For many casual observers of the altcoin phenomenon, digital currency is synonymous with Bitcoin. The most high-profile of these alternative currencies, Bitcoin has spawned a host of duplicates and competitors in the little less than a decade for which it has been in existence.
However, with its reputation taking a hit following what many commentators consider a bursting of the Bitcoin bubble, mainstream news outlets have been looking beyond the cryptocurrency behemoth to see what lies beyond.
Litecoin has proven consistent
Of Bitcoin’s direct competition (that is, those altcoins ranked among the top ten) Litecoin has been the most consistent. Established in the tail end of 2011 by its founder Charlie Lee, it was one of the first large diversions from the initial Bitcoin Core model. Lee, who counts both Google and Coinbase on his CV, gathered together a strong development team to create a new cryptocurrency that would offer instant transactions anywhere across the world.
While it is based on Bitcoin’s core code, Litecoin has blossomed into something that outperforms Bitcoin at almost every level apart from its cash value. Its processing time is at least four times quicker than Bitcoin’s own, and its blockchain is capable of handling a far higher volume of transactions even when scaling. Not only is it four times faster, but its supply of coins is also four times greater than the market leader (84 million, as compared to 21 million – enough to see it through to 2142, according to analysts).
The future of Litecoin
All of which is very interesting, but how does Litecoin hope to compete in the future? Even with all its recent troubles, Bitcoin remains miles ahead of the pack in terms of market reach and value, so where does this leave Litecoin?
Since the market crop of December 2017, most altcoins have been playing catch-up, experiencing a two to three week delay before Bitcoin’s fortunes affect their own. The exception is Litecoin, whose rises and falls these last few months have mirrored Bitcoin’s almost exactly.
Analysts are suggesting that this means the two rivals are now evenly matched in terms of percentage growth and, when the next surge in cryptocurrency takes place, rather than lagging behind with the likes of NEO, Ripple and Ethereum, Litecoin will be in the vanguard, experiencing the same levels of casual investment as its more famous forebear.
Of course, nothing is ever certain in the markets, particularly in a comparatively new one like cryptocurrency, but this would seem to put Litecoin’s future in a very rosy position, running alongside the market leader, rather than in its slipstream.
I’m Phillip Nunn, a cryptocurrency and blockchain specialist. Explore my blog further for more of my thoughts on the future of blockchain technology.