The stock market has nothing on cryptocurrency when it comes to stellar gains. While the S&P 500 index more than doubled in value in less than 18 months from the low point of the pandemic to its recent high, the total cryptocurrency market cap has risen from $163 billion to almost $2.7 trillion.

And more new cryptos are born every day. At the time of this writing, 30 new cryptocurrencies were added in just the last 12 hours alone. Not all of them will be worth your time, especially those named after a certain dog. And in fact, most probably won’t be.

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Even among the biggest, better-known coins, very few likely have long-term viability. Which is why, if you’re interested in investing in the sector, you should be very circumspect about where you put your money.

Yet there are some good reasons some of them will be winners that could return five, 10, or even 20 times your original investment. Here’s one that has a better chance than most after its value was dramatically cut.

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Making crypto accessible to the masses

Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) was the first widely adopted cryptocurrency, and for that reason alone it remains the most popular and most valuable of coins. 

Having been skeptical of its staying power, I remember telling a friend who bought Bitcoin between $600 and $900 to sell, sell, SELL!! when it hit $7,000, and that he was a fool for holding on to it at $15,000. Let’s just say I’m the one sitting with egg on my face today.

Today, Bitcoin is probably as mainstream as it gets, with companies like Tesla buying and accepting the coin, and asset managers like Grayscale Investments owning a sizable portion of bitcoin for the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. However, its attempt to create an exchange traded fund (ETF) linked to derivatives contracts, not actual bitcoin, has so far been thwarted by the SEC.

The popularity and success of Bitcoin paved the way for the 7,858 other cryptocurrencies that exist today.

Yet it’s not the only one, and arguably not even the best crypto, despite often being considered the gold standard of the industry. Instead, you might want to consider crypto’s “silver standard,” Litecoin ( LTC -0.34% ).

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A better bitcoin

Charlie Lee, Litecoin creator and founder of the Litecoin Foundation, describes the coin as a “light version of Bitcoin” as it was created from a modified version of Bitcoin’s source code. So while the two share a certain heritage, there are some important differences, notably its hashing function, speed of block generation, and availability of supply. 

I won’t pretend to understand all that goes on under the hood of coin creation, but the hashing function of a cryptocurrency is essentially the conversion of any form of data into a unique string of text to safeguard the data. Unlike encryption, hashing really can’t be reverse engineered, or decrypted. It’s a one-way road.

Also according to Lee, new blocks on the Litecoin network are generated every 2.5 minutes on average, or some four times faster than the Bitcoin blocks, which are being mined about every 10 minutes.

He also points out that where the total universe of Bitcoin is around 21 million tokens, there …….


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