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Litecoin LTC: What It Is, How It Works, vs Bitcoin

From the get-go, without any additional tech layers added on top of the Litecoin blockchain, it’s a faster cryptocurrency to transact than Bitcoin, and it does so more cheaply. Litecoin miners solve complex mathematical problems called hashes to earn the right to record new transactions to the blockchain. “Litecoin is the second-oldest cryptocurrency, forked from the Bitcoin protocol in 2011,” says Jay Blaskey, digital currency specialist at BitIRA. “It was engineered to be used for fast, secure and low-cost payments.” Think of it as a Bitcoin spinoff. Lee developed scrypt specifically to make large-scale, custom-built hardware attacks on the currency more difficult. Bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm does not require a lot of random access memory (RAM) as an impediment to parallel processing, whereas Scrypt does.

To help you decide if Litecoin is right for your cryptocurrency portfolio or trading strategy, here’s a look at the history of Litecoin, how it works, and how to buy it. You can also use digital currency apps like BitPay or CryptoPay to make a payment using LTC. If you want to use LTC for P2P payments, you can use the Binance app to pay someone with LTC. Litecoin is highly liquid, which makes it a crypto for easier trades.

Lee developed Litecoin with the aim to improve on Bitcoin’s shortcomings. The broader differences between the two cryptocurrencies are listed in the table below. If you want to get Litecoin for “free,” your best bet is to become a Litecoin miner. Litecoin mining is a process where your computer works to verify transactions on the network.

  1. While the Litecoin network boasts of near-instant transaction confirmations, if you transact LTC on a cryptocurrency exchange it would take a little longer for it to reflect in your account.
  2. Speak with a financial advisor about how much you could realistically invest in cryptocurrency based on your unique financial goals.
  3. Halving reduces the number of Litecoins awarded by one-half, which helps to slow down the creation of new coins.
  4. If you’re using a decentralized exchange like Kucoin or, you connect your wallet to the exchange and go through the “know your customer (or client)” registration process.
  5. Once a miner verifies it, the next block in the chain is created, and Litecoin is rewarded.

Another distinction between Litecoin and Bitcoin lies in the protocols to mine coins. As mentioned earlier, Bitcoin uses SHA-256 and Litecoin relies on a modified version of Scrypt to generate coins. The difference in protocols has implications on transaction processing times for both coins.

Litecoin (LTC) is an alternative cryptocurrency created in October 2011 by Charles “Charlie” Lee, a former Google engineer. Litecoin was adapted from Bitcoin’s open-source code but with several modifications. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin is based on an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority. Litecoin differs from Bitcoin in aspects like faster block generation rate and use of Scrypt (pronounced es-scrypt) as a proof of work scheme. However, because Litecoin uses scrypt (as opposed to Bitcoin’s SHA-256) as a proof-of-work algorithm, mining hardware such as ASIC miners or a GPU mining rig requires significantly more processing power.

How Litecoin Halves

Speak with a financial advisor about how much you could realistically invest in cryptocurrency based on your unique financial goals. At the time of this writing, Bitcoin transaction fees were significantly higher, at around 3.92% on average, compared with Litecoin’s transaction fees of roughly 0.06%. Both are open-source projects that use proof of work to verify transactions.

Litecoin (LTC) vs. Bitcoin (BTC)

The first difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin lies in their maximum supply cap. Bitcoin has a supply capped at 21 million, while Litecoin’s supply is constrained to 84 million. Some exchanges may let you withdraw fiat currency, so if you’re looking to exchange your LTC for fiat, you’ll have to find an exchange that allows it. If you’re using a decentralized exchange like Kucoin or, you connect your wallet to the exchange and go through the “know your customer (or client)” registration process. Litecoin has moved away from its mining ecosystem dominated by individual miners to a corporatized setup, where large mining pools run by tech firms account for an overwhelming majority of Litecoin mining.

Because it is open source, you could make a copy of Litecoin for free and make changes to the code to use for applications or even launch your own lightweight cryptocurrency if you wanted to. But for the vast majority of people, sticking with existing cryptocurrencies is the best way to go. These include EOS at 4,000 TPS, XRP at 1,500 TPS and Cardano at 257 TPS, to name just a few. Created by former Google engineer Charlie Lee, Litecoin was one of the first “altcoins”—a name given to cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin (and sometimes other than Ethereum). On this date, the mining reward was reduced from 12.5 Litecoins per block to 6.25 Litecoins per block. The Lightning Network is a second-layer technology for Bitcoin that uses micropayment channels to scale its blockchain’s capability to conduct transactions.

If you don’t want to hold Litecoin directly, you may still be able to invest. Grayscale offers ETF-like trusts for cryptocurrencies such as the Grayscale Litecoin Trust. Because it is a fork of Bitcoin, Litecoin works just like its older and bigger sibling in most ways. But the special features that set it apart make it a lighter alternative to Bitcoin, hence the name Litecoin.

What Was LTC’s Original Price?

Lee released Litecoin via an open-source client on GitHub on October how to implement a python stack 7, 2011.[15] The Litecoin network went live on October 13, 2011.

Litecoin is four times as fast as Bitcoin in processing and confirming transactions. Major cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, eToro, and BlockFi support Litecoin transactions. Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin, which means it is based on the same software with some updates and changes. In the case of Litecoin, the updates allow transactions to take place near-instantly with much lower network fees than you would pay with Bitcoin.

As of July 2021, Litecoin miners are awarded 12.5 new LTC per block verified. That number is halved every 840,000 blocks, which happens around every four years. This is higher compared to Bitcoin, where miners are awarded 6.25 new BTC for each block generated. Litecoin is run by a dedicated group of developers who coordinate on social media and Github, a coding platform.

As a popular cryptocurrency, Litecoin is widely available and supported by the greater cryptocurrency community. If you’ve ever bought Bitcoin, it’s a virtually identical process, but you’ll want to look for the symbol LTC in your trading app rather than BTC for Bitcoin. Yet when miners add a new block to Litecoin’s blockchain, how to buy nucypher they’re rewarded with newly-generated LTC. This could indefinitely increase the supply of Litecoin if it weren’t for halving. While Bitcoin is capped at a maximum supply of 21 million coins, Litecoin is capped at 84 million coins. This slow transaction speed frustrates merchants who want to accept Bitcoin as payment.

Litecoin launched in 2011 as a decentralized currency by a former Google employee named Charlie Lee. Litecoin mining operations aren’t something you’ll typically see running on a computer out of someone’s living room. Solving hashes requires immense computing power, which requires significant energy and space.

In 2017, Litecoin adopted SegWit, and because of Litecoin’s similarity to Bitcoin, it worked as a testing ground or testnet for SegWit’s viability on the larger Bitcoin network. Some opponents of the SegWit adoption who advocated for larger Bitcoin best security practices for your deribit account block sizes created a Bitcoin hard fork that resulted in Bitcoin Cash. Litecoin was developed by Charlie Lee, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a former Google engineer who became interested in Bitcoin in 2011.

According to Lee, “In October of 2011, I was playing around with the Bitcoin codebase, and I guess the short of it was that I was just trying to create…a fork of Bitcoin. It was mainly a fun side project.” You can sell your Litecoin on the same exchanges where you can purchase it. However, selling your crypto on a centralized exchange is different than selling it on a decentralized one. For example, if you’re selling your Litecoin on an exchange like Kraken, you’ll need to send your LTC to your Kraken address. One of Litecoin’s original missions was to discourage enterprise-sized miners from gaining control of the mining process by using a different encryption method. However, miners quickly adapted their specialized machines and continued to grow their mining capacity.

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