Skycoin is a revolutionary, third generation cryptocurrency developed on its own blockchain to address many of Bitcoin’s technical shortcomings. One of the shortcomings Skycoin aims to solve is blockchain centralization, whereby all blockchain transactions are controlled by a few mining pools. Skycoin will address this problem via a protocol that builds trust between users, community members, the network, and nodes.HistoryThe Skycoin project is an ongoing, open source blockchain project launched in 2012 to succeed Bitcoin. Initiated as a collaborative effort between multiple interdependent groups, the project seeks to implement Satoshi Nakamoto’s original idea of a fully decentralized cryptocurrency. As Bitcoin came to be controlled by three mining pools instead, Skycoin embarked on creating a consensus algorithm (Obelisk) to achieve total decentralization.Phase 1 of the project primarily focused on research and experimentation, establishing the technical boundaries of the platform. Phase 2 commenced early July 2017, focusing on the development of a vast ecosystem of applications aimed at solving complex real-world problems. Phase 3 is planned to start in the second quarter of 2018, and will focus on large-scale adoption of the platform. Skycoin has recorded impressive growth since its inception. As of January 26, 2018, Skycoin’s market capitalization was approximately $208 million USD. FeaturesSkycoin comprises six core elements: Aether (Skycoin’s store replication protocol), CXO (Skycoin’s immutable object system), BlockDB (Skycoin’s blockchain storage), CX (Skycoin’s turing application language), Skycoin (the secure, anonymous transaction token that powers the Skycoin platform), and Skywire (Skycoin’s networking standard). Developers can build applications on the platform and create an ecosystem that integrates features like VPN applications, messaging, and social media. Skywire is an important pillar of the Skycoin project which the Skycoin team ambitiously refer to as “the next internet” – a network aiming to redefine privacy protocols in the future. Inspired by net neutrality and peer-to-peer technology, Skywire aims to render the role of conventional internet service providers obsolete. The network’s privacy protocol proposes to place the internet under the control of the users and usher in a new era of internet privacy.The Skycoin project is not just a blockchain project, but a platform that supports a network of applications and services. It emphasizes usability, simplicity, fairness, speed, privacy, and security. Privacy and security are particularly critical features of the Skycoin project. Through the CoinJoin protocol, the platform mixes transactions from multiple wallets to enhance privacy and anonymity. The network guarantees stronger security since it is not dependent on miners – it is 51% attack proof.Ultimately, Skycoin aims to be the foundation for internet decentralization. The tech world has long desired a more open, distributed, and more secure, internet, and Skycoin is taking steps to accomplish that. With its focus on long-term network growth, it’s clear why developers are claiming that their project could help shape the future of the internet, taking digital contracts, communication, and identity infrastructure to a whole new level.