Okay, okay, so maybe you've heard of Bitcoin, maybe even Litecoin, or even Dogecoin (these guys sponsored a NASCAR car recently), but you don't really know what these things are and are kind of interested. Well you're in luck, I'm here to help. Over the past few months I've been looking into (and working with) numerous types of cryptographic-currencies, known as crypto-coins, and coins other than Bitcoin or Litecoin (and sometimes Litecoin) are often referred to as "altcoins".
The idea behind these cryptographic currencies is to provide an alternate platform in which to pay for goods and services. Last year Bitcoin itself around october was valued at around $0.13-$0.23 per coin, as of September of last year it was >$1000 per coin, but now it's at about $400-$450. So it seems quite volatile, at the moment, but general acceptance of new currencies doesn't happen overnight. It will take some time for some stabilization. Recently the United States passed into law that "virtual currencies" are classified as property. That being the case, any earnings on any type of cryptographic currency, or virtual currency, applies as a capital gains tax (which is roughly 48-49%), which is a hefty tax, there is some legislature attempting to pass so that virtual currencies can be considered with a tax status of foreign currency (ref: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr4602). But I'm getting ahead of myself.
In order for any currency to truly be viable in a real-world market it needs to be a rather rapid exchange. Up until the early to mid 2000's most fast food restaurants in the United States didn't accept credit cards (cash only) because the transaction time for a card took too long. The way crypto-currency transactions work is similar to that of a credit card, however, instead of a backing bank or credit card confirming you have the funds and the charge, a network of computers monitors the exchange linking back to your specific "wallet" and confirms it, it's a decentralized system. The problem therein is that this takes time, for Bitcoin it can take up to 10 minutes for a transaction to become completely confirmed.
Lets give an example, there are services that will be popping up such as CoinKite that will allow merchants to accept crypto-coin transactions utilizing either a mobile device, or even an issued card (for some coins). So imagine your favorite McDonalds is now accepting Crypto using this kind of technology. Through personal friends I know McDonalds prep and out time is suppose to be two (2) minutes and thirty (30) seconds, as soon as your transaction is processed this timer starts. So lets break that down but use cryptographic currencies here.
You're the third person in line, everyone in front of you, an you, are all intending on utilizing your cryptographic currency (whether it be a mobile device for payment, or a crypto-card), but the two in front of you only have Bitcoin, well, before that timer starts for prep and out the transaction has to be processed, they want to make sure they have the money, so they don't waste food. So you wait ten minutes for customer number one in front of you because it takes ten minutes. Then a couple of minutes later they get food, then customer two is at ten minutes for Bitcoin transaction confirmation. This means customer two has already waited 25 minutes for their own food, and you've waited 20 minutes to even order.
So what is the solution to this problem? If Bitcoin, Litecoin, or whatever coin is so slow, why use it for such a means? Ultimately it should be used for such means, but the latency in transaction speed is it's major downfall. That's where Nautiluscoin comes in, this coin's targeted transaction time is 60 seconds, which if all three of you were in the line and it took one minute to order and you were all using Nautiluscoin, about 7-10 minutes maximum would pass by the time you got your food.
Nautiluscoin was founded by a CNBC analyst Brian Kelly, also the Founder, and a Managing Member of Brian Kelly Capital LLC. (Ref: CNBC Website) with the intent for this coin to be targeted for merchants, business people, and consumers to be able to use the virtual currency in a real world setting realistically, with the rapid transaction times.
Within the first week of the launch (and placement) onto the Austin Global Exchange virtual currency exchange web site, the coin managed to increase from a value of 0.00000070 Bitcoins, aka 70 Satoshi, to 0.00008000 Bitcoins, aka 8000 Satoshi. The coin also has a maximum total number of coins at 16,800,000, Bitcoins maximum total number of coins is 21 million. On most virtual currency exchanges, the altcoins (like Nautiluscoin) are traded against Bitcoins themselves. Add in that this coin also has what is called a "Stabilization Fund" which allows for the coin to be significantly LESS volatile by enforcing a price floor instead of allowing a rapid degeneration of price, this definitely helps merchants.
Another benefit to Nautiluscoin is it's implementation of DigiByte's DigiShield, in order to create a solid network, and distribution of coins, the virtual currency must be "mined" similar to that of mining for gold, those who mine end up with a return of a certain amount of the virtual currency, and there are "blocks" similar to that of a "vein" in a gold mine, block discoverers in mining, get a block reward. However individual computers mining alone are usually pretty slow and take a long time, so some people came up with Pool mining, allowing a network of computers to do the mining work and then sharing the block reward, this is one of the (many) reasons Bitcoin's value skyrocketed, the system increases the difficulty dynamically as more people mine, the difficulty decreases as less people mine. Now, there are also things called "Multipools" these are pools of miners that mine for altcoins, and then almost immediately turn around, and sell that altcoin for a differing coin, this can be litecoin, bitcoin, or numerous others, these multipools can be dangerous for coins as the "dump" of the coin for another can drive the value of the coin down. This is where DigiShield (and the stabilization fund) come in. DigiShield will enforce that the block difficulty get rapidly reset as soon as the network's mining capabilities are updated (within about 60 seconds usually), enforcing that the difficulty remain applicable indefinitely. Then the reset after a multipool stops mining happens fairly quickly as well. Without digishield these adjustments can often take a day or even a week. Of course, the multipools dumping causing a drop in value to the coin is where the stabilization fund can prevent the price floor from dropping too far.
If you do decide to invest in virtual currencies, I must warn, as with any new market there are the snake-oil salesmen out there. However, with this particular coin being backed by someone with an existing solid financial background, there's more reason to look at this one. And of course, as with any investments, diversify your portfolio, read, and do as much research as you can, there are numerous tools, information, and even people on Twitter who can help.