While this post contains a lot of contextual information, it is so 24 hours ago. Much has changed. I wrote an update here…
What is happening to XSPEC?
Many people have not heard yet, but XSPEC is forking to become two independent currencies (XSPEC & WISP), each with its own team of core members and developers. It sounds as if there may be an opportunity here. I have done some research and want to provide a brief summary concerning what is happening so you can make an informed decision on buying or avoiding.
The XSPEC Beginning
XSPEC is also known as Spectrecoin. It was originally a copy of Shadowcoin (SDC), which is no longer around. XSPEC is a stealth coin, and has had multiple releases in the last year focused on incorporating the latest features of Tor into its wallet. The latest wallet is the first in crypto to have the integration of Tor OBFS4 layer built in, with the goal of making transactions untraceable, even to fully invasive government tracking.
For more information see the XSPEC Bitcointalk.
The history of XSPEC is full of drama. The original founder goes by the name Mandica. She made development promises with release dates early on, and then was diagnosed with some serious health issues which kept her from delivering on those promises. Crypto communities are well known for their impatience, and the FUD went straight past frustration, landing squarely in furious rage. For much of the time when Mandica was unavailable, the self-appointed person managing the community in Slack was well known for his irate outbursts and foul language. By early 2017, with no recent development and most of community abandoning the project, the project appeared dead and the price was suffering.
The XSPEC Recovery
In mid-2017 in stepped in a new lead developer going by @jbg. He was an original developer on the project, so was familiar with the code, but had moved on to work on other things. @jbg was brought back in with Mandica’s blessing as she continued the long recovery from the health issues.
@jbg is a coder. He is unfamiliar with the many roles needed to lead a project. The intense pressure from the community led @jbg to provide release dates for the upgrades he was working on, and when he was late on his promises, what was left of the community ridiculed the project mercilessly. Then, after a few weeks, something amazing happened….
A new wallet update was released, and it looked sharp.
Still, nobody in the crypto-community seemed to want to take a chance on XSPEC. @jbg found some patient people to manage the community for him, and it slowly started to expand. A few months later another wallet was released with the OBFS4 update, and the price finally started to reflect the fact that work was once again being accomplished.
The XSPEC Problem
In early 2018 Mandica returned and wanted her project back, and @jbg was willing to relinquish his role as the project lead. As the team discussed the short term goals, it became apparent there were disagreements on where XSPEC was heading in the future. @jbg had made promises to the community on how the project’s expenses would be financed, and was unwilling to change to accommodate Mandica’s wishes.
Specifically, Mandica wanted the core team to receive 5% of each successful staking transaction to fund the expenses. @jbg made an update to the wallet to allow each person staking to choose their own percentage to donate to the project. @jbg believes the required donation to a central person/team will compromise the decentralization he has tried so hard to instill in XSPEC, and he has the backing of many in the community who have supported him as the leader of the project in Mandica’s absence.
This disagreement has led to the decision to fork XSPEC into two separate currencies, run by two different teams of developers. The new fork on the new chain will retain the name XSPEC, and will be run by Mandica. She will retain all of the current resources, such as the website, Github, and Bitcointalk thread. The current chain will be run by @jbg, and will essentially rebrand to be called WISP. For each XSPEC held when the fork is done, a holder would then have one XSPEC and one WISP.
As far as disagreements go, this one has been as amicable as possible. @jbg has agreed to share the updates he has been working on with the XSPEC project, and assist in the implementation of these updates. The project is open source and future updates on both sides will also be shared where possible. As long as there are no changes to the chain required, exchanges such as Cryptopia should have no problem incorporating the update. They can simply put XSPEC on the new chain, and change the name to WISP for the one they already have running.
@jbg claims to have made his last statement as a leader of either project, and is leaving the leadership of WISP to the other core members of the community joining him in the new coin. He wishes to concentrate on the development side of WISP, and has already shown he is able to release technologically solid updates. In my opinion, Mandica will need to be the one to prove she can gather the resources to continue the development of XSPEC. It will be up to her to deliver on promises she makes to her community.
The XSPEC Opportunity
Stealth coins (Anon coins), including XSPEC, had a tremendous run earlier in 2018, but have all since fallen with the rest of the digital currency market. I don’t know when the market turn-around will happen, and I can’t promise any purchases made at the moment will be worth more in the short term.
XSPEC does seem like an opportunity to get two stealth coins for the price of one. If there is a recovery, and specifically, if there is another run on privacy focused coins, having both could be very profitable. I am not making a recommendation to buy, but simply pointing out the opportunity. Please do your own research and make an informed decision.