Just like Doge, TurtleCoin started as a joke. And just like Doge, it already has a huge popular following. It’s just over two months old, being announced on 4chan back in December (bitcointalk trolls haven’t liked being left out, but despite what they say, there was no ‘pre-mine’ — TRTL had a large following right from day one.)

What started as a joke quickly became an extremely active community-driven project, as thousands of users gathered on the TurtleCoin Discord to pitch in with every aspect of the coin, from the core protocol and new wallet software to design, marketing, tipbot creation and mining pools. Community growth has been exponential, with Discord adding hundreds or even thousands of fans a week.

TurtleCoin is a ByteCoin clone, which means it’s a privacy coin, with certain tweaks to make supply higher and block times faster. There’s a total supply of 1 trillion TRTLs, but they will be emitted over the course of several decades. Current supply is around 6 billion, though with 30-second blocks around 29,000 TRTL block rewards, that is currently rising relatively fast. The flipside of that is that it’s still at a very early stage, and the price of TRTL on the few (tiny and obscure) exchanges that list it is very cheap. Better still, it’s one of the few coins it’s possible for ordinary users to mine at close to its market price.

There’s lots and lots of activity on Discord, and it’s worth signing up just to get a sense of everything that’s going on and what’s planned for the future. Although everyone’s a volunteer, the devs appear to be highly competent and have already discovered and fixed a potentially serious vulnerability that exists in other CryptoNote coins (the majority of whose codebase TurtleCoin shares).

There are a couple of wildcards with TurtleCoin. One is simply that it’s a community-driven project, and because everyone is volunteering, it’s impossible to say how sustainable the effort will be. There are a lot of people involved, but should key people drop out for one reason or another, it’s hard to know if they would or could be replaced. Similarly, who can tell whether they will be able to afford to continue working on it long term? Should the price of TRTL rise significantly, many of the devs will be able to support themselves. But that’s not a given.

The second is that, because it is so early in the project’s life, the coin’s inflation is very high. Around 100 million new TRTLs are created every day — not so many, given the 1 trillion total supply, but a lot compared with existing supply: over 1% per day. That percentage will drop rapidly, of course, since the new coins will account for a smaller and smaller proportion of the total. Supply should be around 35 billion by the end of the year, and half (500 billion) will be emitted by around 2040.

Against that, you have the size and growth rate of the community. If inflation outpaces adoption and early miners sell, we might expect price to drop below its current level (in such a thinly-traded market, it could go to 1 satoshi — that’s the floor though, unless exchanges alter their code to sell multiple TRTL per satoshi). But if growth continues or even picks up, the block rewards will have less and less impact and will be eclipsed by the new users and buyers.

Existing features:

Commandline wallet

Block explorer

Mining pools

GUI wallet created by community member(s)

Otherwise similar features to ByteCoin

Upcoming features:

Smartphone wallet

New scaling tech

Ultimately, the direction taken will rely on community initiatives and contributions

Strengths:

Massive and highly active community = potential for huge network effect

Competent core developers and many additional community devs

Active github updates

Extremely low price (currently around 2–3 sats, sub-$2 million market cap)

No pre-mine: community mined from day 1

Can still be mined by amateurs at close to market price

Weaknesses:

Lack of formal structure

Lack of significant funding

Conclusion

TurtleCoin is like an early Doge: a joke/meme coin that took on a life of its own and has attracted a large cult following. The early nature of the project mean it’s risky but also that the upside is huge. The high early inflation may erode the value of coins in the short term, but could equally be outpaced by the growth of the user base: it’s impossible to tell at this point.

In the medium-to-long term, if there’s one thing the internet tells us, it’s never to underestimate the power of a meme that catches the popular attention and hits critical mass — and for cryptos, network effect is exceptionally important.

One-year outlook: Cautiously optimistic but too early for clear picture

Assessment: Very interesting due to low price and large network effect, with high potential reward and limited downside

Action: STRATEGIC BUY

Approach: Acquire an initial stake via mining or buying, then add to this in stages over the course of the coming weeks until it becomes clear how the inflation/adoption dynamic will resolve.

For more information, visit www.TurtleCoin.lol.

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