Altcoins follow Bitcoin prices day to day, but go very different places in the long run.
According to an analysis of Telegram crypto chat group numbers posted on Twitter, Litecoin and Ripple are among the biggest losers of users since June 2018.
(Whaleclub went private so it’s the most accurate number for existing members after 2017 bull run)
Member loss is from June 2018 till April 2020 pic.twitter.com/Cy19Nz0PoS
— Aztek_Ƀtc (@Aztek_btc) April 15, 2020
Opinion: Reality eventually sets in
Part of the reason these coins were hit so hard might be because both lean on the same “it’s valuable because we agree it’s valuable” narrative as Bitcoin, but they don’t have the same price performance to back it up.
XRP was about 60 cents in mid June 2018. Today it’s under 20 cents.
Litecoin was dropping from $120 to $80 in June 2018, and today it’s about $40.
Bitcoin, by contrast, was bopping around $6,000 to $7,000 in June 2018, and it’s still about the same, or slightly higher, these days.
The Bitcoin and altcoin markets tend to mirror each other on a day to day basis, but when you look at the long term they can end up in very different places.
Litecoin, despite its “silver to Bitcoin’s gold” schtick, doesn’t really capture any value proposition that Bitcoin doesn’t already offer. It simply offers the exact same thing, except with substantially less likelihood of success and worse historical performance.
Price performance is pretty much the only thing that matters for these kinds of coins, and it’s a metric that can’t be convincingly faked for extended periods of time.
These days volunteer Litecoin developers are working to implement confidential transactions into LTC, to give it a level of privacy and fungibility that Bitcoin lacks.
On the one hand this would, if it ever happens, give something to set Litecoin part from Bitcoin. On the other hand Litecoin’s market cap already looks to be about as big as that of every major privacy coin combined, so it probably doesn’t pay to expect too much from confidential transactions in Litecoin.
Ripple is perhaps in even more dire straits, because it was actually trying to run a business and create a working product, but at the end of the day its product is not being used. After more than half a decade of trying to sell the idea of XRP Ledger to financial services with no clear success, you eventually have to eventually concede that it’s missing the mark.
What financial institutions and other businesses want from blockchain is considerably more complex than what Ripple can provide, and it’s quite clear that if Ripple was going to take off, it would have happened by now.
In the absence of customers, Ripple’s big revenue generator is dumping XRP on its community, who has been increasingly unhappy with the arrangement, and realising that the entire thing smells a lot like a MLM scheme; a company manufactures the product (XRP) and then sells it to affiliates. The affiliates then set about evangelising the product and trying to profitably sell it onwards at a higher price.
It almost certainly started with the best of intentions, but right now that vision of future adoption is just about all that separates Ripple from being a multi-level marketing scheme.
And as the shrinking base of XRP supporters suggests, it’s a an increasingly thin line.
Whether XRP suddenly implodes one day, or just gradually deteriorates into irrelevancy, probably depends on whether an external factor can hit it before the internal ones.
Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.
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