What Is Litecoin (LTC)?

What Is Litecoin (LTC)?

Litecoin (LTC), dubbed the “silver to Bitcoin‘s gold”, is built to be used in everyday transactions. LTC’s ability to complete transactions in an efficient and low-cost manner makes it a valuable digital asset. Can Litecoin’s potential ever supersede competitor coins to emerge as one of the top cryptocurrencies? 


The Genesis of Litecoin


Litecoin, introduced in October 2011 by Charlie Lee, was among the earliest altcoins to emerge after Bitcoin. It shares several foundational attributes with its predecessor and brings some unique features to the table. 


Charlie Lee is a computer scientist and cryptocurrency enthusiast. He became interested in Bitcoin and recognized the need for a “lighter” version of Bitcoin that could facilitate faster transactions and better scalability. Charlie Lee’s vision for Litecoin was to create a cryptocurrency that was complementary to Bitcoin. 


LTC offers faster transaction confirmation times and a different hashing algorithm while still maintaining the core principles of decentralization and security. It operates on a decentralized peer-to-peer network and employs blockchain technology to facilitate transactions. LTC’s key differentiators lie in its hashing algorithm and transaction speed. 


Litecoin’s Technical Distinctions


Unlike Bitcoin’s SHA-256 hashing algorithm, Litecoin employs Scrypt, a memory-hard algorithm. This choice was a deliberate move to make Litecoin mining more accessible to a broader audience by using consumer-grade hardware. 


Scrypt’s memory-intensive nature hinders the efficiency of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners, levelling the playing field for miners with standard computer hardware. This makes the mining process more resistant to the development of highly efficient ASIC miners. Consequently, Litecoin’s network is often touted as more decentralized compared to other cryptocurrencies, where large-scale mining operations can dominate the landscape.


Swift Transactions


Litecoin’s transaction processing time is another facet that sets it apart from its older sibling, Bitcoin. While Bitcoin’s block generation time is around 10 minutes, Litecoin’s is a mere 2.5 minutes. This quicker block generation results in faster transaction confirmations, making LTC more suitable for day-to-day transactions. LTC’s approach has garnered a niche for itself, catering to those who prioritize speed in their crypto transactions.


The Halving Mechanism and Scarcity


Litecoin employs a halving mechanism that reduces block rewards for miners. Litecoin halving occurs approximately every four years and is designed to ensure a controlled issuance of new coins, ultimately leading to a limited supply. Litecoin’s total supply is capped at 84 million coins and a circulating supply of 73,563,433 LTC at the time of this article. This scarcity and its fast transaction speed, have contributed to LTC’s appeal as a “lighter” alternative to the pioneer cryptocurrency.  


For instance, in retail scenarios, where speedy confirmations are crucial to maintaining seamless customer experiences, Litecoin’s quick block generation makes it more suitable for point-of-sale transactions. Similarly, for cross-border remittances, where time-sensitive fund transfers can incur significant costs and delays, Litecoin’s accelerated confirmation process offers a cost-effective and swift alternative. These use cases showcase how Litecoin is a practical choice for applications where timely cryptocurrency transactions are paramount.


Litecoin’s Relationship with Ethereum


Despite Litecoin’s reputation as a significant crypto in its own right, there is often confusion regarding its relationship with Ethereum. To put it plainly: Litecoin is not part of the Ethereum network. Ethereum, created by Vitalik Buterin in 2015, is a separate blockchain platform that introduced the concept of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). Ethereum’s primary focus is on enabling developers to build a wide range of applications beyond simple transactions.  


On the contrary, Litecoin aims to provide a faster and cheaper alternative to Bitcoin for everyday transactions, with a focus on being a digital medium of exchange. Its mission is to enhance the efficiency of small transactions and promote a seamless user experience. By streamlining transaction processes, LTC seeks to become the cryptocurrency of choice for microtransactions, making it ideal for scenarios like purchasing goods and services online.


Different Goals, Different Architectures


Litecoin and Ethereum have distinct goals and architectural designs. LTC aims to provide a faster and cheaper alternative to Bitcoin for everyday transactions, with a focus on being a digital medium of exchange. On the other hand, Ethereum’s ambitions stretch far beyond transactions. It serves as a decentralized platform for developers to create and deploy smart contracts and DApps, ushering in a new era of decentralized computing and applications. 


The Bridge Between Litecoin and Ethereum


While Litecoin and Ethereum remain separate entities, the Litecoin Foundation has undertaken initiatives to bridge the two ecosystems. The Litecoin Foundation, a non-profit organization established to promote the adoption of Litecoin, has explored potential collaborations and developments that could benefit both Litecoin and other blockchain networks like Ethereum.


Litecoin’s Strength in Collaboration and Innovation


Litecoin’s community and development efforts have also contributed significantly to its position in the crypto landscape. Over the years, a dedicated and active community of developers, miners, and enthusiasts has propelled Litecoin’s adoption. The openness to innovation and the commitment to maintaining a decentralized ethos have enabled the currency to adapt and remain relevant amidst the ever-changing trends in the space. This community-driven approach not only fosters ongoing improvements but also showcases Litecoin’s resilience. 


One example of Litecoin’s community-driven evolution is the implementation of the “Segregated Witness” (SegWit) upgrade. This upgrade, activated in 2017, aimed to improve the scalability and security of the Litecoin network by restructuring transaction data. It was the result of collaborative efforts among developers, miners, and users, showcasing how the community’s engagement can lead to tangible improvements in the cryptocurrency’s functionality and performance.


Litecoin’s Place in the Crypto Landscape


As the crypto space continues to evolve, Litecoin finds itself in a unique position. It has cemented its status as a valuable and reputable crypto while maintaining its distinctive attributes. LTC’s ability to adapt to technological advancements and market demands will play a pivotal role in determining its longevity and relevance in the rapidly changing crypto landscape.  


LTC is a prominent cryptocurrency that shares its roots with Bitcoin while also offering its own set of unique features. Its Scrypt hashing algorithm and shorter block generation make it suitable for fast and affordable transactions. 


How To Trade Litecoin (LTC)


To trade Litecoin (LTC) on Flipster:


  1. Download the Flipster app and complete the account set-up process
  2. Go to [Trade]
  3. Click on [Search] at the top of the page and type in LTC 
  4. Click on LTC
  5. In the [Amount] field, type in the amount of LTC you wish to buy or sell. Alternatively, you can select the percentages below to choose how much of your available cash you want to use for your order
  6. Click [Preview order] 
  7. Once you have confirmed the details, click on [Buy LTC – Long] button to open a long position or [Sell LTC – Short] if you are opening a short position. 


Disclaimer: Any opinion shared in this article is strictly the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as financial advice. Flipster makes no judgment on the projects or the content uploaded.