by Jamie Holmes
The month of April saw bitcoin gain around 30 percent, but some smaller altcoins outperformed the king of cryptocurrencies by a wide margin. Here, we detail the best performers of April 2018, give a bit of background to these coins and possible reasons for their performance.
GPU Coin Rebrands to Nullex (GPU/NLX)
A low-volume coin, GPU Coin surged a massive 1,115 percent over the past 30 days. Trading on Cryptopia, GPU Coin is a relatively unknown crypto with shallow volume according to CoinMarketCap. The lower the volume of a coin, the more likely it is that a few traders can corner the market and turn themselves into a price maker, which is likely what has happened over April for GPU.
GPU Coin was launched in April 2016 by a developer based in Canada. The Bitcointalk announcement thread for the altcoin says that GPU Coin is meant for payment to buy used GPU rigs, which are crucial for crypto mining. Despite its use case to buy mining rings, the altcoin is proof of stake, reportedly offering 15 percent per annum.
Another possible catalyst for the substantial rise in value over April seems to a rebrand, with GPU Coin now known as Nullex. From the price charts, we see that GPU Coin started its huge upward move on April 17, after hints were made on Twitter that GPU Coin would be rebranding.
— NulleX (@NulleXOfficial) April 19, 2018
AurumCoin is another low-volume coin that displayed impressive gains over the course of April, up 848 percent over the past 30 days. As with GPU Coin/Nullex, it is traded on Cryptopia. Volume spiked on April 29 to almost a quarter of a million dollars but currently stands around $100,000 over the past 24 hours, slightly more significant than GPU Coin.
AurumCoin is a coin ‘backed by gold,’ as the name suggests and was introduced in 2014. The coin’s rise in price may also be down to the relatively low supply, capped at 300,000, of which around 297,000 are circulating. One gram of real gold purportedly backs the value of the coin.
The creators of the project are based in Anguilla and anonymous. Geek Times uncovered an Indiegogo fundraising campaign during late 2017 carried out in AurumCoin’s name that violated the platform’s terms and conditions. Therefore, while it may be tempting to get into a cryptocurrency that has had phenomenal gains, it’s important to realize that markets are not always rational and the most legitimate projects are often those that do not look too exciting according to their price graph.
Hexx was another top performer, gaining over 500 percent over the past 30 days. The coin is ranked in 591 on CoinMarketCap regarding market capitalization, with a value of $7.5 million. The 24-hour volume at the time of writing was $179,283 and mostly comes from Cryptopia.
Hexx started trading around June 2015, according to CoinMarketCap, and released a revamped whitepaper in April 2018.
Based on the zerocoin protocol, HXX have claimed to be one of the first to issue a patch for the recently discovered exploit. Moreover, the altcoin was added to several exchanges, such as CryptoBridge, over the course of April, which could have also contributed to the bullish run.
The coin is only CPU mineable at the moment and has established a network of masternodes, known as Xnodes, in Q1 2018. A fork is scheduled for Q3 2018 that will take place using Hexx and Bitcoin, which will lead to BitcoinZeroX (BZX). The purpose of this fork; another privacy-focused altcoin hoping to capitalize on the ‘bitcoin brand.’
The little-known code of fork of Monero, Masari, also displayed strong gains over April. More awareness of the altcoin and the move to fork away from ASICs, following its parent Monero, were likely to be two contributing factors. Masari gained just over 487 percent over the past 30 days, reaching a peak above $2.00 and currently trading near $1.15. The coin has a 24-hour volume of $52,644 and is mainly traded on the TradeOgre exchange.
In early April, Monero conducted its scheduled upgrade which sought to kick ASICs off the network, and other CryptoNight coins followed suit. Masari’s lead developer submitted a pull request to Monero’s master branch for an improved difficulty adjustment algorithm, which brought a lot of positive attention to the coin.
Masari differs from Monero in that the ring size used to obfuscate transactions is set at a higher number; strcitly 12 versus Monero’s flexiblity of seven or above. While transactions carry a heavier load, the anonymity of transactions is improved. Some see the standalone project as a useful way to experiment with CryptoNight technology, while others dismiss it as not worthy of attention and having no future.
The altcoin plans to release a whitepaper on scaling in the near future, known as BlockTree, which ‘investigates sharding potential of the CryptoNote protocol by taking advantage of one-time public key outputs to partition/shard the transactions into a scalable blocktree.’
ZCL is up around 300 percent over the past 30 days, while XPM has gained 320 percent.
Buying either of these coins now introduces high risk since it is likely whales will dump these coins soon to lock-in profits from the massive rise seen over the past few weeks. We saw a similar thing happen with the Bitcoin Private fork, where ZCL dumped from above $200 to below $10, and also with ETC experiencing bearish momentum going into the Castillo airdrop.
A common theme between April’s best performers, is low volume and low awareness, which go hand in hand. Another thing to notice is that the biggest monthly gainers almost never trade on the bigger exchanges, but rather smaller ones. While these exchanges are generally more prone to scams/hacks, it may be worth becoming more familiar with these exchanges if you are trying to find a diamond in the dirt.
Do you think the coins mentioned will continue to grow in price? Or will they flounder during May? Let us know your views in the comment section below.