First, some of the pertinent info:
ATOM is a coin on the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem that was created to offer the ability for many different and independent chains and Dapps to communicate with each other. It is modular, scalable, fast, and secure. It allows you to send tokens from one blockchain to another, using the Tendermint software for consensus. It is not a proof-of-work chain, like Bitcoin. If you've heard of atomic swaps, then you are probably already familiar with the benefit of being able to pass tokens and data from one blockchain to another. The Cosmos ecosystem is made up of hubs and zones (independent blockchains), which are able to work with other blockchains using pegs (think of these as adapters). Rather than having miners, Cosmos uses validators, which are used to offer fast finality (think of this as what allows you to have instant confirmation upon the next block being written, unlike with Bitcoin or Etherium).
Tendermint, created by AIB (All In Bits), and the Cosmos SDK, are two of the main factors that allows developers to build their own sovereign apps without spending all the hours required to create your own blockchain; you can take a fork of another chain, like Etherium (using Ethermint) and build your app without worrying about building the networking and consensus layers; why reinvent the wheel when you can just focus on your application layer? Then later, if a new feature or bugfix needs to be introduced, you have the full autonomy without needing governance approval.
ATOM In The News This Week:
AIB (All In Bits, dba Tendermint) CEO Jae Kwon, instrumental in creating Tendermint, the IBC (inter Blockchain Communication) Protocol, and ultimately the ATOM coin, announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as the front man, but will still be helping out where needed. This news may have created a bit of a scare with those holding the ATOM coin. The last 2 weeks have seen the buyers slow down, and the value has dipped to about .00046271 ($4.36) down from .00051816 ($4.84) two weeks ago (Jan 15, 2020), and fallen 30% since its peak in May of last year with an ATH at .00084938 ($7.93) May 29, 2019. We had a loss of about 2% today, which would not come as a surprise considering Kwon has decided to transition away from the project.
However, Kwon has stated that the project doesn't "need" a CEO, someone to be a hero, on Twitter: "don’t worship heros, nor any steward without skin in the game, it’s mostly about structural incentives." He also said in a tweet that he will be focusing on Virgo, "a daughter project, which will help bring people to Cosmos and also help keep Cosmos good, as a sub mission. Follow us at http://virgo.org and esp discord." He continued: "All in Bits, DBA Tendermint will be a company that adopts radical transparency and radically new social norms that enable expression and psychological safety, be defining a new system of Process and Culture of Openness."
So the CEO is transitioning out, but he seems to feel pretty confident about the state of the project continuing. He will seemingly be near enough to help where needed, while working on Virgo. I might be wrong, but I imagine they chose this name partly as a response stemming from Anti Facebook/Libra sentiment, which makes me grin. Actually, after reading their manifesto (aka About page), they seem to bring to mind characters from the show Silicon Valley, hoping to make the world a better place, with their mission "to make freely available the best protocols, software, and hardware for decentralized finance, social/communications, and advanced human coordination technology". But I digress.
Forgive me if I just digress a few more seconds, because I love this quote: "By the nature of free, voluntary trade, we can make this transition entirely peaceful, to synthesize a new beginning that transcends the false duality of capitalism vs socialism."
Other Recent ATOM News:
Another recent ATOM development is the ability of users to earn coin by staking their ATOM on Binance, as well as users of Pool-X, a partner of the Kucoin exchange. December saw it open up on Binance (advertising 6-9%) interest, and January is when Pool-X started, allowing up to 40% interest for early adopting stakers. Of course, you had to sign up early enough (Jan 8th) , and I didn't, so the rates offered on Pool-X continued to drop a few percent up to the last day on January 18th. Pool-X also allows you to earn POL and continue trading your staked coins in the form of its liquidity market.
Up until now, the reason I haven't personally staked any ATOM (or any other coin for that matter), is that I hesitate to lock up my coins in any capacity because even a 10% ANNUAL percentage growth doesn't appeal to me as I have other investments outperforming that, even my 401k. But we'll see what the future holds. The Pool-X feature, where you can still trade on the liquidity market, without locking up your coin, sounds appealing but confusing at the same time. If you are using them, let me know how it's going.
So Is Now a Good Time To Buy ATOM?
If you're already an experienced crypto trader, you may have your own signals to wait for, before going in. I have been watching it for the last few weeks, and it hasn't gone off a panic cliff, but it's still a better time to buy today than it was on the 15th. This morning it went down steadily before climbing back up a bit in the afternoon. Volume was moderate, certainly not a panic. Average price for January was around .000522 BTC, currently down about 10% from that level at around .000462 at the time of this post.
The pros: an innovative project, strong community, discounted price, new ability to stake on multiple exchanges, scalable w/thousands of Dapps, instant transfers between blockchains.
The cons: central figure walking away from CEO role, and a steady price decline without many pumps over the last 9 months. From a noob perspective, I assumed it pumped after the ICO and then gradually people lost interest. However, upon closer inspection I saw there was a low back in September of 2019, and the coin has actually been climbing steadily for the last three months. It was a good bull run, from 9-6-19 up to 12-27-19, when the price turned and started coming down a bit. See this ATOM/BTC daily chart below:
I did pick up a small amount of ATOM today using the free BTC I picked up from micro-earning site that I use, as they paid out again this week so picked up $20 worth for kicks. I do think ATOM is a great buy right now, on its current dip. I still see good long term potential, but I'm not giving financial advice. Do your research and if you like it, or don't, make your own informed decisions.
Hope you enjoyed the article, leave your thoughts in the comments. What do you think about ATOM right now? Underpriced gem, or a dud?