What Is Litecoin LTC
If you are familiar with cryptocurrencies and the most popular one named Bitcoin, you probably know that there are many alternative cryptocurrencies in this virtual space known as altcoins. Well, Litecoin (LTC) is one of the altcoins which exists and was created as a fork of Bitcoin.
Litecoin shares many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin, but aims to be lighter and faster. What is most interesting is the fact that Litecoin never meant to rival Bitcoin or compete against it – but to complement it – becoming the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.
The team behind Litecoin describe the cryptocurrency as a peer-to-peer Internet currency which allows instant and near zero cost payments to anyone in the world. Since it promotes itself as a faster and cheaper cryptocurrency than Bitcoin, Litecoin has enjoyed big popularity in the crypto space. Let’s look at its advantages.
Why Is Litecoin Important?
Released on October 7, 2011 by a former employee in Google named Charlie Lee, Litecoin is an open source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. It is a digital currency that operates independently of any country’s central bank.
Despite its similarity to Bitcoin in many ways, Litecoin has also incorporated a lot of features (such as Segregated Witness) whose main goal is to reduce bottlenecks in the network as well as increase the speed with which transactions are carried out.
The best way to picture Litecoin LTC is as the digital silver to Bitcoin’s digital gold. The founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, wanted to modify Bitcoin’s rules in ways that he considered beneficial. He wanted to reduce the amount of time required to confirm new transactions but also change the Bitcoin mining algorithm and ensure that anyone could participate in the network. This is why Litecoin’s transaction confirmation time is 2.5 minutes compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. From this perspective, Litecoin is also able to process a higher volume of transactions.
This is how Litecoin experienced significant growth since its inception and how it reached a $1 billion market cap in November 2013, and over four times this much in 2017.
Litecoin And Segregated Witness (SegWit)
In May 2017, Litecoin LTC adopted Segregated Witness (also known as SegWit) which is a system that splits transactions in two segments. This made LTC the first cryptocurrency which adopted this system and started removing signatures (the “witness” part) from the original data. This gave LTC a big push and made the processing of all transactions faster which is one of the key advantages that Litecoin has over Bitcoin.
Where Can You Use And Buy Litecoin LTC
Litecoin can be used nearly in every place where you can use Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has grown very quickly since its release and a lot of merchants have been quick to adopt it.
When it comes to buying, the best ways to buy Litecoin LTC are:
- From an exchange: You can find LTC on many popular exchanges, buy the cryptocurrency and then store it in a wallet. This is by far the easiest and most straightforward way of acquiring Litecoin.
- Receive payments in LTC: If you are providing services or selling goods, you can accept Litecoin as payment (just like other currencies). Thanks to its low fees and even lower commissions and costs compared to money, receiving payment in Litecoin LTC lets you earn more.
- Mine Litecoin: There is always a possibility of earning Litecoin through mining. However, the process is slow and demands specialized equipment to be worth the effort. In any way, it is still a legitimate way to earn Litecoin LTC.
Which Are The Best Litecoin LTC Wallets?
There are many different wallets which can be used for storing your Litecoin LTC. One of the options is to store your LTC in hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger (which both support Litecoin).
Alternatively, you can download a number of digital wallets from the official website of Litecoin – designed for different operating systems and supporting Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Electrum, LiteVault and LiteAddress.
Bitcoin Versus Litecoin Mining
Bitcoin mining uses an algorithm called SHA-256 which is processor intensive. Litecoin mining, on the other hand, uses a scrypt which is more memory intensive. Due to the increase in mining difficulty over the past years (created by the competition), the only way mining is profitable after the electricity and other equipment costs is through the use of Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips – known as ASICs.
However, since only some people have the resources to buy these chips, the founder of Litecoin did not want the Litecoin mining to be dominated by ASICs. This is why he created Litecoin with a memory intensive mining algorithm to make mining LTC less efficient for ASICs and more accessible to everyone.
The Future Of Litecoin
The market cap growth of Litecoin won’t slow down anytime soon as we can see. In fact, there could be more and more businesses adopting this altcoin – either as an addition to Bitcoin or as a complete replacement of it.
New Litecoin ATMs are being installed in many parts of the world and there are more and more companies are slowly making the switch to Litecoin. Many potential buyers should also consider these developments before making decisions about purchasing this cryptocurrency.
Another very popular aspect of Litecoin is the popularity of its founder, Charlie Lee. He is a public figure in the cryptocurrency community and is always there to help and announce new big things. Currently, he is pushing the community to support new upgrades and is always looking to scale the network.
In the end, we can say that Litecoin has existed almost as long as Bitcoin, making LTC a reputable and well established coin in the cryptocurrency community. The infrastructure behind Litecoin is also very supportive and there might be many new developments on the horizon.
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