Will Symbol Help NEM Regain Its Former Glory?

Once a top-five crypto project, NEM has launched its new Symbol blockchain.

Will Symbol Help NEM Regain Its Former Glory?
Shutterstock photo by Naypong Studio

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.

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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