I'll break it down with as little technical jargon as possible and make it as understandable as I can why it would be worth your time to learn more about Syscoin.
Why should I care?
Around 20% of the mining power that goes into mining Bitcoin mines Syscoin as well, at no extra cost to the miners. To say Syscoin is 20% as secure as Bitcoin would be incorrect though because Syscoin has technology called chainlocks that further increase the security of the chain against 51% attacks. If you want to read more about chainlocks, which were originally created by the innovative developers of the Dash cryptocurrency, check them out here.
So Syscoin is secure, that's cool, the chain is extremely hard/costly to attack, but is that all?
Nope. It also has masternodes, these are basically full nodes that are paid by the network to stay online and provide services (like chainlocks). There are currently around 2500 of these masternodes running 24/7 helping to secure the network and making sure transactions in the blockchain are valid. That's right, they validate. They're pretty similar to the validators you hear about on other smart chains, only there are a lot more of them. Decentralization is a funny thing, there's no objective number that you can use to say "this is enough decentralization". Is 20 enough? 200? 2000? In the future the user likely won't even know what chain their transactions are being secured by but currently it's up to you to decide how much is enough.
Ok, so Syscoin is secure and decentralized, sounds nice but so are Bitcoin and Ethereum, why does this 7-year-old dino shitcoin matter?
Well, that's because it will have something that Bitcoin doesn't have; a smart contract layer (called NEVM), and something that Ethereum doesn't have; scalability that can support mass adoption. The technology that enables this scalability is zkRollups, not created by Syscoin but something that can run on top of smart chains like it. ZkRollups essentially allow users to interact with smart contracts off-chain and then later those transactions will be mathematically bundled up (to a smaller size, with far less gas cost) then saved on the chain. Little known to many, there are already zkRollups running on Ethereum helping it to scale. The scalability of Syscoin with zkRollups will be even greater still though.
Nice, so Syscoin is secure, decentralized and will be more scalable than Ethereum with zkRollups. Sounds like a sweet dream, but it doesn't even have smart contracts yet.
Yes! You're right. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and Syscoin's pudding isn't finished cooking quite yet. 6th of December 2021 is when smart contracts go live on mainnet, and then Q1 2022 is when it will have zkRollups for scalable (i.e. fast and cheap) smart contracts. At that time you are more than welcome to come and have a taste of the Syscoin pudding (NOTE: before zkRollups arrive on Syscoin transactions will take up to 2.5 minutes, the idea is that dApps should and will be running on zkRollups not the base Syscoin chain, which is slower for optimal security). For anyone else who wants to have a smell of what's coming, before getting a taste, then check out some of the links below. They're dense on info but it's worth it.
A research paper written by House of Chimera on NEVM
A short novel written by lead dev Jag Sidhu about Syscoin's future