While the entire market of cryptocurrency has had a strong 2019, one coin in particular has managed to post 300 percent gains since the start of the year. Binance Coin (BNB), the native currency to the world’s leading crypto exchange by volume, has outpaced both Bitcoin and the market with its massive gains over the last month. Given how Binance Coin has, in part, taken the reins of market movement, analytics firm Weiss Ratings is now asking the question: Is BNB the new Bitcoin?
Binance Coin is capable of operating as a standalone, decentralized currency, albeit with a fair amount of influence from its parent company exchange. However, it would be remiss not to point out that the price of BNB has largely benefited from its direct association with the exchange, as opposed to the utility or merits of the coin itself.
For one, Binance incentivizes users to purchase and hold a sum of BNB through several of its programs. Investors can receive a discount on trading fees if they pay with BNB, which is automatically deducted from a users wallet. Binance’s updated launchpad service is also driving the demand for BNB and, by proxy, its price. In order to participate in ICO token sales on Launchpad, investors must purchase–and hold for 20 days prior to the launch–a minimum of 100 BNB. At current market prices that equates to $2300 in BNB. However, investors adamant on participating in Launchpad sales are encouraged to buy and hold 500 BNB to receive the greatest chance of being drawn in the lottery, an amount that would come to $11,500 (about the cost of two BTC).
All of this, in conjunction with the price of BNB rising 300 percent since the beginning of 2019, has led Weiss Ratings to question, via Twitter, if the currency can replace Bitcoin as a market leader. Before today’s BTC price rally, which saw altcoins across the board drop as Bitcoin improved in dominance, Binance Coin appeared to be dictating the direction of the market. BNB posted several consecutive days of double-digit price gains, bringing both renewed interest and investment into the space of cryptocurrency.
As Forbes points out, Weiss has given BNB the same rating as some of the industry’s most prolific cryptocurrency. Ripple’s XRP, EOS, Bitcoin and Binance Coin are the top four cryptocurrencies as evaluated by Weiss, and the only currencies to receive a grading of B-. Even Ethereum, which has been the darling of the industry for several years, scored lower than BNB with a grade of C+.
Binance Coin, seemingly defying odds, has climbed into the top ten of cryptocurrency by market capitalization and is threatening Litecoin for the sixth overall position. The coin commands $3.2 billion in market capitalization, and has room to grow with a circulating supply of 141 million BNB–far less than other coins such as XRP and EOS.
In the end, BNB’s strong ties to Binance may continue to provide enough incentive for investors to take interest in the asset, even at the exclusion of market leaders like Bitcoin. While Binance Coin may not fit the traditional mold of cryptocurrency, or even be the most representative coin for the industry, it does offer traders utility that is hard to come by in other currencies.