Bitcoin Prices Stall; Tron Falters While NEO Gains

There was not much change in cryptocurrency markets over the weekend. Its market capitalization reached a high of $752.6 billion on Saturday but dipped back to $676.7 billion yesterday afternoon. At 14:23 UTC, it was valued at $713.4 billion, an increase of 2% from 24 hours earlier.

As it has mostly done over the past week, the price of a single bitcoin mostly traded in a range between $13,000 and $15,000. It reached a high of $14,484.72 at 13:00 UTC Saturday before paring its gains and more 24 hours later. As of this writing, it was trading at $14,211.41, a rise of 4.35% from its price 24 hours ago. 

Six out of the top 10 most-traded cryptocurrencies had registered gains as of this writing. NEO, a cryptocurrency which is targeted at China’s smart economy, was the biggest mover, rising by 26% as compared to its price 24 hours ago.

It has a slew of upcoming initial coin offerings (ICO) for a diverse range of projects, from startups that want to create databases of open-sourced medical information to decentralized exchanges. According to reports, traders are construing upcoming ICOs as an indication of NEO’s growing clout as an ecosystem. (See also: Why China's New Ethereum NEO Is The Next Big Thing.) 

Ripple’s XRP, a cryptocurrency that had arrested its slide on Friday, was down once again. From a high of $2.09 per pop on Saturday morning, XRP was down to $1.82. (See also: MoneyGram Teams With High-Flying Cryptocurrency.) 

More Trouble For Tron 

Tron, a cryptocurrency whose price was on a tear less than two weeks ago, has been accused of plagiarizing code from ethereum. According to this thread at Github, a platform for developers, the cryptocurrency’s code is lifted directly from ethereum’s without proper attribution to the original. Tron has also been accused of plagiarizing its white paper.

Tron, which is founded by a protégé of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA) Chair Jack Ma, does not have a product in place and announced a partnership with Baofeng, a Chinese site similar to Netflix Inc. (NFLX) Its price has crashed from a high of $0.27 on January 4 to $0.08 as of this writing. Correspondingly, its market cap has fallen by 73% to $5.7 billion during the same time period. (See also: Ethereum Sets New Record; Bitcoin Price Moves Sideways.) 

Bitcoin's Underutilized Network  

Meanwhile, cryptography researchers at Cornell University have taken a position that argues the network of potential bitcoin miners is underutilized. According to the paper, the average bandwidth available to bitcoin nodes has increased by a factor of 1.7. “Higher allocated bandwidth indicates that the maximum blocksize can be increased without impacting orphan rates, which in turn affect decentralization,” the paper’s authors write. 

Congestion on bitcoin’s network has become a serious issue in recent times and has led to increased transaction fees and made its standing as a cryptocurrency unviable. Increased block size was one of the solutions being considered until bitcoin’s core development team vetoed the suggestion. Bitcoin Cash, which has a variable block size of up to 1 MB, was launched as a result.

“To date, we have seen no sound, quantitative arguments for any specific value of the maximum block size in Bitcoin,” the Cornell University authors wrote. “Arguments on this topic have consisted of vague, technical-sounding-yet-technically-unjustified argumentation, bereft of scientific justification.” 

Indonesia Central Bank Issues Cryptocurrency Warning  

Finally, Indonesia became the latest country to issue a warning against cryptocurrency trading and investment by releasing a weekend press release outlined risks against cryptocurrencies. “Bank Indonesia warns all parties not to sell, buy or trade virtual currency,” the country’s central bank wrote in its release. 

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns small amounts of bitcoin. It is unclear whether he owns other bitcoin forks.

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