Tag Archives: litecoin

My Litecoin story, or the build vs buy question

“I have some money to invest—should I use it to build a mining rig, or should I simply buy [insert cryptocurrency of choice] directly?” That’s probably the most common question I hear from people looking to get into digital currency.

I was facing this same question when I decided to jump into Litecoin in early 2013. I’d done some casual single-GPU Bitcoin mining in prior years, but I wanted to make a more substantial investment into cryptocurrency this time around. I waffled a bit between building my own rig or simply buying LTC directly before eventually settling on mining. Read on for my reasoning, how things turned out for me, and how they would have been different had I taken the “buy” path.

Is this another cryptocurrency bubble?

No doubt most of you have been following the explosive increase in cryptocurrency valuations over the past month. The price of one ether has risen about 400% in the past 30 days. The value of Bitcoin has doubled over the same period, with a single coin trading at an all-time high of nearly $2,500. Litecoin has similarly more than doubled in value.

In short, it’s starting to feel like late 2013 again. For those of you that weren’t around the last time this happened, this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen runaway valuations on cryptocurrency. In the span of 30 days between late October and November of 2013, Bitcoin saw its value increase roughly 500% to a then-high of over $1,000. Over that same one-month period in 2013, Litecoin saw a meteoric ~2500% (!) rise from about $2 to nearly $50.

If you were in the cryptocurrency game back then, you may remember that I urged caution to potential investors as digital currency prices continued to set new price records daily. Less than a month after I published my 2013 correction prediction, prices started to decline, and a few months later they were back to roughly pre-bubble levels. Lots of folks that bought BTC or LTC during the insane price run-up decided to panic sell on the way down, and some people lost a considerable amount of money.

I write this simply to remind everyone to stay sane when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency, especially if you’re thinking about committing money that you really can’t afford to lose. Price increases like the ones that we’re currently witnessing aren’t normal, and are mostly being driven by speculative greed—not new developments or adoption (and for evidence of this claim, look no further than the recent ~1000% price increase on Dogecoin, an essentially joke currency that’s been dormant for three years). When prices eventually reach a level that can’t be sustained (and admittedly, there might be quite a bit of additional increase before that!), expect a sell-off to follow.

Somewhat related: this is why I like mining. If I’m investing $1,500 today and use it to buy ETH directly, then I’ll be really disappointed if the price drops to zero tomorrow, as I’ve lost 100% of my investment. If I build a $1,500 mining rig with the expectation that I’m going to mine ETH and eventually turn a profit, then I’ll certainly be disappointed if the ETH price drops to zero tomorrow—but I’ll still have $1,500 worth of computer hardware that I can re-purpose or sell.

Litecoin available to trade on Coinbase

Coinbase, widely regarded as one of the largest and most trustworthy cryptocurrency exchanges, has finally added support for Litecoin as of a few minutes ago. Their LTC price is currently all over the place—immediately rising to nearly $35 before backing down into the low $20s (other exchanges are listing LTC at around $20). It’ll be interesting to watch the price over the next few hours/days.

Coinbase CEO confirms Litecoin support coming

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has confirmed via Twitter that Litecoin support is finally on the way. A recent press release hinted that Coinbase might be eyeing LTC, but this is the first time Armstrong has publicly acknowledged implementation plans. No time frame was mentioned, but this is good news for Litecoin regardless!

Charlie Lee jokingly predicts $14 LTC price, market reacts

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, tweeted on Monday that he expected Litecoin to hit $14/coin when SegWit* activates. The prediction was tongue-in-cheek, based on obviously funny math, but that didn’t stop cryptocurrency traders from reacting. Litecoin’s price rose 10% shortly after Lee’s tweet, and it’s been steadily climbing since then—to about $12/coin at the time of this post.

*SegWit is a soft fork of Litecoin’s code base that will potentially bring about many benefits if/when it passes. For the fork to happen, 75% of miners need to signal support for SegWit over a two-week period. As of right now, it appears that roughly 70% of miners are on-board.

