As we witness the meteoric price rises of the world’s first cryptocurrency, many more investors have begun to take notice. Everyone is now seriously considering jumping onto the crypto market bandwagon – and rightly so. For the majority, the Bitcoin ship has already sailed, and current values are out of reach. At the time of writing this, Bitcoin is trading comfortably around the $59,000 mark. This is an astounding ten times the amount it was worth just one year ago!
So, with that in mind, financial opportunists are on the hunt for “The Next Bitcoin.” As there is so much potential profit to be gained from smart cryptocurrency investment, it comes as no surprise that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related terms have been consistently ranked one of the most searched on Google for the past few years.
But choosing the right cryptocurrency can be a daunting task. In the twelve years since the launch of the original, over 4 000 cryptocurrencies have spawned, and a whole new market has been created. With so many to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which one to invest in.
This article will examine one such cryptocurrency that many believe to be a possible contender in taking the mantle of “The Next Bitcoin” – we’re talking about Litecoin.
What Is Litecoin?
In 2011, an accomplished former Google employee and computer scientist named Charlie Lee created the first-ever Bitcoin fork, which resulted in the creation of Litecoin. Its inception was inspired by Charlie Lee’s vision to improve upon what he felt was lacking in the Bitcoin system.
Most of the protocols of Litecoin are adapted from the Bitcoin protocol, with some significant changes in the blockchain and mining implementation.
Consequently, the changes allow Litecoin to reduce the block time to an average of 2.5 minutes as opposed to the average block time of 10 minutes for Bitcoin. This all translates to a faster transaction rate than Bitcoin. Litecoin also has lower transaction fees than Bitcoin.
Furthermore, because Litecoin utilizes a mining algorithm called Scrypt, mining for Litecoin is much more power-efficient and accessible. The intensive memory algorithm forces calculations to be performed sequentially. This prevents monopolization of mining by those with higher computational power and application-specific integrated circuits, thus leveling the playing field. Therefore, successful mining is much fairer, and the lower equipment requirements are attractive for new and smaller miners.
Additionally, the total supply cap for Litecoin is 84 million, four times that of Bitcoin’s total supply.
Due to its close relationship with Bitcoin and the many similarities, combined with the reduced fees and smaller value – Litecoin is commonly perceived as the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold.”
Should I Invest in Litecoin in 2021?
According to 3Commas on Litecoin predictions and other reputable sources, the majority of forecasts from crypto experts seem to be generally positive. For the most part, the analysis seems to indicate that there will be an uptrend for Litecoin in 2021.
There is some variance in the possible price for Litecoin. This is due to the volatility of cryptocurrencies and the inexact nature of predicting future outcomes. But as you will gather from the following summary of predictions, things are looking up for Litecoin:
- Wallet Investor – lows of $120 – $170 and a maximum price of $240-$260;
- TradingBeasts – approximately $150 – $170 throughout the year, a maximum high of $220;
- Ripple Coin News – lows of %150 and highs of $230 by the end of the year;
- DigitalCoinPrice – an approximate high of $300, then correction to $250;
- Coin Price Forecast – approximately $500 by the end of the year;
- PrimeXBT – a maximum high of approximately $300 by the end of the year;
- Coinpedia – approximately $159 – $177 throughout the year, $198 at the end of the year;
- Crypterium – approximately $600 by the end of the year.
Litecoin has proven to stand the test of time as it has consistently continued to feature within the top 10 most popular cryptocurrencies for the better part of a decade. This evidence of longevity is an indication of security in investment. Furthermore, the close relationship with Bitcoin gives it an edge over other cryptocurrencies as price trends for Litecoin tend to follow that of its predecessor.
Another point of importance is public awareness and widespread use, both of which Litecoin also has an advantage over other cryptocurrencies. Currently, Litecoin is accepted by over 2000 merchants and stores worldwide – that number is set to increase. This makes it a progressively established form of payment, following in the footsteps of Bitcoin. In addition, the Litecoin brand has gradually been thrust into public consciousness through promotional sponsorships with high-profile partners, most notably those in the sports industry.
Litecoin also continues to improve its system, with the latest update just last year seeing the implementation of MimbleWimble Testnet that enhances the confidentiality and fungibility of transactions. Founder and chief Charlie Lee and his team of highly accomplished experts have expressed ambitions and motivations in developing Litecoin further, indicating that there could be more to come from the cryptocurrency in the near future.
Carolyn Coley is a blockchain reporter. She joined Smartereum after graduating from UC Berkeley in 2018.