Guest Post by David Scherber
Bitcoin is so far in front of other cryptocurrencies it can almost seem to render them irrelevant. Indeed, one of the main reasons people have had for paying attention to alternatives in the past is that some of them were more convenient for peer-to-peer transactions. But with the emergence of bitcoin cash – now itself one of the most valuable cryptocurrenceis – bitcoin even seems to have cornered this market. For serious investors, there’s bitcoin (which is fast assuming its reputation as the “new gold”). For those who want to use cryptocurrency, bitcoin cash is a perfectly suitable alternative.
But if bitcoin continues its sensational climb (and at least one expert sees it reaching $1 million by 2020), will it carry any traditional altcoins along with it? Specifically, will litecoin be along for the ride?
Despite being worth only a tiny fraction as much as bitcoin, litecoin has long been recognized as one of the top alternatives. It was one of the “original” virtual currencies, and is specifically designed to be higher volume than bitcoin, which to some makes it more accessible. With more litecoins eventually slated for circulation, an individual litecoin will be less than an individual bitcoin, even relative to the overall market cap. That makes it more suitable as a functional currency (simply because it’s more appealing to exchange, say, 0.5 litecoins than 0.0002 bitcoins).
For these reasons – its status as an original competitor, and its utility – litecoin remains a prominent alternative even if its value lags significantly behind bitcoin. But it’s now important to ask the question of whether it can follow bitcoin at a relatively similar pace, or if it’s going to be left behind as bitcoin catapults to ridiculous highs in value.
If we look to history for the answer, it’s actually a pretty straightforward one. As one analysis put it, bitcoin and litecoin are birds of a feather , having moved with a strong (and sometimes almost uncanny) correlation since 2013. More recently, during bitcoin’s incredible surge to over $11,000 from mid-November to early-December, litecoin actually rose at a faster pace. The popular altcoin rose close to 80 percent in a month, with bitcoin’s growth closer to 60 percent.
As for what that means for an actual price, it’s difficult to gauge. But at the time of this writing, bitcoin is at roughly $11,000, and litecoin at about $100 (give or take a little bit in either direction for both currencies – there’s a great deal of volatility). That means litecoin is worth about 0.009 bitcoin. So, if bitcoin hits $20,000, which now seems entirely possible, litecoin could be at about $180. It bitcoin ever hits $100,000, litecoin may be closer to $900. And if bitcoin reaches an incredible $1 million mark, litecoin could soar as high as $9,000.
None of these trends or prices are guaranteed, of course. But it’s a sort of smaller scale of potential cryptocurrency movement you may want to keep in mind if bitcoin’s surge has been catching your eye.