The NEM price surged 16 percent on Tuesday, defying the bearish trend that characterized every other top-tier cryptocurrency.
It was a disappointing day for cryptocurrency investors, as 97 of the top 100 coins posted single-day declines. However, the NEM price (XEM) not only resisted this bearish trend — it actually managed to achieve a double-digit percentage increase against the US dollar.
At present, NEM is trading at $0.44 on Poloniex, which is roughly in line with the token’s global average. NEM has a market cap of just under $4 billion, which makes it the 11th-largest cryptocurrency according to this metric.
NEM trading volume is currently heavily concentrated in Asian markets, with the majority of it denominated in fiat trading pairs. South Korea-based Upbit’s XEM/KRW market accounts for just under 33 percent of all NEM volume, while Japanese exchange Zaif’s XEM/JPY pair comprises another 26 percent.
NEM’s rally has correlated with Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck’s announcement that it was beginning to refund customers who lost NEM tokens (XEM) as a result of the January theft that saw hackers abscond with more than 500 million XEM.
As CCN reported, those tokens were worth $530 million at the time of the hack, making it the single-largest cryptocurrency theft in history, as measured by USD value. Today, though, those tokens are worth just $225 million at market prices.
However, Coincheck is compensating users at 88.549 JPY per token (~$0.83) — nearly double the present exchange rate — for a total payout of approximately $415 million. Presumably, most users will use their refunds to purchase NEM tokens, and — given the disparity between the refund price and market price — it is likely that many will increase their holdings over what they had before the hack.
Indeed, this appears to be the case, as Zaif’s XEM/JPY pair accounts for more than one-fourth of NEM’s global trading volume.
NEM trading volume rarely eclipses $100 million, so it is quite conceivable that the Coincheck payout could place significant upward pressure on the NEM price — if investors continue to inject those funds back into XEM markets, that is.
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