Cryptocurrency rebound sees joke crypto Dogecoin, and others, jump
A rising tide lifts all boats, with serious coins, jokes and alleged scams alike all jumping.
After a multi-month plunge down from its all-time high, the cryptocurrency markets have started an abrupt recovery in the last week. All eyes have been on bitcoin, which has seen a rise of about 4% in the last 24 hours according to CoinMarketCap, but many of the largest gains are coming in the so-called "altcoin" market, which refers to literally any cryptocurrency other than bitcoin, of which there are thousands.
Some are serious and extremely popular projects; some are accused of being scams; and others, such as Dogecoin, were never intended to be more than a joke. All are represented among the largest gains in the last 24 hours according to CoinMarketCap. In cryptocurrency, a rising tide lifts all boats.
1. Bytecoin - up 31.8%
Bytecoin is a privacy-focused digital currency, very similar to the more popular anonymity coin Monero in both purpose and technical implementation. Bytecoin's momentous rise today might be due to some recent chaos on the Monero blockchain, where a hard fork update saw four brand new Monero-branded cryptocurrencies spring up.
The problem in this particular case is that the creation of the new coins might compromise anonymity on all the Monero chains. Some people are even speculating that the forks are deliberate sabotage. As such, a similar but different privacy coin like Bytecoin might find itself in vogue.
Compared to other coins, Bytecoin is not traded much and had a 24-hour volume of only $8.6 million. A thinly-traded coin like this wouldn't need too much extra interest to see prices take a sizable jump.
2. Bitshares - 19.5%
Bitshares is designed to be a holistic decentralised exchange, with its own native token. The project is focused on digitising physical assets with tokens. The recent rise has seen it move to rank 34 by market cap, making it one of the more popular decentralised exchange tokens.
3. NEM - up 16.6%
Like most coins, NEM slipped considerably during the market downturn and might be rising simply because it had more room to go up. It's intended to be an all-in-one type coin that anyone can use to unlock a wide range of functions in order to access the benefits of a distributed ledger system.
The highest profile project launched on NEM to date might be the Venezuelan national cryptocurrency, the Petro, which was released as a token on the NEM blockchain.
4. Stellar Lumens - up 16.5%
Stellar Lumens is a token designed mostly for international payments, but also comes with some extra elements on the side such as a distributed exchange and systems to digitise and trade physical assets.
Its sharp rise might be due to a highly-regarded partnership with IBM and the struggles of its still-more-popular primary competitor, Ripple, to diversify its applications and find more exchange listings.
5. Substratum - up 15%
Substratum is a decentralised computing network system. Counter-intuitively, its rise might be attributable to the recent successes of one of its chief competitors, Golem, which recently moved to mainnet and released a functional product that lets users share computing power for CGI rendering applications.
Having seen the first stage of the Golem project, some people might reckon that Substratum is a potentially more effective competitor. Others might look at their comparative market caps and feel that Substratum is undervalued. Or it might be due to the unfortunate tendency of cryptocurrency markets to value hype above functionality.
6. Nxt - up 14.7%
A venerable token first released without fanfare in 2013, it has a low-key reputation as a quiet achiever. It's designed to be an ecosystem token used to more easily facilitate the release of other tokens. It's not clear what caused the recent rise, except that cryptocurrency markets tend to rise and fall as a whole and a relatively low-volume coin like this doesn't need a lot of money to see double digit gains.
7. Bitcoin Gold - up 14%
Bitcoin Gold is perhaps the second best-known bitcoin fork, behind Bitcoin Cash. It was an ASIC-resistant fork, designed to make sure bitcoin remains mineable with everyday computing GPUs.
A cynic might say the coin was forked because those without ASIC miners wanted a bigger cut of the profits, while others might say it was forked to keep the bitcoin network healthier by preventing decentralisation. Like any other bitcoin fork, the true believers might have dismissed it as a scam.
8. Dogecoin - up 13.9%
Dogecoin was never meant to be more than a joke, but here it is. With today's rise, it's looking at a market cap approaching $550 million.
This is a far cry from its all-time high of around $2 billion market cap, but arguably still more than its worth. But what does "worth" mean anyway? Market cap is generally a poor measurement of cryptocurrency value or popularity, which makes it hard to say anything except that one Doge is worth one Doge, no matter what the current exchange rates are.
9. Bitcoin Private - up 13.7%
A hotly anticipated fork of Zclassic, Bitcoin Private is intended to be an anonymous coin. Much like Bytecoin, its recent rise might be due to some uncertainty around Monero's security in recent weeks.
10. IOTA - up 13.6%
In the hotly contested area of Internet of Things (IoT) cryptocurrencies, IOTA is probably the world's best-known, with big names like Bosch, Fujitsu and Volkswagen and many more all taking an active interest in the coin's development, with the probable intention of using IOTA's "Tangle" ledger for their products.
The MIOTA (million IOTA) price has risen from below $1 to around $1.70 in the last few days as the markets rise.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC and XRB.