You know who Mega Man is, don't you? The Blue Bomber has been gracing gaming consoles for decades. If you don't know, Mega Man's “hook” or claim to fame, other than its hardcore and tight sidescrolling action, was that after each of the game's eight bosses, Mega Man would absorb a special power from the boss that he could then use for the rest of the game.

BlockNet is a bit like that, but with cryptocurrencies. Every time a coin joins BlockNet, every other coin in the network can use its features. Ideally, this means that the isolated laboratories that altcoins currently serve as, can now become a unified testing ground.

Started by XCurrency's Dan Metclaf but run by all participating currencies, the network currently has nine alternate digital currencies under its umbrella with the ability to add more at any time. Like Mega Man, once a currency is added, the entire network (and every currency in it) will be able to take advantage of the new currency's features.

The current coins on the network include: XCurrency, Fibre, NeXT Horizons, Sonic, Apex, Utility Coin, BitSwift, LibrexCoin and StealthCoin.

Adding a coin is as simple as getting approval from the BlockNet Foundation and adding BlockNet's API to the coin's base wallet.

This presents several interesting possibilities. One could issue an asset on the NeXT Horizon Asset Exchange and have its dividends pay out in any other Blocknet currency. Those assets could be sent using XCurrency's or StealthCoin's or Sonic's privacy features.

There are countless more combinations of coin features that could be used. But another interesting side effect of this is that any coin could be withdrawn from an ATM that supports any of these currencies.

In the current altcoin climate, it isn't easy to stand out and it isn't easy to make the public aware of your coin's new features (hence, the reason for the Alt-Cracks column). The BlockNet not only allows coins to take advantage of other coins features, it also makes it extremely easy to test said features. Currently, if I want to test Utility Coin's upcoming dynamic VPN feature, I have to set aside some BTC, put it into an exchange, buy some Utility Coin, move it to a desktop wallet with Utility Coin's blockchain downloaded and then test the feature.

The combining of multiple coins isn't a new concept. One of jl777's many NXT related projects is SuperNET, which is designed to give participating coins all the features of NXT. There are a few key differences between the services. While BlockNet does utilize NeXT Horizon's asset exchange and XCurrency's XBridge, it does not require centralization of 10 % of the participating currencies like that system, Xbridge is a true P2P system rather than a RPC call protocol and there is no central or core currency that has to be used.

It is has long been proposed that altcoins act as sort of a testing ground for Bitcoin itself. A place where new features could be added without having to make the entire Bitcoin ecosystem adopt the changes. This allows testing to actually happen outside of isolated altcoin communities. If a BTC enabled wallet is released, something I'm told won't be difficult, then suddenly one community's feature becomes the entire crypto community's feature.

The ITO (initial token offering) will be live on various exchanges, including Bittrex, Bter, Polonix and CoinGateway. Each token is being sold for 0.00025 BTC and there will be 10 million tokens created for a total of 2,500 BTC.

At first glance, 2,500 BTC seems like a lot, but it is important to note that is a maximum amount, not a minimum. The ITO will run for a week and then any remaining coins will be burned. It should also be noted that the amount is also less than the initial offering of similar technologies. Owners of the BlockNet coin will get voting privileges and dividends raised from the small fee created with each cross currency transaction.

The ITO begins on October 29th and, as mentioned, will run for a week. Investors buying tokens with a participating currency will get 10 % off.