Mostly referred to as Bitcoin’s little brother, Litecoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency or cryptocurrency which is decentralized, free from any censorship and open to everyone around the world. It uses the blockchain technology to easily maintain a public ledger of the entire transactions processed within the network. The Litecoin network is utilized to transfer money between individuals or businesses without the use of intermediaries like banks and various payment processing services.
Litecoin was developed by Charlie Lee who has worked as an engineer at both Google and Coinbase. On October 7, 2011, it was released through an open-source client at GitHub. After the release, the Litecoin network went live in mid-October 2011 precisely on date 13. Litecoin was forked from Bitcoin core. By the end of November 2013, Litecoin hit the USD 1 billion mark in market capitalization. Litecoin was the first cryptocurrency to adopt the SegWit (segregated witness) technology which was completed in May 2017. It was also the first to use the lightning network with 0.00000001 LTC transferred from Zurich, Germany to San Francisco, the USA in less than a second in May 2017.
What’s teh Difference from Bitcoin?
Although it is normally referred to as Bitcoin’s small brother as it is based on the same open-source code used by Bitcoin, Litecoin is different in various ways:
- Speed: Litecoin generates blocks four times faster than Bitcoin. It processes a block after every 2.5 minutes while Bitcoin takes 10 minutes. This means that Litecoin can confirm or process transactions faster and process a high number of them at the same time frame than Bitcoin.
- The number of coins: One of the main reasons why some cryptos have a higher value than others is due to its limited supply. After a given number of coins have been created, there can be no more in the market. In this case, Bitcoin has the fewer number of coins (21 million) than Litecoin (84 million).
- Proof of work: Litecoin utilizes script while Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm. This implies that ASIC devices developed to mine Litecoin are more complicated than those used to mine Bitcoin.
How to get it
If you are interested in owning Litecoin but feel that the mining process is tedious, you can buy the cryptocurrency using other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in various crypto exchanges. Some exchanges like Coinbase also allow users to purchase Litecoin using fiat money like the US dollar.
Litecoin first traded in crypto exchanges on April 28, 2013 trading at $4.30. In 2017, the price increased by about 7,291% hitting its all-time high in December trading at $327. Like all the other cryptocurrencies, Litecoin’s value has tumbled in 2018 and by the end of October, it was trading at around USD 50. It is expected that its popularity, as well as its value, will rise as more people are looking for crypto investment opportunities outside of Bitcoin and Ethereum and ultimately, Litecoin is the next preferred choice.