Litecoin originated from the Bitcoin hard fork that occurred in 2011, with the intent to become a lighter and faster version of Bitcoin. Founded by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate and Google employee, it hit $1 billion market cap by November 2013.
Since coming on board the crypto world in 2011, Litecoin has consistently been among the top ten largest cryptocurrencies by market cap. Specifically, it has ranked as high as the second position and fallen to as low as the seventh position which is still a high position.
As of June 2022, its market cap was around $3.5 billion, qualifying it as one of the largest cryptocurrencies in existence, even though it still sat some distance away from the greatness of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Ripple, and Stellar.
Litecoin versus Bitcoin
Litecoin was founded with an intention to complement Bitcoin—not compete with it in the manner that cryptos do, presently. The technology behind Litecoin is not too different from that of Bitcoin. The following are some of the few differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin:
- Limitation on the number of coins: Bitcoin’s supply is finite and fixed at 21 million coins; on the other hand, Litecoin has 84 million coins, which is four times Bitcoin’s total coins.
- Degree of mining difficulty: One major difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin is the degree of mining difficulty. Mining Bitcoin requires super or very powerful computers and is expensive and difficult. Litecoin, on the other hand, can be mined using average or normal computers. The SHA-256 algorithm is used to mine Bitcoin, while the Scrypt algorithm is used to mine Litecoin.
- Transaction speed and fees: Transaction confirmation on Bitcoin network takes about 10 minutes, and may sometimes take up to an hour; on the other hand, transaction confirmation on Litecoin is faster, as the speed is about 2½ minutes—this is according to information from BitInfoCharts.com. In addition, Litecoin’s transaction fee is substantially lower than Bitcoin’s.
Litecoin features or characteristics
Litecoin’s main features or characteristics include, but may not be limited to:
- Litecoin is decentralized
- Litecoin’s token symbol is LTC
- Litecoin is a minable
- Transaction time is about 2½ minutes
- Creation of Litecoin and algorithm (Scrypt) processing occurs through the PoW (proof-of-work) process
- Transactions can be done anonymously
- The energy cost per transaction for Litecoin is lesser than Bitcoin’s.