Litecoin is a cryptocurrency based on blockchain. The principle of operation is similar to Ethereum and Bitcoin. This is a peer-to-peer Internet currency, which gives everyone the opportunity to instantly send payments around the world with almost zero fees. Litecoin is a decentralized payment network, without central control. This network, like other blockchains, is implemented at the math. Users can manage their funds without third parties, like traditional financial institutions.
Litecoin.org website states that the currency is not an alternative to Bitcoin, but has an additional power:
“Due to the industry’s high support, the volume of trade and liquidity, Litecoin has become a proven means of complementing Bitcoin.”
Litecoin main advantage compared to Bitcoin is the greater amount of processed transactions: the blockchain generates blocks more often, payments are much faster (2.5 minutes, not 10 minutes).
Information about the services and exchanges that support Litecoin in freely available: Litecoin Wiki, Litecoin Block Explorer Charts. The open source code for Litecoin Core is available on GitHub.
Like most cryptocurrencies, Litecoin is open source software. The release of the project was carried out under the license MIT/X11, which means that users have the right to run, modify, copy the software and submit already new versions of the software.
Litecoin blockchain operates a higher transaction volume than Bitcoin. This is due to the fact that litecoin generates blocks more often, while payments are confirmed faster.
Like other cryptocurrencies, your Litecoin can be encrypted. You can view the transactions and check the balance using your own Litecoin wallet. To conduct an operation, you will need to enter your password.
The reward of miners is an important part of any blockchain operation. Litecoin miners receive (as of July 2018) 25 LTC per a block. This amount is halved approximately every 4 years (or every 840,000 units). Litecoin network should grow to 84 million Litecoins, which is 4 times more than Bitcoin.
Litecoin and Bitcoin are similar. Litecoin was created as Bitcoin’s fork, respectively, they have a common base. But, there are differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin, like:
Litecoin processes the blocks every 2.5 minutes, instead of 10 minutes of Bitcoin. Among the advantages and disadvantages are: the probability of the appearance of orphaned blocks increases. At the same time, the accelerated processing time of Litecoin means greater protection to a double spending attack over the same period as Bitcoin.
Litecoin uses Scrypt to algorithm prove of work, and this requires more memory. And it means that the miners need more memory in comparison with the blockers that do not use Scrypt.
The total number of Litecoin should be 84 million or four times more Bitcoin.
The application of Scrypt was done with the aim of allowing the miners to run Bitcoin and Litecoin in parallel, and in order to eliminate the advantage of GPU, FPGA and ASIC-miners. Another component of the Scrypt algorithm using is that the FPGA and ASIC devices created for Litecoin mining are generally more complex and more expensive to produce than the Bitcoin that uses SHA-256. This is due to the fact that the Scrypt hashing scheme requires more memory, and as a result, ASIC and FPGA have higher memory requirements.
Litecoin release occurred in October 2011 using an service GitHub. The first release of Litecoin (0.8.5.1) was Bitcoin Core fork, created by Charlie Lee. The main modification compared to Bitcoin was the reduction of the block creation time (2.5 minutes, instead of 10 minutes for Bitcoin), an increase in the maximum number of coins, another hashing algorithm (based on Scrypt, instead of SHA-256) and an improved graphical interface.
Litecoin was not particularly known until November 2013, when it began to grow dramatically.
By the end of November 2013, Litecoin had market cap of $ 1 billion. In early 2017, market cap was $ 1.5 billion. As of December 2017, Litecoin had a market cap of more than $ 15 billion, with a price of $ 350 to $ 400 per LTC.
Litecoin also differed from the others cryptocurrencies. In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top five cryptocurrencies that Segregated Witness approved. Later, the first Lightning Network transaction was carried out with the help of Litecoin – transferred 0.00000001 LTC from Zurich to San Francisco in 1 second.
Litecoin remains a stable cryptocurrency, taking 7-th place in rating the most popular cryptocurrencies. The only currencies ahead of Litecoin by market capitalization are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS and Stellar. With a market capitalization of more than $ 4,5 billion, Litecoin grew out of Bitcoin’s small fork into a giant digital economy.