$1, $1,000, $1 mln; Bitcoin’s Price Doesn’t Matter, Its Existence Does



There’s little doubting that Bitcoin would not be where it is today - as an entity and in terms of its price - if it wasn’t for its pattern of monumental growth. This ‘Satoshi cycle’ of interest growing with price, growing more interest, has formed Bitcoin into somewhat of a financial titan.

This well-talked about titan is still in its infancy however, despite its high value. And while people continue to flood into the market in the hopes of not missing out, one must remember what else Bitcoin offers.

Is it a currency, or an asset?

This argument of currency over asset, or store of value, has raged on for some time now with a few strong factions forming. There are those who believe that Bitcoin, like the whitepaper says, is a currency and should be liquid enough and functional enough.

Then there are those who believe that Bitcoin is dead and Bitcoin Cash is the new Bitcoin, as it functions like a currency.

There are those who are calling Bitcoin digital gold and backing it as a new asset class for investors to store and profit from.

Cameron Winklevoss, Bitcoin’s first recognised Bitcoin billionaire with his twin brother, said recently:

"We've always felt that Bitcoin, given its properties, is gold 2.0 — it disrupts gold. Gold is scarce, Bitcoin is actually fixed.”

Either or, asset or currency, Bitcoin offers the man in the street a lot more power than he used to have when it comes to any form of financial movement. Investing or spending, with Bitcoin people are set free.

As a store of value

Through history investing has been ellitest and exclusionary, so much so that Silver had a run in the 70s and 80s because it was unguarded by Wall Street and had properties that appealed to the man on the street.

To that end, Mark Fisher a famed trader has likened Bitcoin to that silver run as everyday individuals are making their first major investment in Bitcoin, rather than stocks, bonds, gold or other highly controlled assets. Fisher said:

"The reason people are so attracted to Bitcoin is because people want something that's actually moved dramatically; there's no Wall Street to it. The thing that every cab driver is talking about all day long."

As a currency

Even though the ‘store of value’ camp may be winning the race to define Bitcoin at the moment, it still has the ability to be used as a currency and it has the properties of decentralization that again makes it highly important in this new era.

People no longer trust and appreciate banks for the way they have created the monetary system. Banks set high fees, waiting times and regulations on sending money - individuals own money - and that is starting to get on many people’s nerves.

Bitcoin may not function perfectly, having its own fees and waiting times, but it’s still a damn side better than banks when it comes to moving money. Its decentralized nature puts full control in the hands of the individual.

Be proud to be a Bitcoiner

There are those who have one eye on the stock ticker all day, ready to push the eject button when things get a little scary, but the fact of the matter is that Bitcoin is here to stay, and it should be celebrated for what it can do, not what price heights it can reach.

What Is Litecoin, and Why Is It Beating Bitcoin This Year?


With digital currency Bitcoin taking the spotlight in 2017, it’s hard to remember the other cryptocurrencies that have been growing in its shadow.

An increasingly-prominent example: Litecoin. The fourth largest digital currency by market capitalization has gone positively vertical this year, with Litecoin prices breaching $320 for the first time Tuesday. Since the start of 2017, Litecoin has risen 7,291% against bitcoin’s 1,731%.

So why the rise? There doesn’t seem to be a single event—though the recent surge in interest surrounding cryptocurrencies may have pushed some investors into becoming more adventurous. Some investors may also think the price of bitcoin is overdone—and are seeking other investment opportunities. Meanwhile, Litecoin only became somewhat easier to purchase earlier this year, with Coinbase adding the cryptocurrency to its listing.

What is Litecoin?

One of the several clone cryptocurrencies that stemmed from Bitcoin, Litecoin “forked” off the Bitcoin ledger in late 2011. It was intended to be the silver to Bitcoin’s gold: a faster, more lightweight version of the Satoshi Nakamoto-created cryptocurrency. Instead of the approximately 10 minutes it takes for a Bitcoin transaction, a Litecoin transaction only takes 2.5 minutes.

While making transactions four times faster, Litecoin’s creator also Charlie Lee quadrupled the maximum number of coins that can be mined. While bitcoin has a total of 21 million, Litecoin totals 84 million. And the total market value of Litecoin is currently lower: $18 billion to Bitcoin’s $291 billion. It is the fourth largest cryptocurrency market behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin cash.

The higher number of Litecoins, meanwhile, could make it psychologically more attractive to buy small-ticket items using the cryptocurrency.

“The vision is always I wanted Litecoin to complement bitcoin—not compete,” Lee said at a March Coinbase talk. “Bitcoin can be used for like moving millions of dollars between banks, buying houses, buying cars. It’s really secure… Litecoin can be used for cheaper things.”

Still, Lee has kept Litecoin simple and similar in technical ways to Bitcoin so that the cryptocurrency could “merge in” Bitcoin bug fixes with minimal effort.

Bitcoin has Satoshi Nakamoto. Litecoin on the other hand…

Has a former Google engineer.

Lee, a less shadowy figure than the pseudonymous Nakamoto, first got involved in Bitcoin in 2011. Not long after, he launched Litecoin, though not with the intention of actually creating an alternative cryptocurrency at first.

“It was an excuse to kind of learn the Bitcoin code,” he said during a March Coinbase talk. “I decided that I can actually create an altcoin that’s better than what’s out there. and lastly it was fun to play around with what’s out there.”

He got serious about Litecoin earlier this year, when he announced via Twitter plans to leave cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase during the summer.

While Nakamoto is no longer vocal about Bitcoin, leading current supporters to interpret his seminal white paper, those with questions about Litecoin need only ask Lee about his vision of cryptocurrency.

So why wasn’t it a failure like so many other early altcoins?

Unlike many other altcoins, when it first started, Litecoin was not too far behind Bitcoin. It first surpassed $1 billion in November 2013—about 8 months after Bitcoin.

One reason why Litecoin supporters didn’t ditch the nascent coin for Bitcoin is the different mining process, requiring hardware that is more widely available. While Bitcoin mining uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm, which requires ASIC microchip technology, Litecoin uses the Scrypt algorithm. Because Scrypt requires a larger working memory, most ASICs makers have been barred from developing a suitable technology. Instead, Litecoin is often mined on graphics cards or GPUs.