It’s been said, if you stand too close to the trees, you can’t see the forest. The incredible year-end rise of Bitcoin has undoubtedly placed all eyes on the original cryptocurrency. However, the focus on this one digital coin should be kept in perspective among a wider field of alternatives to Bitcoin, known as altcoins, which have also been gradually rising, and offer enormous potential for growth in 2021 and beyond.
One example of a rising altcoin star is Stellar Lumens (XLM), the native cryptocurrency of the open source blockchain payment system, Stellar. Recently, Ukraine announced plans to partner with Stellar to develop a digital asset infrastructure for its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Within days after the announcement, XLM more than doubled in value, from $0.13 per coin to $0.29, as of this writing.
Stellar signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. Together, they will work to “develop a modern virtual asset market infrastructure” and enhance the nation’s status as an “innovative digital country in the financial market in Eastern Europe.”
Their work for Ukraine will include assisting with digital coin development and ongoing operations related to implementation and regulation of the cryptocurrency. According to Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Oleksandr Bornyakov, “The Ministry of Digital Transformation is working on creating the legal environment for the development of virtual assets in Ukraine. We believe that our cooperation with the Stellar Development Foundation will contribute to the development of the virtual asset industry and its integration in the global financial ecosystem.”
Even though Stellar’s XLM coin won’t be involved with their project in Ukraine, it seems the increased brand exposure following the project’s news attracted substantial buying interest from coin holders. Another possible reason for XLM’s rise is the recent SEC action against XRP. XLM is a modified fork of XRP and some are speculating that coin holders are moving funds from XRP to XLM. A modified fork is when a blockchain diverges into two paths based on a change in protocol.
XLM is also gaining from the recent US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) ruling that enables US banks to use public blockchains and dollar-backed stablecoins as infrastructure for financial settlements. Previously, that ruling would have benefitted XRP, as it was most widely embraced by banks. However, given the recent SEC action, attention has been diverted away from XRP and toward XLM.
Another altcoin which has recently begun to rise to new heights is Ethereum’s native coin, ETH. ETH has more than doubled in value within the past 30 days, inching close to its historical high of $1400. It is the second most capitalized crypto coin after Bitcoin, and the rising interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) has helped propel its value, as 99% of dapps (decentralized apps) are being built on the Ethereum network. The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade has also helped bolster its value. Crypto investment fund, Grayscale Investments recently bought $58 million worth of ETH, which marks expanding institutional interest in digital coins beyond solely Bitcoin.
These are undoubtedly exciting developments for the crypto community. META 1 Coin is poised to benefit from this trend as wider crypto adoption shifts toward a broader view of crypto growth opportunities beyond Bitcoin. Since META 1 Coin is asset-backed by gold and is only available for purchase by living, breathing Humans and not non-human entities like institutions, there is greater potential for long-term stability. Unlike the altcoins mentioned above, META 1 Coin is a fixed supply digital currency, which is more conducive to growth than coins that consistently release additional supply. These attributes will enable META 1 Coin Trust to fulfill our mission of driving abundance, freedom and equity for all Humans.