LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin’s weathered hacks, heists, booms and busts to reign as the king of cryptocurrencies through its first decade. But now there’s a fresh challenge to its dominance of the fledgling market: some 2,000 smaller digital coins.
Collectively, “altcoins” are gaining ground on their bigger cousin. Individually, they are gaining traction among users, gathering communities of developers and users often deeply devoted to their goals.
Bitcoin - % - Crypto - Market - %
Bitcoin now accounts for around 60% of the $240 billion crypto market, down from nearly 90% just over two years ago. That fading dominance reflects tough times for the original cryptocurrency since its late 2017 apex.
Bitcoin has almost doubled in value this year, rallying nearly 30% in recent days to touch its highest level in ten months on Tuesday. But last year it lost three-quarters of its value.
Volatility - Investors - Pension - Funds - Asset
That volatility has put off mainstream investors from pension funds to asset managers who are seen as crucial to bitcoin’s growth from speculative token to established asset.
Bitcoin has also struggled for traction as means of payment, its intended usage. Few but cryptocurrency diehards go shopping with the digital currency.
Enter - Altcoins
Enter the altcoins.
Binance Coin and Bitcoin Cash, Tether, Monero and Dash: The diversity of their names reflects myriad protocols and groups of users, traders and developers behind them.
Volatility - Payments - Growth - Tussle - Analysts
They also suffer from high volatility and few are used for mainstream payments. But playing out in their growth is a slow-burn tussle that analysts and academics describe as a race to find the answers to bitcoin’s flaws. It’s one that could shape the evolution of cryptocurrencies and related technologies like blockchain.
For an interactive version of the graphic below, click here https://tmsnrt.rs/2LCmWq4
MONEY - THE - INTERNET
MONEY OF THE INTERNET?
The two biggest altcoins, Ethereum and XRP, together account for about a fifth of the coin market, with respective circulations of $22 billion and $17 billion. Others, with names...
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