Move Over, Bitcoin. Which Digital Currency May Substitute the “Big Daddy”?

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It seems that cryptoinvestors want to set foot in the same river twice, as bitcoin’s boosting is fostering the migration to a few digital ilks.

The rise of bitcoin has provoked the increase of its relatives – “altcoins” – in price. According to CoinMarketCap , one of them, which is litecoin, grew up by 60% just in the mid-December. Recently, it has shot a new record of $341.72, and though this figure is not as fascinating as bitcoin’s $20,000, there remains space for concern.

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Notably, litecoin started the year at just $4.33, whereas by December it surged to $88, increasing by 7,000% in total against the background that bitcoin has grown by about 1,700% in 2017.

Considering the Alternatives

Experts say that investors are paying attention to those currencies which have a potential of growing and could become the next gold mine. “Retail investors in Korea are driving a lot of the price. They will buy anything that looks reasonably cheap,” Jimmy Song, a bitcoin developer based in Texas, told The Wall Street Journal.

The fact that countries like South Korea and Japan recognized cryptocurrencies means that plenty of them have been experiencing a lot of benefits. Such actions have also raised interest from Wall Street companies and other investors.

In general, the cryptomarket costs around $600 billion, of which $323 billion are made up by the only bitcoin. Here’s the total market value of several altcoins:

  • Ethereum – $71 billion
  • Ripple – $29 billion
  • Bitcoin Cash – $32 billion
  • litecoin – $17.6 billion

Before this year, only bitcoin and Ethereum had the overall market value of $1 billion, but currently, 26 of altcoins have reached this height.

Interestingly, altcoins appeared because the software for bitcoin was open-sourced. It means that anybody could copy it and produce alternative coins. Currently, there are over 1,000 of them on the market. However, experts warn that lots of altcoins may have pump-and-dump patterns.

A rival on the horizon

There is a possibility that the next gold mine could become litecoin, established in 2011 and being the first massive altcoin.

Last week, Charlie Lee, who created this currency, wrote on Twitter, that it is getting “so much mainstream exposure.” He cautioned those, who want to pile into litecoin, that such investment won’t endure.

Litecoin seems to be more stable than the other ilks of bitcoin. However, “it has not been able to attract as many developers and businesses to it as bitcoin has, and that has limited its appeal somewhat compared with its larger peers,” Paul Vigna, the author of “The Age of Cryptocurrency”, wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

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