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About a year ago, I casually predicted to a friend of mine that Litecoin is going to be the best competitor for Bitcoin.

That prediction got me a steak dinner and a pint of beer.

A year later, with each Litecoin (LTC) valued at approximately $35 (as of this writing) and a market capitalization of close to a billion dollars, looks like I was on the right track with my predictions.

I just wish I had more on the line than a steak dinner.

Unfortunately, there are far too many people who either don’t understand Litecoin or go out of their way to talk negatively about this alternative crypto-currency for various reasons.

If you have invested heavily in Bitcoin, you shouldn’t be threatened by Litecoin at all, in fact,  you should allocate a portion of your Bitcoin earnings into Litecoin. Litecoin is a fantastic compliment to Bitcoin.

Also, I highly discourage you from paying attention to the chatter on BTC-E. Every single person that participates in the BTC-E chatterbox has an I.Q equivalent to that of a potato, so it’s pointless to waste your time on it.

If you must check the current price on Litecoin, use something data driven like Bitcoin Wisdom.

Anyway, I am going to highlight some of the reasons why I believe Litecoin is here to stay.

You might find this post useful, especially if you are new to either Litecoin or crypto-currencies in general.

For starters…

– As of this writing, Bitcoin has established itself as THE crypto-currency and owns the lion share of the market. More merchants also accept Bitcoin as opposed to any other currency. While Bitcoin has certainly paved the way and legitimized the notion of virtual currencies, it lacked a true competitor until Litecoin started to gain traction. It’s a common mistake to assume that the newcomer (i.e. Bitcoin) is the best by default. I beg to differ. I am not saying Litecoin will replace Bitcoin (it won’t), but I am saying that Litecoin will be the strongest alternative crypto-currency next to Bitcoin. Billionaire Mark Cuban certainly agrees.

– Litecoin is much faster. Block(s) are generated in ~2.5 minutes instead of ~10 minutes for Bitcoin. Excellent for day-to-day transactions. Litecoin also has a larger number of coins as opposed to Bitcoin. These are decent reason(s), but not compelling enough in my opinion.

– Litecoin has the potential to be more decentralized than Bitcoin, this has interesting political/economic implications in the future. Imagine a motivated adversary having a much more difficult time penetrating/attacking the Litecoin network as opposed to other crypto currencies.

– Litecoin brings stability. Generally, it’s a bad idea to have a monolithic entity controlling the entire market – this is especially true with crypto-currencies. What if the Bitcoin network goes down or you are unable to use Bitcoin for whatever reason? It’s always good to have an alternative. This breeds stability in the crypto-currency ecosystem and that’s where Litecoin comes in.

– The founder of Litecoin is an ex-Googler who left Google to join Coinbase, which is a venture backed silicon valley startup that’s quickly gaining to be the Paypal of crypto-currencies. This is a huge credibility plus, not only for crypto-currencies, but for Litecoin. The media likes it when a name and a face stands behind an alternative currency as opposed to some anonymous Asian dude. (i.e. satoshi) Don’t be surprised to see Charlie Lee doing media appearances on CNN and explaining how crypto currencies work to the general population.

– As of now, Crypto-currencies are a pain in the ass for the average person to obtain. (Don’t believe me? Go ask your grandma if she knows how to buy a Bitcoin) Imagine when non-geeks are able to simply sign up on a website (or through a mobile app) and immediately start buying crypto currencies without having to understand any technical details. That’s where Coinbase is headed. Coinbase lets you link up your bank account and initiate a transaction instantly. I believe that Coinbase is going to be the Paypal of crypto-currencies. It might seem too early in the game (it is), but there are some serious implications (like merchants having 0% fees for the first million, no chargebacks, near instant transactions etc..) ten years down the line, if Coinbase balloons up alongside crypto currencies.

– Purchasing Litecoin is STILL not an option on Coinbase and major crypto-currency exchanges, which means – when Litecoin is inevitably added to all the major exchanges, more people are going to have access to Litecoin and the demand is going to increase substantially.

If you are interested in an in-depth comparison of Bitcoin and Litecoin, see here.

A few more notes…

There are a shitload of crypto-currencies out in the wild as of this writing, but the only other crypto-currency that I consider worth looking into is Litecoin. The rest of the crypto-currencies are mostly just clones of existing currencies with minor parameter/code alterations made to produce a pump and dump scam — at least, that’s how it looks like from where I stand.

Any idiot could start a new chain and come up with a new crypto-currency right now with a cool sounding name, so I would steer clear.

Despite the huge number of currency imitators, It is worth noting that, there are still a few experimental crypto-currencies that are exploring interesting and worthy cryptographic implementations. I hope this continues well into the future as the absolute best ones will inevitably rise to the top.

Until then, Litecoin is going to be Bitcoins little brother.

..and that’s why Litecoin is definitely here to stay.