For new cryptocurrency traders, altcoins are attractive because they can potentially deliver the exponential returns Bitcoin and Ethereum experienced in their earlier days. However, with this high upside potential comes much more risk. Moreover, larger traders constantly manipulate the market to their advantage, and smaller traders may suffer as a result.
What If We Just Held Bitcoin?
Amidst political and economic turmoil surrounding cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Bitcoin has proven to perform better than top altcoins Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. The biggest cryptocurrency by market cap rose over 74 percent this quarter, while Ethereum rose 8 percent, Ripple fell 27 percent, and Litecoin rose 37 percent. Due to the anonymous nature of Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is truly the most decentralized cryptocurrency. There is no one entity controlling the path and vision of Bitcoin – and hence, it actually is a currency of the people.
Unlike most altcoins, Bitcoin has a proved usage case as a store of value. Altcoins try to position themselves for some differentiation based on much more niche use cases, such as prediction markets, anonymous purchasing, etc. However, Bitcoin has existed for almost 9 years without failure.
Bitcoin, as a currency, is much more accessible. It is on more exchanges. It is integrated into more software and has more hardware that supports it. It is more liquid and has daily volumes much greater than any other altcoin. Moreover, Bitcoin has the largest developer ecosystem. At this point, it would be extremely difficult for any altcoin to compete with Bitcoin. Although not impossible, the user base, development team, mining operations, startups, open source projects and entrepreneurs building with it would be challenging to top.
The HODL Philosophy
A initial typo of “hodl” instead of hold when referring to Bitcoin in a Bitcoin forum has grown to represent much more than it initially intended. An entire online movement has developed around this “hodl” philosophy, which has manifested itself as a pillar of the cryptocurrency community. “Hodl” means to constantly hold on to your Bitcoin, and when people are frightened by price dips, to buy more. Perhaps this misspelling of the word Bitcoin shed light upon the best crypto investment philosophy to date. Why gamble with young unproven altcoins when you can “hodl” a cryptocurrency that has proven itself as a store of value over the last 8 years?
Disclaimer: The Author of this article is long BTC, but has a portfolio of altcoins as well.