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How Do the Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns Compare?

Before you invest hundreds of dollars into altcoins, you need to know what to expect in the Bitcoin vs Altcoins returns debate.

Investing is an act that is done for one primary reason: because we want to see returns. The return can be personal, such as wanting to see a business or a person succeed—or it can be financial, such as wanting to make money off an investment. 

In the world of finance, people want to invest in cryptocurrencies because it can make them a ton of money. Bitcoin has proven to be a very profitable investment for many, but there's more to this investing trend than just Bitcoin. Plenty of altcoins like Litecoin also exist and they may be a better option for a new investor. 

Before you plunk down your hard-earned money to invest, you need to read up on Bitcoin vs Altcoins returns. Here's the scoop on what you should expect from both cryptocurrency trends, and which option wins on every front. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: The Risk

Both Bitcoins and altcoins have a lot of risk attached to them, simply because of the nature of cryptocurrency also being criminal currency. Currently, there really are no government-backed, government-guaranteed cryptocurrencies out there. 

However, Bitcoin tends to attract the most speculators as well as the most scammers. This, in turn, puts Bitcoin as a riskier choice for most. The major hack earlier in 2014 proved that even savvy Bitcoin investors can lose it all because of theft; who's to say that won't happen again?

That being said, a lot of altcoins aren't much better. The high volatility can easily mean an overnight crash. This could be terrible, but since they are affordable to begin with, that also leaves them with a lot more ease of recovery.

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: The Transaction

Most altcoins trade faster and cheaper than Bitcoin, so in terms of transaction ease, altcoins with this one. That being said, buying Bitcoin is not typically part of a person's scope of return on investment. So, unless you find the act of buying to be its own reward, you'll disregard that. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: Reputation

By reputation alone, Bitcoin wins. It's the most stable currency right now, simply because it's the most heavily traded and the most well-known. People feel safe investing in Bitcoin, and that's not something to be taken lightly. 

If Bitcoin's bubble pops, people will still trade them. The same cannot be said with cryptocurrencies that aren't so widespread. With other digital currencies, there's no saying that a typical cryptocurrency exchange will continue to trade them if the crypto-boom doesn't continue. 

For unlucky investors, investing in an altcoin that folds could end up being a serious financial gaffe that could cost them thousands. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: Potential

With a ridiculously large market cap of approximately $250 billion on any given day, it's hard to see Bitcoin doubling in price anytime soon. The law of big numbers suggests that it will take a serious amount of effort and hype to make it happen, and it's doubtful Bitcoin will be able to continue its trajectory. 

Altcoins, on the other hand, have smaller prices and larger maximum amounts of coins. The end result? A higher potential for a larger market cap, and way more potential for profit. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: The Price

Altcoins have an extremely low price compared to Bitcoin, period. Right now, Bitcoin is trading at around $10,000 per coin. Altcoins, though, can be as cheap as a couple of pennies. So, if you're on a budget, Bitcoin investing will not bode well. 

Price is a number issue that can deeply change how much you get when you cash out. Every coin you buy will act like a multiplier, which means that the smaller gains by a more affordable altcoin could easily match the bigger gains by Bitcoin—just by buying more altcoins. 

So, realistically, you shouldn't worry about the price when looking at a return. It's more about proportionality than anything, which is why it's often better to buy three cheaper coins that multiply in value tenfold than it is to buy a more pricey coin that only multiplies in value twice. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: Government Involvement

For the most part, all cryptocurrencies will face similar laws if the government chooses to start interfering with the trade. The government also doesn't back any specific coin. 

So, there's no real winner in terms of returns here. They're all the same in that sense. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: Past History

Yes, we do have to bring in charts. According to an article showing the returns on ten "sample sizes" of altcoins vs Bitcoin, it's clear altcoins became way more profitable than Bitcoin did in the past ten years. 

Here's the run-through on the performance they charted for Bitcoin and the most important cryptocurrencies of the decade:

  • Bitcoin: 860 percent increase
  • Ethereum: 2,900 percent increase
  • Ripple: 2,400 percent increase
  • LiteCoin: 1,300 percent increase
  • Monero: 1,400 percent increase
  • Dash: 3,000 percent increase
  • Waves: 1,083 percent increase
  • Maidsafe: 380 percent increase
  • NEM: 4,900 percent increase

Based on past history, Bitcoin returns will probably not as high as the others will be—but it seems wise to start investing in cryptocurrency regardless of what you choose. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: Personal Analysis

Speaking as someone who knows more than a typical person about investing in Bitcoin, it really feels like Bitcoin will peak sooner rather than later. When it comes to returns, this doesn't bode well for people who want to make money—since that means that a loss will most likely occur.

Since altcoins are just starting to hit the market, there's a lot more chance for growth. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: Expert Analysis

Experts seem to be pretty split on whether or not Bitcoin is better than altcoins on the coin exchange. Some experts will claim Bitcoin will always be better than Ethereum, or Bitcoin is different from all the others (and that it's therefore better). 

Others claim alt coins are the better option over Bitcoin when it comes to return. So, it's split down the middle. 

Bitcoin vs Altcoins Returns: The Verdict

Altcoins seem to have a lot more potential and a lot less chance of loss than Bitcoin, but it seems like Bitcoin is the gold standard. It's up to you to decide whether or not investing in cryptocurrency is a good idea. However, it's clear that no matter what you choose, you'll be in for a wild ride. 

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