Litecoin

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is created by Charlie Lee in 2011. He wanted to make Litecoin an improved version of the Bitcoin. Litecoin is based on the Bitcoin blockchain technology. But there are some major differences that separate Litecoin from Bitcoin.

The main differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin are:

Bitcoin Litecoin
Algorithm SHA-256 Scrypt
Coin limit 21 million 84 million
Block time 10 minutes 2.5 minutes
Current block reward 12.5 BTC 25 LTC
Block explorer Blockchain.info https://live.blockcypher.com/ltc/
Official Wallet https://www.bitcoin.com/ https://litecoin.com/#wallets
Traded on exchanges Coinmarketcap Coinmarketcap

The main difference is that Litecoin can handle transactions much faster. Because the generation of new blocks is only 2.5 minutes instead of 10 minutes for Bitcoin.

This means that 1 confirmation for Litecoin would take about 2.5 minutes. In theory, you have four confirmations when sending Litecoin while Bitcoin only has 1 confirmation in the same timeframe of 10min.

Different mining algorithms

Both Bitcoin and Litecoin use the POW (Proof of Work) algorithm. This means that computer power is needed to confirm and validate transactions. Also, this computer power is needed to “mine” new blocks in the blockchain.

Bitcoin uses that SHA-256 algorithm and Litecoin uses Scrypt. The main difference between SHA-256 and Scrypt is the difficulty. At this time of writing it’s practically impossible to mine Bitcoins with normal computer hardware.

There are many coins that use SHA-256 or scrypt. But for Bitcoin or Litecoin you need special miners if you want to be profitable. These special miners are called ASICs. ASICs are optimized to give you the most computing power. They also use much less power than normal computers.

Litecoin circulation and block info

As time progresses, more Litecoins are mined. This will continue until the hard cap of 84 million LTC is reached. But when time progresses it becomes harder to mine Litecoin. There are two main reasons for that:

  • More people start mining
  • Block reward is halving every few years

When more people start mining, the difficulty will rise. The mining difficulty is based on the total amount of miners. That also means that everybody stops mining Litecoin, it eventually becomes much easier to mine Litecoins. But this will most likely never happen.

The block rewards are halving every few years. For example, the last Litecoin halving took place in 2015. In 2014 you would earn 50 LTC if you found a new block. After 2015 you only get 25 LTC if you find a new block.

At litecoinblockhalf.com you can see how long it will take before the next halving takes place. At this time of writing, the next halving will take place in 707 days. That means on ~ 15 August 2019 you will earn 12.5 LTC if you find a new block.

What can you do with Litecoin?

Litecoin is used as a currency. You can use Litecoin to buy goods or services. But most people use Litecoins for trading on exchanges. The real world use is very minimal. But this is the case for every cryptocurrency out there.

Even Bitcoin is still in the start-up phase. There is no business in the world that directly accepts Bitcoins or Litecoins as a currency. Because the markets are too volatile. Businesses accept Bitcoins or Litecoins as payment but behind the scenes, every coin will be directly converted to fiat money like dollars or euros.

Official websites and social media channels

Current prices and market capitalization