The nitrocubanes are promising explosives, those carrying five or more nitro groups contain enough oxygen to oxidise all constituent carbon and hydrogen atoms to gaseous CO, CO2, or H2O. They are therefore all non toxic, a valuable property for any potential military or commercial explosive. ONC has a "perfect" oxygen balance and with efficient detonation would produce eight molecules of carbon dioxide and four of dinitrogen. As ONC has no hydrogen, no water forms when it burns. When used as a propellant there will be no visible smoke (steam) in the plume behind the rocket, making it very difficult to track.
Both HpNC and ONC are safe to handle, another important requirement for any commercial explosive. It's quite shock insensitive, more so than TNT. Nitro compounds in which the nitro group is attached via oxygen to carbon (nitroglycerin) as well as those in which the nitro groups are bonded to nitrogen (HMX, RDX, CL-20) are also less shock tolerant.
Heptanitrocubane has a decomposition point well above 200°C and its density at 21°C is an impressive 2.028 g cm-3. This is higher than that of ONC, which in its present crystal form is significantly less dense than predicted by theory (1.979 g cm-3). ONC may still prove to be the more powerful explosive as research into denser polymorphs continues. All detailed predictions suggest a density above 2.1 g cm-3 for the most stable polymorph of ONC.