Bitcoin’s price is undergoing a revival of sorts. After spending most of February sliding downwards, the original cryptocurrency is already up by 11% since the beginning of March. At 15:10 UTC, it was changing hands at $11,450.73, unchanged from its price 24 hours ago. As has mostly been the case, the reasons for a rise in its prices are unclear. Bill Gates criticized bitcoin last week and its trading volumes were fairly low. But those negatives were offset by the positive of low transaction fees.
With the exception of NEO, other cryptocurrencies within the top 10 most-valuable list moved in lockstep with price movements for bitcoin. Ripple crossed the $1 mark after rumors that Coinbase, North America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, may soon add it to the list of cryptos offered on its platform. Coinbase recently expanded its support team to service its customers better. The exchange has been struggling with myriad issues and lawsuits after skyrocketing growth in customer numbers last year.
At 15:21 UTC, the overall market capitalization for cryptocurrencies was $470.6 billion. That is a new high based on its performance in the last one week. But it is still some way off from its high of $517 billion on Feb 17th.
The NEO Blockchain Problem
For most of this year, NEO has bucked the trend lines of a sliding market and registered increases even as other cryptos fall. Investors were enthused about its association with the Chinese government. Recently, the NEO founder was even invited to a meeting with State officials to investigate the specifics of implementing blockchain within the Chinese economy. NEO bucked the market again yesterday, albeit in a negative manner. While other cryptocurrencies registered increases, NEO’s price went south as questions swirled about the efficacy of its blockchain. This tweetstorm by Eric Walls, a commentator for bitcoin.com, provides an excellent and succinct summary of the problem with NEO’s network design. Very briefly: NEO’s blockchain network crashed on Saturday because one of its nodes went down. In other words, NEO’s algorithm is not byzantine fault tolerant. Other significant details from Walls’ tweetstorm: There are just seven nodes on NEO’s blockchain and they have a total of 23 smart contracts deployed on them. This, for a cryptocurrency valued at $7.6 billion in the markets. But NEO’s developers have shot back at Walls and claimed that their consensus mechanism continues to produce blocks even if one of its nodes is killed. NEO is up by 61.7% as of this writing.