Peercoin was launched in August 2012 and was one of the first projects to use the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, which was first described in a whitepaper co-authored by Sunny King, a pseudonym for the founder of Primecoin, and Scott Nadal. It is a peer-to-peer digital currency similar to Bitcoin. A key differentiator is that transaction fees are burned, rather than paid to miners. This puts downward pressure on the supply, thereby increasing the value of existing PPC tokens. PeerCoin is the basis for several existing projects and many high-profile forks have emerged, Emercoin being one of the most popular.