What are its unique advantages over other cryptos?
The holistic approach is what sets us apart, I guess. Most of the other projects are focusing on very niche aspects and you can often get lost in that process and miss the big picture.
Creating a functional, accessible and easy to use cryptocurrency is our end goal. In order to achieve this end goal, we think a successful cryptocurrency has to check a few boxes. It needs to be fungible, meaning all coins have to be worth the same. It needs to be accessible, meaning it should be easy for people to buy and use it. The project needs to be self-sustainable so that it won't have to rely on 3rd parties for funding. There also needs to be a governance model in place to resolve potential stalemates in order to avoid nasty schism like we've just seen with BItcoin Cash. There also needs to be a strong and vibrant community in order to help spread the message. Every new community member could turn out to be effective evangelist or ambassador for the project.
We believe fungibility should be an essential property of any currency which is why we're using zero knowledge proofs, the Zerocoin https://github.com/Zerocoin
original implementation to maintain fungibility, while still having an auditable supply and a way for merchants to easily get paid without complications, which is harder to do with Zcash or Monero where the amounts are hidden. Disputes could be a problem since it's hard or close to impossible to prove the required amount was paid. It also makes 3rd party tools that just verify transactions easy to create and there's zero risk for the merchant to lose funds. It also allows hundreds of terminals to operate on the same address/group of addresses without requiring a central processing service to manage transactions. Since Zcash and Monero hide transaction data, they require a wallet to be open in order to verify funds are transferred. This adds risk and hassle with multiple registers/locations. In other words, the original Zerocoin implementation, the original design is probably the best way to go when it comes to point of sale.
Self-sustainability is essential or you risk depending on 3rd parties and their own for profit agenda. There's nothing wrong with profits except when you're trying to push a solution that may not be what the network needs. This can create conflicts of interest. To that end we've allocated a large portion of our block rewards towards growing the project. 80% of the block rewards go towards funding project teams and 3rd party community proposals.
When it comes to governance, we've added a voting system very similar to the one Bitcoin.com uses, where every coin holder has a vote and we've added some protection on top to prevent potential abuse (coins have to stay put until the voting period ends)
. Coin holders get to vote on how the 3rd party SmartHive community funds are allocated.
In order to stabilize the price and encourage a buy & hold behavior, which in turn could help us grow faster, we've allocated 15% of the block reward towards paying people willing to hold the coins for at least a month. We think this can create an interesting dynamic - it encourages people to hold, creating less volatility and wild price swings, while boosting the price, which should help us grow and gain mainstream adoption faster than other projects.
Last but not least, we've put a lot of focus in growing our community. We already have a strong presence of Steemit and we're quite active on social media, trying to get more people to join the cause.