- Litecoin was designed as a response to some of the disadvantages Bitcoin offered. The coin claims faster transactions, lower fees and higher numbers as its main advantages over Bitcoin.
|Market Cap||Volume 24h||Circulating Supply||Maximum Supply|
|60,596,812 LTC||84,000,000 LTC|
What Is Litecoin
Litecoins (LTC) are the cryptocurrency units of the Litecoin platform which went live in October 2011. Its creator, former Google’s employee Charlie Lee, wanted to create a global decentralized payment network similar to Bitcoin, but addressing what he perceived as Bitcoin’s issues. Lee was dissatisfied with its long verification periods, slow transactions and rising transaction fees. Seeing the bitcoins as a sort of virtual gold, his litecoins aimed to become at least an equivalent of silver in the crypto world, according to him.
Lee and his colleagues created Litecoin as a “software fork” of Bitcoin. While it does not share a common transaction history (which is the case in both hard and soft forks), it is based on Bitcoin’s code. The goal was to improve the number of processed transactions by at least four times and bring down the associated fees to an acceptable level. Litecoin has eventually managed to beat Bitcoin in this, with its average verification periods taking about two and a half minutes.
In addition to speed, the transactions involving this coin come at lower costs. In order to keep them as low as possible, litecoins had their production cap increased to 84 million units. In October 2018, 58.9 million of these were in circulation, with the market cap standing at around USD 2.9 billion. Similar to other cryptocurrencies, the price of this coin went through some rocky periods ranging from a high of USD 420 per coin in late 2017 to what it is today.
Mining is another way in which Litecoin is trying to become more accessible than Bitcoin. It uses the Scrypt algorithm, which needs less power than Bitcoin’s SHA256, and boasts faster block generation than Bitcoin. Litecoin also still manages to prevent the dominance of a single miner (or a group of them) at the expense of its accessibility.
Litecoin is also exploring new territories when it comes to enhancing its privacy and fungibility-related features. As announced in February 2019, this is to be done mainly by integrating the Mimblewimble protocol with the help of the team behind the Beam coin. Once fully implemented, the technology will allow for on-chain conversion of regular LTC into its Mimblewimble variant and vice versa. The Mimblewimble-powered LTC should offer better confidentiality of transactions made with it.
At the same time, mining litecoins still takes some serious investments, prompting many to turn to cryptocurrency exchanges as the main choice for obtaining the cryptocurrency. Those who want to get their hands on LTC in this manner can do it on Bitfinex, Coinbase Pro or similar platforms.
Find the latest Litecoin news here.