Bitcoin isn’t the only decentralised currency ter town, litecoin is built on similar technology and is considerably cheaper – but is enhancing te value just spil rapid. Alistair Charlton investigates.
Bitcoin’s surging value has made the crypto-currency amazingly appealing to those looking to make a quick buck. But widespread media coverage associating the currency with everything from pizza to space flights has driven its price up, putting purchasing even a single coin out of reach for many.
Gratefully for those looking to get involved ter the area there are a number of alternative digital currencies into which ‘real world’ money like pounds and dollars can be exchanged – either to pay for goods, or te the hope that they too will see enormous gains ter value, spil bitcoin has this year.
While professional investors and economics experts will tell you to avoid bitcoin trading like the plague, the temptation to recreate a Norwegian man’s good fortune of turning ?15 of bitcoins into ?550,000 te four years may prove too tempting for some to turn down.
The most vooraanstaand alternative is litecoin, a currency based on the same protocols spil bitcoin and introduced by former Google engineer Charlie Lee te 2009.
What’s the difference inbetween bitcoin and litecoin?
The main difference inbetween bitcoin and litecoin is the speed at which it can be mined. A block of 50 litecoins is mined by a combined network of miners every Two.Five minutes, whereas the same number of bitcoins takes ten minutes to samenvatting.
Chic from the speed of mining, this also makes litecoin transactions swifter, meaning payments for goods or services can be cleared swifter than those made by bitcoin – an demonstrable benefit for retailers.
Another difference is te the total number of coins produced. Litecoin mining will eventually create 84 million coins – four times spil many spil bitcoin.
Albeit te theory this suggests litecoin is the cheaper, more plentiful silver to bitcoin’s uncommon and expensive gold, since both coins can be divided into lil’ fractions, a comparison to real world commodities is difficult to make.
One litecoin is presently worth around ?6.27 according to LitecoinRates.com – significantly cheaper than bitcoin, which wasgoed worth ?510 at the time of publication.
But where bitcoin has led, litecoin looks set to go after – the currency spiked ter April just spil bitcoin did and crashed ter a similar way, before witnessing meaty gains through November. Spil bitcoin surged towards the $1,000 mark, litecoin grew at an identically prompt rate, up from $0.05 at the commence of the year, to a height of more than $Ten by mid-November. Litcoin may only be returning puny profits for now, but reminisce that bitcoin wasgoed worth less than $1 just a duo of years ago.
Graph demonstrating value of litecoin te US dollars since January. (LTC-charts.com)
Other than fledgling traders looking to turn a quick profit, many believe litecoin’s growing value is being caused by investors looking to spread their funds across numerous crypto-currencies to protect themselves from bitcoin’s volatility.
Richard Boase of crypto-currency webstek CoinDesk suggests the increase te value could be “investors attempting to diversify their crypto-currency portfolios ter an attempt to protect themselves from what many view spil an unpreventable crash after an historic high.”
Boase adds that litecoin’s unexpected spike “may be coming on spil investors and traders fresh to the crypto-currency toneel detect a plethora of exotic financial instruments, or it may be the collective voices of the crypto-currency xxx who lend their support to litecoin for ideological and technical reasons.”
Major exchanges like Tokyo-based Mt Gox are yet to embrace litecoin on the same scale spil bitcoin, which can even be withdrawn from special ATMs. Mt Gox said te August it wasgoed working on introducing litecoin to its trading toneelpodium, but it is yet to do so.
Right now, the easiest way to buy litecoins is through litecoinlocal.org, which lists sellers who are local to you. IBTimes UK found three sellers te London looking to sell inbetween ?1 and ?Two,000 worth of litecoins for inbetween ?7.79 and ?Ten.Legal vanaf coin.
Due to the lack of participation from the major exchanges, litecoins are more difficult to come by, with most exchanges running out spil soon spil the currency is made available, but those who have invested believe anyone interested ter the currency should be patient and keep attempting while the price is still low.
No one knows what will toebijten to litecoin – ter theory it should be no more stable than bitcoin, and many investors will likely get burnt – but spil the US and European countries proceed to investigate and accept thesis crypto-currencies, it is unlikely they will vanish any time soon.
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