Litecoin (LTC), is a cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee and a group of experts as a fork of the Bitcoin network in 2011. The main intention behind Litecoin was to complement Bitcoin’s network and be the currency for transactions and payments, while Bitcoin the currency for savings. People tend to call Litecoin the ‘silver’ to bitcoin’s ‘gold.’

In this article, we will analyse and explain what is Litecoin, why it was created, and how it differentiates with other cryptocurrencies. At the moment, Litecoin is one of the most important virtual currencies in the market and calls the attention of several investors.

What Is Litecoin?

Litecoin (LTC), is a cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee and a group of experts as a fork of the Bitcoin network in 2011. The main intention behind Litecoin was to complement Bitcoin’s network and be the currency for transactions and payments, while Bitcoin the currency for savings. People tend to call Litecoin the ‘silver’ to bitcoin’s ‘gold.’

Charlie Lee wrote about Litecoin:

“Litecoin is the result of some of use who joined together on IRC in an effort to create a real alternative currency similar to Bitcoin. We wanted to make a coin that is silver to Bicoin’s gold. Various alternative currencies have come and gone.”

Litecoin works with a proof of work algorithm that allows interested parties to mine Litecoin in a similar way to Bitcoin. The main difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin is that Litecoin uses Scrypt as proof of work (PoW) hashing algorithm that tends to be easier for CPUs and GPUs to mine that currency. Bitcoin needs to powerful ASIC miners that consume important amounts of electricity and are very costly.

Litecoin’s Features

Litecoin has different features that are very interesting for investors and merchants. The currency was developed in order to process fast transactions and allow people to easily send and receive cryptocurrencies for just a fraction of the fees that Bitcoin network has.

The average Litecoin block takes 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin that each block takes 10 minutes. Litecoin knew that fast transactions are not as secure as Bitcoin slow transactions but are very convenient for merchants that need their Litecoin very fast and they do not need the security layers that Bitcoin has.

But less time between blocks helps the network to process more transactions than Bitcoin. With the Lightning Network ahead, this difference could be reduced. Moreover, faster block times means that there will also be a higher number of orphaned blocks on Litecoin’s Network.

The amount of Litecoin available will be 4 times as much of these of Bitcoin. That means that the market will see 84,000,000 LTC and no more will be ever mined. That means that the currency will be, in the long term, a deflationary cryptocurrency.

Where Can I Buy Litecoin?

Litecoin has become one of the most important cryptocurrencies in the market. That is, it can be bought in several cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency ATMs. The most important platforms where to buy Litecoin are Coinbase, Binance, and Wex.

Several countries have Cryptocurrency ATMs installed in neuralgic points. If you have one near you, you can always check whether it has Litecoin included or not.

In general, it is very easy to purchase Litecoin as when an individual decides to buy Bitcoin or any other virtual currency.

It is very important to store virtual currencies using a hardware wallet that would let you be far from hackers and other criminals.

Litecoin Market

Litecoin is now the fifth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ($4.78 billion). At the same time, it is one of the currencies with the largest trading volume in the last 24 hours. Moreover, Litecoin has been one of the top 10 cryptos in the market for years. The longest period of time in the top 10 for a cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.

At the moment of writing this article, Litecoin is being traded around $80 dollars and it has a supply of 61 million coins. In December 2017, Litecoin reached its peak when it was traded over $367 dollars per coin. At the same time, some crypto exchanges were trading this cryptocurrency for more than $400.

In 2017 it had an incredible 8200% rise. At the beginning of 2017, it was traded at $4.40 dollars per Litecoin.

In the future, Litecoin could be used by merchants in order to accept crypto payments and could be very functional to Bitcoin when it will implement the lightning network. As Charlie Lee explained:

“Think of it being two highways: Today, Bitcoin is packed full of cars and Litecoin is empty Even with Bitcoin packed, the cars are not coming to use the Litecoin highway today because it’s not connected and it’s inconvenient (centralized exchanges and slow on-chain transfers) to go across. LN will build bridges over the highway. But a side benefit is that these bridges will connect both highways together. Maybe the bridges on Bitcoin are enough such that cars will still stay on the Bitcoin highway. My bet is that the convenience and the cheaper tolls on Litecoin highway will convince cars to cross over and use Litecoin.”

Litecoin And Privacy

Charlie Lee announced on Twitter that they want to implement private transactions to Litecoin in order to preserve users’ privacy and data. This would allow the digital asset to be one of the few privacy-focused cryptos in the market alongside Monero (XMR) and ZCash (ZEC), among others.

As per Charlie Lee, they will be adding confidential transactions to Litecoin. Furthermore, they will be testing the MimbleWimble implementation that is expected to bring other private features to the digital asset.

With private transactions, the funds transacted cannot be seen by others more than by the recipient and sender. This is a very positive development for the network that would protect users and their privacy. Once this implementation is completed, Litecoin will be the largest digital asset with private features enabled in the market.

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Litecoin Halving

Litecoin has halved on August 5 reducing the new issuance of LTC from 25 LTC per block to 12.5 LTC per block. That means that miners are going to be receiving fewer LTCs each time they find a new block. The decreasing new issuance in Litecoin is expected to help the digital currency grow in the future. With a bigger demand for the digital currency and a lower issuance, the price of Litecoin could eventually be positively affected.

Although the digital currency has recently halved, the hash rate on the network remains very high. As Charlie Lee explained, the Litecoin network kept 97% of its hash rate after the fork.

The next Litecoin halving is expected to be in 1457 days from now, around 4 years. In this way, the supply of Litecoin will be reduced even further until all the LTC (84,000,000) are mined. After the halving, the price of the digital asset surpassed $100 but shortly after it went down to $97.

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