The title reads like a new cost competitor

Note nicholas colas at convergex


Bitcoin Wannabe Litecoin Emerges as Low-Price Challenger

Make way, bitcoin. There’s a competing digital currency angling for the spotlight.

Merchants and investors are taking notice of litecoin, which is pitched by its developers as cheaper to generate, more plentiful and easier to use for small transactions than bitcoin. While prices for both have slid since a surge late last year, litecoin’s remains about 490 percent higher than six months ago, compared with about 140 percent for bitcoin. Daily litecoin transactions also have climbed faster.

Sam Cole, co-founder of KnCMiner, one of the biggest mining companies, said equipment used for mining litecoins and similarly designed alternative currencies now accounts for 60 percent of sales.

‘More Accessible’

The maximum number of litecoins that can be mined is four times more than that for bitcoins, potentially making them more attractive to users and miners. Miners have more rewards to go around, while consumers may see litecoins as more affordable, even if bitcoins are typically spent in pieces.

“This will make litecoin appear more accessible, since its price will climb more slowly than bitcoin,” said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group, a trading services company in New York.

While both digital currencies can be used at online stores for services and products, such as cosmetics and video games, bitcoin is accepted more widely. Still, some merchants are paying attention to litecoins. Patrick Byrne, chief executive officer of Overstock.com Inc., said in an interview that the online retailer is considering accepting litecoins.

“It’s time I start looking hard at it,” said Byrne, whose Salt Lake City-based company accepts bitcoins. “We certainly want to be always at the forefront of accepting such currencies.”

“If something like a bitcoin failure does take place, litecoin is next in line and uses a different algorithm, so likely won’t fall with bitcoin,” said Colin Lusk, a networking engineer in Portland, Oregon, who mines and owns both currencies.