Coinbase to finally offer support for Litecoin?

A press release from New York’s Department of Financial Services dated yesterday reveals that Coinbase has been granted approval to offer Litecoin services to its users.

Coinbase is widely regarded as the premier Bitcoin exchange. Last July, they added support for Ethereum, prompting many to wonder when (or if) support for Litecoin was coming. The press release seems to be confirmation that Coinbase is at least laying the groundwork for LTC support.

Forbes names Litecoin the best investment for time travelers going back to early 2013

Forbes published an article today that highlights the tremendous earning power of Litecoin for anyone that had the foresight to buy-in a year ago—it handily beat out top stocks, gold, and even Bitcoin to earn its spot as the top investment of 2013. From the article:

The best way to spend a c-note on January 1, 2013 was on competing cryptocurrency Litecoin. Worth seven cents then, its value increased along with Bitcoin’s, reaching $23 by December, or 328 times its initial value. That means a $100 investment in Litecoin last year would be worth $30,000 now.

No doubt many of you did tremendously well with Litecoin last year. Hopefully 2014 will continue the trend!

Expect a correction on these runaway cryptocurrency valuations

It’s been exciting watching litecoin go from ~$10 to ~$30 over the past 48 hours, and seeing bitcoin punch through $1000 today. But I’d urge everyone to not make any rash decisions about dumping large amounts of cash into crypto, with the hopes of riding this crazy train to riches. The current growth is mostly being driven by rampant speculation, and it isn’t sustainable.

Litecoin 24 hour performance

Litecoin performance over the past 24 hours on btc-e.com

There will very likely be a correction at some point in the near future. Given the massive growth of litecoin, and bitcoin passing through the $1000 barrier, you can also expect a lot of mainstream media attention in the coming days—so we might actually see an even crazier price run-up before prices return to saner levels. But anyone that doesn’t expect a short-term correction is probably in denial.

In my opinion, before these kinds of valuations are justified, we need to see far more acceptance of cryptocurrency from merchants, and we need consumers that are willing to actually spend their coins on everyday purchases—instead of hoarding them in the hopes of a huge payday. In the case of altcoins, we also need better support from the major trustworthy payment processors and exchanges. Progress is being made on all fronts, but we have quite a ways to go. I believe we’ll get there, but it won’t happen overnight.

I’m absolutely not suggesting that you should exit your position in crypto immediately, and then re-buy after the inevitable correction occurs. Trying to time the market requires a lot of luck, and will likely result in regret for most of those that attempt it. I still absolutely believe in the $50+ prediction for Litecoin that I made 2 weeks ago (LTC was $4/coin then!), I just didn’t expect that we’d be more than halfway there before reaching the end of the month! If you agree that Litecoin has a potentially bright future, then the best move for most of you is to simply not panic when the inevitable correction happens.

Keep calm and continue mining. Try to not get caught up in the price hype, although I’ll be the first to admit that it’s certainly fascinating to watch.

Max Keiser predicts $50+ for Litecoin

Looks like Max Keiser agrees with my long-term prediction for Litecoin. He tweeted this morning that he expects Litecoin to hit $50.

LTC hit a record high earlier today, reaching nearly $6.50 before pulling back a bit.

On mining profitability

With the price of litecoin and bitcoin on the rise, I’ve received a tremendous amount of email over the past couple weeks from people wanting to know whether or not it’s “too late” to get into mining. Or how soon one can expect to break even on a new mining rig purchase. Or what my predictions are for the future value of cryptocurrency in general. I’ve responded to many of you already, but it probably makes more sense to post something here publicly.

Full disclosure: I don’t have a crystal ball. I have no idea what the future holds with regard to bitcoin or litecoin valuation. There are far to many variables and unanswered questions—especially on the regulation front—to make predictions with a high degree of confidence. However, I’d be happy to share some observations that I’ve made over the past few years, and offer my 2 cents in a general sense. Read on if you’re interested.