With more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies in circulation, it’s easy to get lost in all the noise. Although most market participants are familiar with bitcoin and Ethereum, much less is known about the broader altcoin universe.
That is quickly changing.
Litecoin has become as a frontrunner in the cryptocurrency market. It emerged as a fork in bitcoin core, and was developed by former Google employee Charlie Lee. In declaring Litecoin, Lee actually announced from his office: “Let there be lite!” At least, that’s the way the story goes.
In just a few short years, Litecoin has become one of the world’s foremost cryptocurrencies. Though gaining in prominence, many investors are still unsure what it is or how it differentiates itself from bitcoin. When it comes to the world’s top altcoins, you might even say it is underrated.
What differentiates Litecoin from Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is still the most popular cryptocurrency but one can say that Litecoin is not far behind. The coin limit of Litecoin is far higher than bitcoin, 84 million compared to bitcoin’s 21 million. The motive behind creating Litecoin was to improve upon bitcoin, to make the process of transaction easier and less time-consuming. The time taken to generate a block of Litecoin is hardly 2.5 minutes whereas that of bitcoin takes 10 minutes. Litecoin uses the scrypt algorithm that integrates the SHA-256 algorithm (of bitcoin). Litecoin chose to use the algorithm to engage new miners, especially the those whose CPUs could no longer compete with ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits). At the beginning of its journey, Litecoin was also mined on GPUs or graphics cards.
Litecoin scores over bitcoin in the transaction process, as demonstrated by the following:
- Litecoin blocks are generated in a much shorter time than the bitcoin blocks. Hence, the cryptocurrency ensures a higher volume of transactions compared to the first crypto coin.
- Theory says that a higher volume of the transaction (translates to faster block time) means that the risk of security breaches decreases significantly. The sender will have to wait for only 5 minutes for two confirmations while one confirmation with bitcoin takes up to 10 minutes.
The Journey Towards Prominence
“When I released Litecoin there were a lot of other cryptocurrencies that were pre-mined by founders wanted to be super rich. I preannounced Litecoin on Bitcointalk, so people could mine it from the get go. It was more widely distributed from the start than Bitcoin.”
- Charlie Lee, founder of Litecoin
We have seen that Litecoin has a greater transaction speed than bitcoin. Litecoin was one of the first crypto coins to realize the worth of Segregated Witness or SegWit. The aim of SegWit is to free up the block space by conducting speedier off-chain transactions. By incorporating SegWit, Litecoin can use the Lightning Network, which enables the participants to conduct transactions at virtually no cost. The Lightning Network is rapidly proving to be an effective solution to scalability issues of cryptocurrencies.
Litecoin has already been accepted by many countries like South Korea, Japan and Switzerland. Since the beginning of 2017, Litecoin has risen roughly 7,300% compared to bitcoin’s 1,700%.
Exchanges that Favour Litecoin
When it comes to cryptocurrency trading, the currency pairs favored worldwide are LTC/USD, LTC/BTC, LTC/USDT, LTC/EUR and LTC/KRW. Given below is a list of cryptocurrency exchanges that support Litecoin. The volume given below is dated 29th December 2017.
Volume of Litecoin trading
- GDAX: The volume for the pair LTC/USD is currently at 650746.783 LTC on the Global Digital Asset Exchange or GDAX, which is owned by the San Francisco-based Coinbase. The exchange offers four digital currencies for trading: bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH).
- Bitfinex: The volume for the pair LTC/USD is currently at 248736.848 LTC on Bitfinex. The cryptocurrency exchange is operated by iFinex. Bitfinex offers leverage up to 3.3x and supports a horde of cryptocurrencies, Litecoin being one of them.
- Binance: The volume for the pair LTC/BTC is currently at 213338.740 LTC on Binance. This cryptocurrency exchange platform is prevalent among Chinese and English participants. It is easy to open an account on Binance and trade with the help of this user-friendly platform.
- Bittrex: The volume for the pair LTC/BTC is currently at 111330.484 LTC on Bittrex. Based and regulated in the USA, Bittrex offers more than 190 cryptocurrencies available.
- Bitstamp: The volume for the pair LTC/USD is currently at 70363.757 LTC on Bitstamp. Despite some attacks, Bitstamp has continued to stand strong. It has experienced considerably high volumes of cryptocurrency trades throughout the year. It is regulated by CSSF (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier).
- Bithumb: The volume for the pair LTC/KRW is currently at 133825.700 LTC on Bithumb. The exchange platform is based in South Korea. Besides being a leading exchange for trading bitcoin, Bithumb supports Litecoin and Zcash.
Other cryptocurrency exchanges that support Litecoin are Coinone, Kraken and Livecoin.
Charlie Lee had announced on Reddit (20th December 2017) that he had sold and donated his entire LTC balance. The founder of Litecoin does not have any LTC in his pocket! This has had a huge impact on the crypto community. But his announcement does not mean that he has cut off all ties with his brainchild. Charlie Lee said, “I will still spend all my time working on Litecoin. When Litecoin succeeds, I will still be rewarded in lots of different ways, just not directly via ownership of coins. I now believe this is the best way for me to continue to oversee Litecoin’s growth.”
Users’ Response to ccn.com
We have already seen in this article that Litecoin has some notable advantages over bitcoin due to the incorporation of SegWit. Crypto connoisseurs say that a person should reap the benefits of Litecoin being undervalued, compared to bitcoin. One of the advantages is that Litecoin has a cap of 84 million. The price of Litecoin at present is $240.75 USD (as of 29thDecember 2017). The market value of the crypto-coin has grown significantly since its inception. This is another reason to trade with Litecoins and to transact using this cryptocurrency. The upside is that the financial media is gradually focusing on other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, and Ripple. This gives Litecoin the potential to outperform the first crypto coin.