From WSJ | A “cryptocurrency” craze has spawned more than 80 entrants, from peercoin and namecoin, to worldcoin and hobonickels. In October and November alone, developers launched gridcoin, fireflycoin and zeuscoin. Bbqcoin has enjoyed a renaissance after a false start in 2012. Litecoin, launched in 2011, has turned into the strongest bitcoin alternative.

Litecoin is strongest alternative to Bitcoin

Litecoin has emerged as the strongest alternative to bitcoin, with a market capitalization of about $176.8 million as of late afternoon Wednesday, according to, which tracks the market capitalizations of virtual currencies.Litecoin is designed to process transactions four times faster than the bitcoin network while sacrificing some efficiency in the mining process, said litecoin creator Charlie Lee, who is now a software engineer at Coinbase Inc., a startup that seeks to make it easier for merchants to take bitcoin.

Litecoin = silver

A few vendors now accept litecoin, as well. For example, Bees Brothers, which sells honey and caramels in North Logan, Utah, takes bitcoin and litecoin. Some bitcoin supporters say they don’t feel threatened by litecoin. Jinyoung Lee Englund, a spokeswoman for the Bitcoin Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes bitcoin, said she thinks the currencies can coexist in the same way investors use more than one commodity as a store of value. “If bitcoin is like gold, litecoin is like silver,” she said.

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