Bitcoin has enjoyed a tremendous 2016 adding over 123% gain in value - from $430 in January 2016 to its current rate of $1000. This favorable ride in the year has had - and continues to have - varying impacts on its relationship with top alternative currencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and Dogecoin.
The year seems to be ending well for Litecoin as it seems to confirm Bitcoin’s end of the year rally. In the last seven days, Litecoin gained more than 25.7% to stand at around $4.60 ending the outgoing year as one of the top altcoins that have performed impressively.
Despite there were instances of a somewhat inexplicable correlation with the rise of Bitcoin a number of times, Litecoin maintained its steady approach almost through the year.
$4.60 tends to be the real value it reached in 2016 though it spiked to $5.66 for about three days in June but reverted to its start of year price of $3.49 almost immediately. Its prices also rose nearly 10% in August following words that the digital currency would be listed on Coinbase's GDAX trading platform.
The lowest dip after this bump came in November when the price reverted to around $3.55 which has since changed to what we have currently.
The correlation with Bitcoin and a breakthrough on trading platforms will increase its value slightly but Bitcoin block size limit which could lead to unprocessed transactions will be the ultimate foreseeable reason for more users to embrace Litecoin in 2017.
However, until that happens sending its price higher, the existence of the Ethereum protocol continues to question Litecoin’s focus as a payment method alongside Bitcoin.
Litecoin’s competitiveness with Ethereum - which had pushed it to the third place on the list of the world’s top digital currencies - may be revived in 2017 in a way that may thwart the Vitalik Buterin-led network to regain its position as a silver to Bitcoin’s gold.
Some issues did not make the second part of 2016 a good year for Ethereum. They include the series of Ethereum network forks - the fourth being the most recent in November and the failure of The DAO - or the Decentralized Autonomous Organization - which had earlier raised about $150 million based on trust from trading platforms.
However, Ethereum has some milestones to unveil in 2017 some of which had been delayed due to the forks. Restoring investor confidence to erode their seeming sense of dejection for trusting in the network’s potential to change particularly the face of the financial sector and how smart contracts could be used to improve how several day to day tasks are carried out will also be key.
If these two moves are achieved successfully next year, its asset, Ether, which had appreciated more than ten times in the past year, will spring up from its $8.20 price today.
With new Ethereum-based projects still springing up despite its hurdles, the Ethereum network has shown the world how the price of a cryptocurrency asset can move from $0.93 to about $20.
The network could emerge stronger in 2017 especially if the milestones are accomplished and new features are released such as the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) 101 and 105. It has tread the path of recovery before and recent market trends have shown that there is no parallel relationship between the price movements of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
This year has seen increased interest and growth in Dash. Its focus on merchants is strategic and would be highly beneficial as soon as its adoption has saturated the market.
It emerged the most used currency on the popular online shopping site in the cryptocurrency community, Purse, over Ethereum for a few months in a row this year. Bitwala added it to its crypto-to-SEPA service that allows fiat currency for global transfers; partnered debit card innovator Shake to allow customers to purchase goods and services from millions of merchants across the world.
Though rejected by Apple while Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum were approved to be used for mobile payment, Dash functionality is still available on seven other online platforms including Google and Android and it is pushing ahead with being accepted by other platforms.
Dash has also been highly involved in the South American crypto scene especially with Venezuelan Bitcoin trading platforms where there has been an economic crisis of enormous proportion.
So far, its changed concept to be the digital cash for the common man seems to be gaining traction.
Its transaction level has jumped from a paltry $106,408 in January to as much as $4.2 mln in August and currently at about $2.4 mln in a 24-hour period.
However, while this is not an indication of success against Bitcoin, it tends to show how useful the digital cash has been with its market cap increasing by almost $52 mln in 2016 only out of its $71 mln total market value.
More so, as it is also working to link with and fit into new product and service delivery models of commercial and financial institutions that are already subject to compliance requirements, 2017 looks promising for Dash. A steady and comfortable price of over $20 should not be an overestimate.
As the second main alternative to Bitcoin after Litecoin, Dogecoin’s huge growth prospects has been tagged with a plausible demise of Bitcoin for quite some time. It continues to be the case in 2016, a year which has not bode well for the currency.
After three years in existence, it has reverted below its market entry price of $0.000559 when it had $0 transaction - that is going by today’s price of $0.000227 even with over $283,962 worth of transaction over a 24-hour period.
Earlier in January this year, Dogecoin increased by almost 215% after a long period of sideways price action but it turned out to be a pump and dump that didn’t last. The other slight spike was in June. Everything else in between had moved in a parallel and was stable. This easily makes the currency somewhat predictable.
Going by this year’s record, except something significantly unexpected happens such as a massive bitcoin wallet hack - which is not an impossibility in the cryptoworld, the price of Dogecoin will remain low or even lower than what is obtainable presently by 2017. This is because the price of Bitcoin is not looking to tank yet and the usefulness of Dogecoin has not commanded the uniqueness that could make it the darling of many new users.