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What is Litecoin?

Updated 2 weeks ago by Ana

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer currency that gives its holders an opportunity to make instant payments all over the world. LTC network doesn’t have any central authorities and features fast confirmation times with near-zero cost payments.

Litecoin was not the first cryptocurrency created, so its development, of course, pursued a number of goals that weren’t realised in Bitcoin.

Why was Litecoin created? 

Litecoin was developed in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former IT engineer. It was publicly announced to be a cryptocurrency to complement, not replace Bitcoin. As Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin, they share a number of common features - both are decentralised electronic currencies, both blockchains consist of chains of blocks: each block contains a timestamp for when it was altered, transaction data and data from the previous block encoded into a small, fixed size.  At the same time, there surely are differences that explain why LTC appeared. 

Let’s have a closer look at the reasons for Litecoin implementation.

Just like Bitcoin, Litecoin can be mined. Bitcoin mining is available only for those who have an expensive and elaborate mining hardware, while Litecoin can be mined by almost anyone who has a computer with internet access. The difference lays in the fact that Litecoin has a proof-of-work algorithm called Scrypt. Litecoin mining requires bigger amounts of Random-access memory instead of processing power as it is with Bitcoin. In other words, it is less energy-intensive - one doesn’t necessarily need to have an advanced equipment to mine Litecoin. Sufficient amount of memory available on your computer is enough for that.

Litecoin transactions are confirmed 4 times faster than those on Bitcoin network - it takes 2.5 minutes for a Litecoin transaction to be confirmed once. Even though both cryptocurrencies have SegWit (Segregated Witness) implemented, only LTC has Lightning network (LN) support. SegWit is one of the Bitcoin soft forks, an update to the code that solves the block size limitation problem and malleability, and leads to faster blocks generation, while Lightening network provides an opportunity for off-chain transactions to take place, allows lower (if any) transaction fees and results in faster confirmations.

Just like it's older brother Bitcoin, Litecoin is finite: a total number of coins on LTC network can never exceed 84 million.

Litecoin transactions are cheaper than those on Bitcoin network. Moreover, due to its lower price, Litecoin is more procurable for users all over the world and their day-to-day transactions.

One can tell that Charlie Lee has created a real “silver to Bitcoin’s gold”, as he called LTC himself. A lot of users think that Charlie Lee is Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic creator of Bitcoin, who has decided to reveal his personality after the first coin success - they find it very surprising and doubtful that an IT engineer created such successful and foremost coin as LTC within a relatively short period of time. Who knows?

To buy or not to buy?

Being peer-to-peer decentralised currency where all transactions are generated chronologically and are publicly announced, Litecoin is a great addition to Bitcoin network that solves such problems as transactions’ speed and price and complications in mining. Now, as some time passed, we can tell for sure that LTC really complements, but not substitutes Bitcoin.

All of this for sure is a reason to add some Litecoin to your wallet and this is something we are always ready to help you with! There is no need to go deep into LTC mining - you can simply buy Litecoin with your personal bank card. More information about this option can be found here.

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