NEM (XEM) Surges Through the Stratosphere Following Catapult Update

NEM (XEM) is dominating the altcoin surge on Thursday, gaining in excess of 50% mere days after the distributed ledger announced details of its version 2.0 upgrade known as Catapult.

XEM/USD Update

NEM’s native XEM cryptocurrency surged by as much as 55% through the overnight session, far outpacing the broader market. It peaked just above $0.1080, its highest since mid-November.

NEM (XEM/USD) is finding its groove amid the latest bout of altcoin euphoria. | Chart via CoinMarketCap.

At the time of writing, XRM was up 24.2% to $0.0872, bringing its total market capitalization to 785.3 million. That gives NEM the 18th spot on the market cap leaderboard and just ahead of Cosmos.

Much of NEM’s rally on Thursday can be attributed to a much broader altcoin surge. However, the extent of its gains reflects severely oversold conditions and recent developments around its 2.0 upgrade (more on that below).

Even with the sudden breakout on Thursday, XEM is trading well below the 200-week simple moving average, which is currently located north of $0.1300. Year-to-date, the cryptocurrency is up 35%, with the vast majority of the gains coming in the last 24 hours.

Despite its recent struggles, XEM has a lifetime return on investment (ROI) of 9,000%, according to CoinMarketCap. However, it lacks the user activity, developer interest and maturity as other leading blockchains.

NEM Sees Progress Toward Version 2.0

NEM got swept up in crypto euphoria Thursday amid news that the blockchain network was progressing toward its version 2.0 update.

On Sunday, NEM provided more information on its upcoming Catapult upgrade, which aims to optimize the blockchain for business data.

“Catapult is a full-featured blockchain engine that can power both private and public networks with its unique smart contract plugins,” reads the official NEM Catapult website. “These plugins enable bulletproof digital asset creation, decentralized swaps, advanced account systems and business logic modeling.”

Bulletproofs is a scalable privacy protocol that is being implemented by several major cryptocurrency projects, including Monero (XMR). It combines confidential transactions and zero-knowledge proofs, a core element of emerging cryptography.

On Tuesday, NEM tweeted the following update:

Once the full upgrade is implemented, Catapult will become NEM’s core engine. It will include features such as decentralized swaps and automatic transaction fee payments.

Launched in 2015, NEM is one of the oldest blockchain projects on the market, certainly among the mid-to-large caps. It has largely flown under the radar since the bull market collapsed in early 2018. This is further reflected in its dismal performance through the early part of 2019.

Much of that is tied to the NEM Foundation, which was on the brink of bankruptcy earlier this year. The non-profit has avoided that fate through massive restructuring and by also appealing to community members for a much-needed cash infusion. Read more: Crypto Winter’s First Victim; NEM Foundation Crumbles as XEM Coin Price Sinks.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via CoinMarketCap.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi