What is Litecoin? All You Need to Know
To put it simply, Litecoin is the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. Much like Ethereum is commonly called the ‘world computer’, and Dash is considered the cash to Bitcoin’s gold, Litecoin has its own purpose in the world of cryptocurrencies. It is also one of oldest crypto coins in existence, dating back to 2011. Litecoin is the top five most famous cryptocurrencies in the world right now, competing with Ethereum for the runner-up position after Bitcoin. But what is the secret behind Litecoin’s spectacular growth and success? We’re here to paint the full picture for you.
What is Litecoin?
Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies in existence. It was created in 2011, based on a hard fork of the Bitcoin Core client. The person who developed it is Charlie Lee, former Google and Coinbase employee. His idea was of creating a more user-friendly version of Bitcoin, which drove to improvements like faster transaction times, lower fees, and a higher supply of units.
What are the advantages of Litecoin?
The feature that made Litecoin as popular as it is now is definitely the fast transaction times. Whereas a Bitcoin transaction can take up to 15 minutes to be approved, Litecoin ones are generally validated in under a couple of minutes. This makes Litecoin perfect for day-to-day use when you can’t really afford to wait over 10 minutes for the network to validate your transaction.
Another advantage of Litecoins is the low transaction fee. Bitcoin has significantly higher transaction fees, which can be overlooked when transferring big amounts of money but can add up really fast if you’re just using BTC to shop for groceries or whatnot. Litecoin has low transaction fees, which makes it possible for the people in the network to use them easily – even for something as trivial as getting a coffee.
The Litecoin network can also handle a larger volume of transactions than Bitcoin. The blocks are generated more frequently, and their difficulty is lower than that of Bitcoin blocks, which makes for faster confirmation times.
Let’s go back to the analogy of Litecoin being the silver to Bitcoin’s gold for a second here. As you can see, Litecoin is far easier to use, much like silver coins are compared to gold bullion. Silver coins were regularly used as day-to-day currency for ages, and that’s because the price of silver is much smaller than that of gold. This is another huge reason why many people, especially cryptocurrency beginners, choose to start off with Litecoin instead of Bitcoin. The market price of LTC as of January 2018 is a bit over $230 – not extremely cheap, but also not there in the tens of thousands just yet. However, Litecoin’s price has recently hit an all-time high of $360, and that’s pretty impressive, especially since it was barely worth $10 in April 2017. This being said, Litecoin is definitely a great investment vehicle, but still much more affordable than Bitcoin, which is why many experts recommend it as a beginner-friendly cryptocurrency.
How to get your hands on Litecoin?
Getting your hands on some Litecoin is also fairly easy. For one, most exchanges sell Litecoin for fiat money – meaning you won’t have to go through the process of buying Bitcoin first, and then converting it. Finding safe storage for your Litecoin is also a piece of cake, as all the big software and hardware wallets out there are compatible with it. Lastly, you can get your hands on some LTC by mining it. Litecoin is based on an algorithm called Scrypt, which is said to be ASIC-resistant and can be mined using regular CPU/ GPU rigs. It is a very RAM-heavy algorithm though, and it also requires more energy to keep going, which can make it rather pricey for beginners. Luckily, you can also find Litecoin cloud mining contracts if you don’t want to bother with the side effects of mining from home.
Bottom line is that Litecoin is definitely here to stay. As one of the oldest cryptocurrencies in existence and Bitcoin’s younger sibling, Litecoin has certainly made a name for itself over the years. Its purpose is to be an accessible cryptocurrency for daily use, but considering the latest price growth trends, it might as well become the next big investment vehicle of the cryptocurrency world.