September has been perhaps the most consequential month of 2017 for Bitcoin, which has largely been surging throughout the year. At the time of this writing, the price has actually regained some strength, up above $4,000 after plummeting nearly to $3,000 just a few days ago. All the same, however, there are some troubling indications for the near future. Bitcoin’s value dropped about $600 in four days (and nearly $900 in about 12 days), thanks in part to Chinese regulators shutting down Bitcoin exchanges.
That anything could affect this market so drastically and suddenly is certainly disconcerting for those who have invested or who might consider doing so. Talk of Bitcoin being in a “bubble” has intensified of late, and it increasingly seems that when the cryptocurrency crashes, it crashes hard. That is to say, there may not be time for an investor to recognize a trend and sell off near a peak; in a day or two’s time, an investment can be wiped out.
Some have suggested that this could lead some “alternative” investors to look to gold once more. Gold has not been trading around current levels for almost four years, and one explanation could certainly be that people are abandoning cryptocurrency in favor of this old “safe haven.” The connection may seem random, but people have invested in gold and Bitcoin for similar reasons: namely, that they operate internationally, free of individual governments and financial regulators, and thus can be immune to issues that affect ordinary markets. That’s not to say they’re actually safe, but they’re sometimes perceived as such. So with Bitcoin struggling, gold may be viewed by some as a reasonable alternative.
However, another place to look might just be the Altcoin market. This is something a lot of people – even those who are fascinated by Bitcoin – may not be quite as aware of. And it doesn’t refer to a single alternative. Rather, Altcoins can be defined as any cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin. The market is actually flooded with them, and while some suffer from being the flavor of the week, the ones that stick around long enough to make names for themselves have become legitimate assets for potential investment. You may have heard names like Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Dogecoin. These are just some of many Altcoins that have been around and proven relatively reliable. That’s not to say you should rush to invest in them, but rather that they’re options worth exploring.
It was just earlier this month that an interesting article came out explaining that Altcoins are using the Bitcoin ecosystem and in some cases even its newest technologies to leapfrog forward and, essentially, take risks that the biggest fish in the pool can’t afford to take. This too makes it possible that a few Altcoins will begin to excel more if and when Bitcoin’s crash worsens – though it should be noted that none of them are anywhere near Bitcoin’s value and won’t be for some time.
All in all, it’s certainly something worth thinking about. If indeed it proves to be true that Bitcoin is in a risky bubble with the potential for a real, sustained crash, now may at least be the time to get familiar with some of the top Altcoins.