Today has been an exciting day for the digital currencies bitcoin and litecoin. As of this writing bitcoin is up 4.36% in the past hour alone, topping off at $944.99 on Mt Gox. Litecoin is off the charts in terms of growth over the past month, surging from $4 at the beginning of November to a new high of $16.86.
In trading this is what’s known as a sympathy play. This is when a stock, or in this case digital currency, follows another stock’s path. Sympathy plays tend to lag the main play, so it’s likely that we will see litecoin piggyback off of bitcoin’s recent success which could stabilize bitcoin or potentially slow down growth.
I’ve been following litecoin closely since October and I think it’s safe to say that today has been litecoin’s shining moment. Max Keiser agrees.
Many people speculate that litecoin is the silver to bitcoin’s gold. While this topic is debated, some argue that as bitcoin rises in value over time it will become more sensible to use a smaller currency for everyday transactions. Think of litecoin as the change in your pocket and bitcoin as your large assets and savings.The biggest argument from the bitcoin community against litecoin is bitcoin’s ability to be broken down into uBTC, or fractional pieces of one bitcoin, which renders litecoin obsolete and essentially a pure speculation play. This, of course, is if the entire world decides that bitcoin is the digital currency of preference. I see a future where multiple digital currencies are being utilized by different parts of the world. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, but what would need to happen for litecoin to gain traction?
You can see quickly where micro transactions become important in daily life as adoption increases. As of this writing there are over 1,060 merchants listed on the coinmap.org website that accept bitcoin. The site is adding roughly 50-100 new merchants on a daily basis. It’s an important resource, check it out and go support your local bitcoin businesses. As litecoin continues to grow more exchanges will take it on, specifically Mt. Gox and Coinbase.
When this happens, expect to see massive growth in both litecoin and bitcoin. Adoption by these exchanges will also make it easier for merchants to start accepting litecoin. Many of the businesses listed on coinmap.org already utilize Coinbase for transactions,including the Subway owner I visited last week, so it would mean a matter of one app update for litecoin merchant adoption to be instantaneous. I even recently found a local guitar shop that accepts bitcoin and I will be visiting later this week to get his thoughts on both bitcoin and litecoin.
That being said some of the litecoin developers have commented on these microtransaction issues before:
One of Litecoin’s core goals is efficiency. If you ran a business, would you waste your accountant’s time tracking millions of transactions a thousandth or millionth of a dollar in value? It makes no sense for everyone to bear the costs of storing these many meaningless microtransactions in a global ledger forever.
Litecoin is NOT for microtransactions. If you want microtransactions you either want an offchain tx processor or another alt coin. For example, Bitcoin is a good choice for microtransactions with many recipients.-wtogami
Remember, either way: If you really want to support digital currency’s longterm success, you need support bitcoin/litecoin businesses by making purchases.
4. Go to Coinbase and send your bitcoin to this address. (Note: takes 4 days if you are a new Coinbase user).
5. Wait for your bitcoin to be deposited on BTC-E (aprox 1 hour).
6.On the “trade” tab, exchange bitcoin for litecoin.
Congratulations, you now own litecoin.
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