As the cryptocurrency market begins to slowly recover from a dramatic drop earlier this year, a new digital currency called Syscoin has arrived to take advantage of the boom and challenge some of the biggest players in the market.

Backed by the Blockchain Foundry, Syscoin recently received more than $3.3 million in funding. According to CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency is currently valued at about $0.63 and has a market capitalization (the amount of fiat currency invested in it) of more than $335 million.

Cryptocurrency market Syscoin is a new and rising cryptocurrency that aims to compete with the likes of Bitcoin. Photo: David McBee/Pexels

Syscoin has been in development since early 2014 and boasts a number of features that give it a leg up on some of the older competitors that, while currently are more valuable and highly traded, could be hampered by the old technology that serves as their framework

Syscoin’s blockchain includes a smart contracts feature implemented by Blockchain Foundry. Like Ethereum’s smart contracts system has made that network popular among initial coin offerings and other services, Syscoin’s smart contracts provide the promise of the blockchain for a wide array of services, from inventory and supply chain tracking, to encrypted messaging.

The new round of funding backing Syscoin and Blockchain Foundry bodes well for the cryptocurrency’s near-term future. In a blog post from Blockchain Foundry, the company admitted that it wasn’t working at full capacity for the majority of 2017 due to lack of funding to keep a full team operational throughout the year. With investors now backing the blockchain and its coin, the company is promising significant improvements in 2018.

Among the planned upgrades expected to roll out over the course of the next year is Blockmarket, a product that will allow users to buy and sell products using cryptocurrency and transfer funds to any other person on the platform with minimal fees for the transactions.

Blockmarket is already available as a desktop application and will be rolling out with a web-based interface that will also be compatible with mobile devices, enabling transfers from just about anywhere.

Blockmarket also makes acquiring Syscoin simple for users, as more than 30 cryptocurrencies can be converted into Syscoin directly through the application.

Blockchain Foundry is also promising an improvement to the Syscoin protocol that will take place via a hard fork. A fork occurs when a blockchain—the distributed ledger that keeps track of all transactions of a cryptocurrency—diverges. This split can happen with regard to a network’s transaction history or it can happen when a new rule is made in deciding what constitutes a valid transaction.

The fork is intended to provide improvements to the cryptocurrency that will allow for anonymous and instantaneous transactions, improved scalability that will allow more transactions to be processed as the network grows, and a tokens feature that will serve crowdfunding and initial coin offering (ICO) efforts.