Thursday 4 July 2019 4:34 pm Talk

Litecoin: latest predictions as LTC surges against dollar

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Dan Atkinson writes for

Litecoin, probably the best-known cryptocurrency that isn’t Bitcoin, is on a roll.

Along with its better-known rival, Litecoin is on the up and up, and Litecoin predictions have its value heading higher still.

Some see the Litecoin future price in an almost vertical climb to reach and then exceed its December 2017 peak. Others are more cautious.

But on all sides, the big question now is will Litecoin rise further?

No mystery about founder

Before trying to answer that question, perhaps we ought to start with another – what is Litecoin? 

As with Bitcoin, it is a cryptocurrency. While private types of money have existed for millennia, cryptocurrencies came into existence as a specific consequence of the growth of digital on-line communications technology harnessed to vast amounts of computing power.

Not only could Litecoin, Bitcoin and the rest not have existed in the Victorian era, they couldn’t have existed in 1960 or even 1980.Litecoin was launched in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and originally from the Ivory Coast. From 2007 to 2013, he was a software engineer at another of the great names of the digital revolution, Google.

Litecoin was launched in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and originally from the Ivory Coast. From 2007 to 2013, he was a software engineer at another of the great names of the digital revolution, Google.

The lack of mystery concerning Litecoin’s founder is in stark contrast to the position with Bitcoin, whose mysterious progenitor Satoshi Nakamoto has never been satisfactorily identified and may not even exist.

Inflation-proof, in theory

As with Bitcoin, Litecoins are created on computer ledgers and are not managed by any central authority. There is a limit to the number of Litecoins that can be “mined” – exchanged for conventional currency – meaning the system is, in theory at least, not prone to inflation.

There are currently just over 60 million coins in circulation, and the upper limit is 84 million. When that is reached, the only way to buy Litecoin will be to approach someone who is already holding it and make an offer.This ought to mean, again in theory, that Litecoin investing is something of a one-way bet, given that the supply of new coins will be shut off at some point. As has long been said about investing in real estate, they aren’t making it anymore.

But given that real-estate investment is notoriously prone to booms and busts, that is not as reassuring as it could have been.

And as with all cryptocurrencies, the comfort of the ceiling on coin production lasts only so long as its creators observe it. Time was when central banks issued notes with a “promise to pay” a certain quantity of gold in exchange for the note in question. Then they ceased to do so. 

Who is to say one or more cryptocurrency issuer will not similarly change their minds?

Such thoughts do not seem to trouble those currently engaged in Litecoin investing. Litecoin is currently changing hands at just over $123. A month ago, on 4 June, each coin was worth $102.14, and a year ago, on 4 July 2018, the value was $85.40.

What’s the difference?

Litecoin’s all-time peak, on 15 December 2017, was $306.87.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin has similarly basked in investor approval. Currently trading at about $11,165, it was just $7,670.96 a month ago, on 4 June, and a year ago, on 4 July 2018, it traded at $6,587.24.

Again, the peak was on 15 December 2017, at $19,650.01.

So, from here on out, will Litecoin rise? Some believe so, not least whoever posted an on-line declaration that: “Litecoin is not a bubble!”

The trouble is, of course, that it has been so in the past, along with most brands of cyber money. That December 2017 peak was followed by a torrid 2018 as numerous problems built up for cryptocurrency operators: the threat of tougher regulation, suggestions that some cryptocurrency launches had been rigged and a drift of investors back to dollar assets in the belief that US interest rates were going to rise.

That the next move in US rates is likely to be downwards may well be one factor propelling Litecoin and others higher, given the attraction of dollar-denominated assets is reduced. 

The big question has to be: is it worth investing in Litecoin? Or, perhaps to rephrase it slightly, why invest in Litecoin when you can invest in Bitcoin, the market leader? After all, it is not as if there are any great differences between the two – both are accepted by an increasing number of providers of jobs and services and both rely on similar, if not identical, technology.

True, Litecoin boasts faster transaction times than Bitcoin, but that would seem to be the main technical division between them. 

Wide user base

However, technology isn’t everything. As mentioned earlier, Litecoin is utterly transparent about its founder and its history, in contrast with Bitcoin. Investors may well prefer to entrust their money to someone whose name and face are well known and who can thus be held to account.Furthermore, as Wealth Daily has pointed out, Litecoin’s coin-production ceiling is higher than that of Bitcoin. “This actually works in Litecoin’s favour,” it said, because people like to pay in round numbers. “Litecoin will eventually have more coins on the market than Bitcoin. And that appeals to consumers who want a simple, effective digital currency…People like to pay with full numbers.”

That said, the nagging question, raised before, just won’t go away – just how many cryptocurrencies does the world need? Currently there are about 1,600, although the vast majority are of little account.

But among the largest, those that are used in everyday life and traded, there is still a crowded field, taking in RippleEthereum and Steem.  Even if you don’t take the view that cyber money is a natural monopoly, it would seem that some consolidation is on the cards.

Litecoin should be well-placed to come out at or near the top in any future shake-up. Its technology is admired and its user base is wide. 

All cryptocurrency investment is, of course, something of an adventure. But that may well be part of the fun.

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