Will Symbol Help NEM Regain Its Former Glory?

Key Takeaways

  • NEM is preparing to launch its Symbol blockchain.
  • The new platform is aimed at enterprise applications and will include various new features.
  • It remains to be seen whether the launch will help NEM become a high-ranking project once again.

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NEM, one of the earliest and most notable crypto projects, has reinvented itself by launching its new Symbol blockchain.

Symbol Reinvents the NEM Blockchain

Mar. 15 marks the launch of Symbol’s public mainnet. The new platform is primarily aimed at enterprise users, with emphasis on the blockchain’s use in fintech and supply chain management.

However, Symbol can also be used for various other ways: it can serve as a basis for DeFi apps, tokenized stocks, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), atomic swaps, and much more.

In preparation for the launch, NEM has built up an extensive list of partnerships. It has earned support from leading crypto companies incluidng CoinGecko, Travala, Fireblocks, and GurdaWallet.

New Token on the Way

Symbol will not replace NEM: instead, it will run in parallel with NIS1, the original NEM blockchain. NIS1’s original NEM token (XEM) will continue to circulate alongside Symbol’s new token (XYM).

To prepare for XYM’s launch, Symbol and NEM are working with dozens of exchanges. Certain exchanges such as Binance have already taken snapshots of user balances in preparation for the XYM airdrop. Various exchanges are also preparing to list the new token and are running trading competitions.

Despite those preparations, XYM has not yet been released into general circulation and is not listed on market aggregators. As such, it is hard to say how the token will perform in terms of value.

Will NEM Take Back the Spotlight?

NEM was once one of the most prominent up-and-coming blockchains. By May 2017, just two years after its launch, NEM’s XEM cryptocurrency was the fifth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Today, XEM is the 31st largest cryptocurrency.

SIMETRI 10x potential

In May 2017, XEM’s $893 million market cap was equal to about 3.4% of Bitcoin’s $26 billion market cap. Now, its $3.4 billion capitalization is equal to about 0.3% of Bitcoin’s $1 trillion market cap. This change suggests that NEM has both been displaced by new competitors and suffered an absolute loss in value.

It remains to be seen whether Symbol will be able to define itself against Ethereum, Cardano, and other platforms with similar goals.

At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins, and did not hold NEM.

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Proposed FinCEN rule is a ‘grave threat to personal privacy,’ says Coin Center

After the U.S. Treasury Department extended the comment period for anyone to express their thoughts on a proposed crypto rule, non-profit crypto policy advocate group Coin Center has made another — and possibly final — argument to regulators.

Coin Center directed its comment to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, over proposed rules that would require registered crypto exchanges in the U.S. to verify the identity of people using “an unhosted or otherwise covered wallet” for a transaction of more than $3,000 and report on all crypto transactions of more than $10,000. The advocacy group referred to the proposal as “a grave threat to personal privacy, Fourth Amendment rights against warrantless search, as well as a substantial threat to continued responsible innovation.”

Specifically, Coin Center said crypto transactions should not be subject to the same requirements as those facing bank customers moving $10,000 or more in cash. The group claims that requiring institutions to create a currency transaction report, or CTR, for crypto transactions is “automated mass surveillance of innocent transactions.”

“Any transaction over $2,000 that is merely ‘relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation’ will trigger a suspicious activity report (SAR) requirement, which already applies to crypto transactions today,” said Coin Center. “Any CTR report filed without an accompanying SAR is, by definition, a report about an American resident’s entirely innocent and otherwise private financial activities.”

The group added:

“If FinCEN insists on further extending the gambit of warrantless mass surveillance, then it should by no account do so in a way that prejudices new technologies and the companies and individuals that use them.”

FinCEN first proposed the crypto wallet rule in December and said its website was open to comments until Jan. 4. The regulatory body later extended this deadline on Jan. 15 for an additional 14 days until its most recent — and possibly final — extension to March 29.

Since the proposed rules were filed last year, Coin Center has urged people in the crypto space to file comments to regulators, and decried the original short window of opportunity to do so. Feedback from groups like Coin Center and the Blockchain Association could have been responsible for one or more of the extensions, which pushed the proposed wallet rule out of the former administration’s purview to that of recently confirmed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.