Yes. Sunny King announced the planned release of Peercoin 9 days before the release. There were no blocks mined prior to launch. One forum member wrote, “[Sunny King] released a link to the source in the other thread at the promised time (5 min before 18:00 UTC). There was no premine. By the time I had built from source and got things running, there were 5 blocks mined.”
As of version 0.2, centrally-broadcasted checkpointing is no longer a critical part of the protocol. Its purpose is to defend the network during the initial growth period, and to help ensure a smooth upgrade path. Central checkpointing is now being gradually weakened, and will be eventually removed, to achieve a similar decentralization level to Bitcoin. The checkpoints exist solely as a security measure: if something terrible were to happen, we have the checkpoints as a backup.
As of version 0.6 the official client allows for opting-out of the checkpoints entirely.
Minting (as opposed to mining!) is the term given to Proof-of-stake block generation in Peercoin, that is securing the network. This earns you 1% annual interest. Coins are first eligible to mint 30 days after they have been transferred. If you want to mint, you have to put some of your peercoins at stake in your wallet. Read this guide, if you want to know how to do it and how it works.
You can calculate how much you will earn minting with this PoS-calculator.
The change of PPC money supply is determined by:
Thanks to increased mining participation until late 2014 inflation was stable at 5%, and today it's at 3.5%. At the current adoption rate, this rate will decline further over time, making Peercoin less inflationary and more sustainable than most other cryptocoins. See Peercoin inflation tracker.
Yes. When the entire money supply grows due to the minting process, all Peercoin holders who participate in minting maintain their relative share of the network. Although large stakeholders generate a higher total number of Peercoins, they cannot, in percentage terms, pull ahead of other minters.
There are many exchanges, where you can buy peercoins with fiat money (dollar, euro, …) or in exchange to other cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, …). See this list of exchanges.
In Europe and Russia currently most people recommend using LiteBit.eu and The Rock Trading. Former btc-e.com isn’t active anymore, it was replaced by wex.nz.
You can download and install a wallet client software on your computer or telephone.
We strongly discourage the use of web-wallets.
You can find it here. As with many other coins the richest peercoin owners are exchanges.
You can search for a specific address, a block number, a transaction ID and tags in one of those Peercoin Blockchain Explorers. There you can also find price charts, statistics about energy consumption and the status of soft-forks.