Ordinarily, a 25% moon on the eighty-somethingth token by market cap would not merit much digital ink, if Gas were not such an unlikely candidate for investment. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Gas isn’t really an independent token—instead, it functions as a kind of auxiliary to NEO, the main coin of the ecosystem.
Gas is produced by staking Neo, but unlike Neo, Gas is slightly inflationary—if Neo were somewhat like gold, Gas would be a bit like paper notes.
So it’s a bit surprising to find crypto-paper soaring in value, especially when crypto-gold is only making half the gains. One would expect investors to prefer the more stable asset—or, at most, for Gas prices to keep pace with NEO prices.
The NEX Big Thing?
One possible explanation is a new use for Gas—specifically, a much-anticipated tokensale. The Neon Exchange, a new project for the Neo ecosystem, has announced that its initial coin offering will accept contributions in both NEO and GAS tokens. Since staked NEO tokens earn GAS, the latter’s price spike may indicate a desire to stockpile the less-productive asset for the NEX token sale.
NEX’s initial $25M crowdsale (which was highly rated by our analysts) seeks to fund a new decentralized exchange, allowing secure off-chain trades from assets on multiple different blockchains. But the ICO token has more uses than mere fundraising: the NEX token has been successfully registered with Liechtenstein’s Financial Market Authority, making it a legal security in the EU.
Further, the NEX token—in a much needed change—will pay dividends. “This is something that NEX believes is critical to deliver true value to investors,” the company said in a blog post. The public sale will begin on Monday, September 3.
This is a stark contrast to previous coin offerings, whose ‘utility tokens’ did not confer a share of the profits and had comparatively tentative investment values.
And the structure of the NEX ICO is also a little unusual: 25,000 investors were picked in a lottery to add $1,000 each to the sale. It has been speculated that the sheer number of investors who suddenly find a need for GAS or NEO could have contributed to the rises. Volumes of both tokens rose quickly after the announcement of the ICO date.
But, in order to gain real value, Gas will need to have actual applications and use cases—beyond speculation. Using Gas to buy ICO tokens probably doesn’t count. But a huge multi-chain decentralized exchange, like the one NEX is attempting to build, might do the trick.
The author is invested in NEO and holds other digital currencies.