7 Things to Know Before You Buy Ergo (ERG)
It's been called one of the most revolutionary cryptocurrencies ever built. Here's a rundown of what you should know before you buy it.
For crypto investors, it's always exciting to find a smaller altcoin with the potential to grow. Ergo (ERG) certainly fits that description.
It improves on elements of the two market leaders, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). And it has ties to another top-five cryptocurrency in Cardano (ADA). Last but not least, Ergo has gained over 1,800% in 2021, more than double any of those coins.
Despite all that, Ergo is still well outside the top 100 biggest cryptocurrencies. Some believe it could eventually reach the top 10. That means it may be a good time to buy, after you learn more about this cryptocurrency.
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1. Ergo is a programmable blockchain without gas fees
As a programmable blockchain, Ergo provides a platform where developers can create decentralized applications (dApps). It's similar in that respect to Ethereum, which was the first and is also currently the largest programmable blockchain.
There's a key difference between Ergo and Ethereum, however. Ergo doesn't have gas (transaction) fees. Ethereum does, and its gas fees are based on how busy the network is. Due to how popular Ethereum is, gas fees are often expensive.
The lack of gas fees on Ergo is beneficial for developers, who can more accurately predict the cost of creating dApps on Ergo.
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2. It has several functional dApps, with more on the way
There are all kinds of use cases for Ergo, but let's look at a few of the ways it's already being used. Here are some of its current dApps:
- SigmaUSD: A decentralized stablecoin that's pegged to the U.S. dollar.
- Ergo Auction House: An auction house for non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
- ErgoMixer: The first non-custodial, noninteractive mixer in the cryptocurrency space. A mixer allows users to send tokens in batches of transactions and mixes those tokens together. This makes each user's transaction harder to trace than it would be if the crypto was sent directly from one wallet to another.
Ergo also has a decentralized exchange and a crowdfunding platform in development.
3. It uses a proof-of-work model
Like Bitcoin, Ergo uses a proof-of-work model for mining new coins and validating transactions.
Proof of work involves miners using devices to solve complex mathematical equations. It's highly secure, but it has raised environmental concerns. In Bitcoin's case, its proof-of-work model has led to mining farms using massive amounts of energy.
Ergo has made some modifications to alleviate this issue. Its mining algorithm, called Autolykos, is designed to be resistant to both large mining pools and ASICs, the devices used to mine Bitcoin. Those changes make it a more efficient proof-of-work model. They also allow anyone to mine Ergo using a computer with a graphics card.
4. Ergo has a strong team behind it
The Ergo team brings quite a bit of cryptocurrency knowledge and experience. Core developer Alexander Chepurnoy has been involved in Bitcoin since 2011 and has developed cryptocurrency software since 2013. He cofounded Ergo with Dmitry Meshkov, who has a PhD in physics and over a decade of software development experience.
Chepurnoy and Meshkov both worked in research at IOHK, an engineering and research company that builds blockchains and cryptocurrencies. IOHK was instrumental in creating the cryptocurrency Cardano.
5. Ergo has collaborated with Cardano
While Ergo and Cardano are separate projects, they have worked together and appear to have a mutually beneficial relationship. In 2020, Ergo announced that it was partnering with Cardano on a decentralized finance (DeFi) project.
Ergo is also the first blockchain to adopt smart contract language using the same model as Cardano. This means dApps on Cardano could use smart contracts that require proof of work for security features it offers, instead of being limited to the proof-of-stake model.
6. It follows a research-driven approach
Slow and steady isn't the most popular approach among cryptocurrency projects, but it's the one Ergo favors. Its team does plenty of research before code implementation.
This approach has its pros and cons. A more patient development process means that Ergo can come up with better solutions to the problems it wants to solve. There's also a smaller likelihood of issues. However, it also risks losing ground to other projects that develop at a faster pace.
7. Most major crypto exchanges haven't listed Ergo yet
Buying Ergo isn't the easiest process right now, as it's not one of those cryptos that you can find on any exchange. Here are a few of the exchanges that do list Ergo:
If Ergo continues to grow, it could get listed on the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. There's a good chance that would lead to the price going up. If you think Ergo is a good investment, it's worth learning how to buy it now so you can get in early.
There's a lot to like about Ergo as a cryptocurrency investment, especially when you consider its current size and how much bigger it could be. You should still be cautious about how much you buy if you choose to invest. No cryptocurrency is a sure thing. But Ergo is one to consider, and if nothing else, it's worth putting on your watchlist.
Our Research Expert
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
Lyle Daly owns Cardano and Ergo.