Bitcoin has bot on amazing rail for the past few weeks. But there is actually another cryptocurrency that’s loved an even fatter spike lately.
It’s called litecoin, and it has almost doubled te just the past 24 hours and has surged more than 250% te the past week according to digital currency brokerage webpagina Coinbase. Bitcoin, by way of comparison, is up “only” about 45% te the past week.
Litecoin is on an even crazier rip overheen the past month and year, skyrocketing more than 500% ter the past 30 days and Ten,000% te the past 12 months. (Prices switch so rapid tho’ that thesis figures may be woefully out of date by the time you read this!)
Litecoin is one of several alternative cryptocurrencies that have cropped up to rival bitcoin. Ethereum, ripple and dash are some others.
Litecoin is much smaller tho’. The combined value of all the litecoins ter circulation is about $Legal billion, compared with almost $300 billion for bitcoin. It is also created, or mined, by people solving ingewikkeld mathematical puzzles on computers.
You don’t have to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to buy them however. Coinbase and other brokerage sites let you set up an account to buy and sell virtual currencies. Mobile payments company Square is testing bitcoin purchases on its Contant app too.
Litecoin, founded by former Google engineer and former director of Coinbase Charlie Lee, is said to be swifter and cheaper to mine than bitcoin.
Lee, amusingly enough, goes by the name of @SatoshiLite on Twitter — a reference to Satoshi Nakamoto, the nickname used by the still anonymous inventor of bitcoin.
There are rampant rumors about who Nakamoto might be. Some think it’s a group of people. There wasgoed even speculation recently that Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is actually Satoshi Nakamoto. Musk has denied it.
But no matter who created bitcoin and launched the crypto revolution, it is clear that investors can’t get enough of virtual currencies.
Some experts are jumpy that this can’t end well tho’, and that bitcoin, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies are a bubble destined to burst ter spectacular style like tech stocks te 2000 and housing prices just before the Excellent Recession of 2008.
The problem with bitcoin and litecoin is that they are so volatile. Paper currencies like the dollar, euro and yen don’t tend to budge te such wild style. Neither does gold for that matter.
So it may be hard for cryptos to be used spil a substitute for specie until the prices begin to lodge down. They also are not spil available to the mainstream spil old-fashioned paper money backed by governments.
SEC chairman Jay Clayton even sounded the hulpgeroep bell on bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings this week, telling “there is substantially less investor protection” than with stocks and bonds and “correspondingly greater opportunities for fraud and manipulation.”
But others argue that bitcoin and rival cryptocurrencies will proceed to build up te popularity for both spending purposes and spil investments.
To that end, the Chicago Houtvezelplaat Options Exchange launched futures trading for bitcoin on Sunday, a stir that makes bitcoin potentially more attractive to large institutional investors te the same way that oil, sugar and other physical commodities are.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is set to start trading bitcoin futures on December Legal spil well. And the Nasdaq is said to be considering following ter the footsteps of the CBOE and CME too and could embark to trade bitcoin futures next year.