Of all cryptocurrencies, RaiBlocks boasts perhaps the most exciting chart currently. The coin has appreciated almost 10 times against the dollar since the start of December, and over 50 times since the summer, to US$1.63. However, with its two main exchanges now down, will its surge continue?
RaiBlocks (XRB) is primarily traded on two smaller exchanges, BitGrail and Mercatox. As of right now, Bitgrail is currently down for maintenance for an unknown period of time, and Mercatox appears to be down due to a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack. These shutdowns come after yet another impressive day for the coin, with XRB currently up 34% against USD and 32% against BTC over the past 24 hours. Between those two exchanges, the daily volume of XRB has eclipsed US$6 million. Until now, the combo had been able to support the massive influx in volume as RaiBlocks rose daily from US$.20 just two weeks ago.
Much of RaiBlocks’ surge can be attributed to the earlier rally of IOTA. IOTA gained increased exposure due to ever-increasing fees and transaction times on the Bitcoin blockchain. However, when increased strain on the IOTA network led to transactions taking hours and even days to process, speculators became skeptical of the viability of the coin as an alternative to Bitcoin’s slow network.
Alas, the spotlight turned to RaiBlocks, which offers free and instant transactions, but also has the infrastructure to handle an unprecedented workload. RaiBlocks previously stress-tested its network and proved capable of handling 7,000 transactions per second. Many speculators consider RaiBlocks the best-prepared network to handle massive adoption and heavy workload. Since late November, it has been one of the highest-appreciating currencies day after day, and has risen from outside of the top 200 to its current position of #55 on CoinMarketCap.
While supporters are hoping that the two exchange shutdowns are benign, skeptics suggest there may be a more malicious cause. There are rumors circulating that both BitGrail and Mercatox have sold their coins and permanently shut down their sites. Mercatox tweeted that it has not been hacked and is only updating, but that does not explain the phishing links placed on the current site, which also references a DDoS in place. At this point, it is entirely possible that one or both of these exchanges have ran with users’ funds, and it does seem plausible that Mercatox was compromised. Fortunately, RaiBlocks has already tweeted on the situation, commenting that it is already searching for further exchange options.
These incidents may very well plague RaiBlocks’ price in the short term. If it does not, the coin seems poised to easily eclipse US$2.00 and continue its journey upward. Even if XRB does struggle in the immediate future, these events have nothing to do with the viability or technical aspects of the project. Despite the recent rally, RaiBlocks’s market capitalization is less than 2% of IOTA’s. If a major paradigm shift takes place in which faith is transferred from IOTA to XRB, it is likely that this impressive climb has only just begun.