With Bitcoin dropping from an all-time high above $20,000 on December 19 to $17,756 at the time of writing, most other coins have experienced massive recent surges in their valuation.
Cardano has been one of the biggest gainers, moving past IOTA to become the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Cardano’s rapid ascent has seen it increase from around $0.11 per ADA token a week ago to a high of $0.57 earlier today.
But one of the biggest stories has been the sudden movement of Chinese cryptocurrencies NEO and QTUM. Both are platforms which allow for DApps and smart contracts in a manner similar to Ethereum. NEO’s ardent supporters sometimes baulk at the nickname “Chinese Ethereum,” feeling that NEO’s focus on being an advanced platform for the smart economy is one of several important distinctions that differentiate it from Ethereum.
Meanwhile, QTUM’s biggest supporters have often expressed disliked for NEO’s “Chinese Ethereum” tag for the opposite reason. This pithy slogan is symbolic of NEO’s far superior marketing, which has long given NEO a competitive edge over QTUM.
Many of the largest cryptocurrencies are still in the early stages of their development, with their current valuations representing pure speculation about future growth. There has been a feeling in both the NEO and QTUM communities that both coins were consequently massively undervalued relative to other cryptocurrencies. Both already boast functional platforms and a number of exciting projects which will be launching in 2018.
The markets seem to finally be reflecting the immense promise of both NEO and QTUM. After months of static growth that have seen their value fall relative to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, NEO and QTUM have suddenly exploded.
NEO was trading as low as $33.16 on December 11, while QTUM was at $11.05. NEO hit $82 on December 19, giving it a market capitalization of $5.3 billion. QTUM’s growth has been even more explosive, posting a roughly 11x increase for an all-time high of $77.75. While NEO is valued slightly higher by unit, QTUM now has the greater market capitalization, with a total worth of $5.7 billion.
But when comparing the relative worth of NEO and QTUM, it’s important to consider NEO’s Gas. Holding NEO in a private wallet allows you to generate Gas, which fuels the operation of DApps on the NEO platform. How much Gas your NEO generates depends both on how much you hold and how much activity is occurring on NEO’s platform. It therefore seems likely that Gas generation will increase as more DApps begin operating in the next year.
Gas is available for trade on cryptocurrency exchanges and it has also made big gains in the last few days, moving from a low of $17.74 on December 12 to a high of $47.73 on December 18.