Visual cryptocurrency reference service MapofCoins has announced updates to its site to improve usability and the power of its unique coin mapping system.

The updates have come from user suggestions following a visual revamp of the site back in February. Aiming to provide an easy visual way for users to understand the history and lineage of various altcoins, the site lays out the origins and development paths of over 800 cryptocurrencies.

Cointelegraph spoke to founder Ada Vainikainen, about what the updates included for the site:

“ got a second part of a large update. Our electronic library got new improved usability and visualization part, updated cryptocurrencies database and small bug fixes in addition to the two new sections launched February, 20.”

With such a large library of the details and history of various cryptocurrencies, MapofCoins faces the problem of how to present this information in an engaging and accessible format. The site itself uses intricate graph databases to show the relationships between the hundreds of cryptocurrencies out there.

But to celebrate this second big update to the site, Vainikainen has created some visualizations on a much grander scale: a universe of cryptocurrencies.

Grouping various appropriately-named altcoins into their thematic solar systems (Bitcoin, Bytecoin, NXT and Ripple), MapofCoins has found a playful way to show the breadth of the cryptocurrency world. But there is more serious data here, too.

Vainikainen points out the pace with which new cryptocurrencies are being released has been growing for the last five years.

“Look for yourself, the first fork was introduced in 2011, plus 6 more that year; then plus 10 forks next year and – boom! – plus 180 in 2013 and unbelievably huge amount of 447 new cryptocurrencies in 2014. It seems like it’s only warming up.”

The number of forks is also examined, and although we see that BTC is the largest basis currency by far, there are increasing numbers of forks emerging for younger cryptocurrencies such as Ripple.

Within this cryptocurrency universe, there are offerings of every sort, and so MapofCoins has also rounded up some of the stranger themes of the altcoin world. From the galactic Cosmos of Solarcoin:

To the humble banality of Cinemacoin:

It raises the question of where the concepts and inspiration came from for many of the cryptocurrency offerings. In this case food appears to be front and center for many of the coin creators. I think I’ll have pasta with potato, some cola and vanilla for dessert. What about you?

Inspiration could also have come from our nearby pets. Perhaps a feline lounging under a dev's desk lamp led to CatCoin, although it raises questions about what caused ElephantCoin! Also in the crytpocurrency zoo we find Penguins, kittens, and rabbits, but perhaps the latter are in the petting zoo.

Religion also has its role to play, with many finding inspiration for their coin in their faith. Buddha seems a good choice!

Thinking about the forward path of the service,Vainikainen had the following thoughts to offer on where MapofCoins is going to be heading in the future.

As Ronald Reagan said: “There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” So be intelligent, be imaginative, be honest and let's build to be the most transparent repository for cryptocurrency world.

Originally founded in February 2014, MapofCoins has been on a mission to simplify the way users can understand the history of certain altcoins, and even whole forks of the blockchain tree. 

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