Rise of smaller rivals throws up fresh challenge to bitcoin

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin’s weathered hacks, heists, booms and busts to reign as the king of cryptocurrencies through its first decade. But now there’s a fresh challenge to its dominance of the fledgling market: some 2,000 smaller digital coins. Collectively, “altcoins” are gaining ground on their bigger cousin. Individually, they are gaining traction among users, gathering communities of developers and users often deeply devoted to their goals. Bitcoin now accounts for around 60% of the $240 billion crypto market, down from nearly 90% just over two years ago. That fading dominance reflects tough times for the original cryptocurrency since its late 2017 apex. Bitcoin has almost doubled in value this year, rallying nearly 30% in recent days to touch its highest level in ten months on Tuesday. But last year it lost three-quarters of its value. That volatility has put off mainstream investors from pension funds to asset managers who…

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