What is Litecoin?
Since the development of the first Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, about a decade ago, hundreds more have been created. Litecoin is one of these altcoins that seeks to provide an alternative to the world’s first and most popular Crypto. Here’s is a guide on a digital currency that is wrongly considered by some as simply a ‘clone of Bitcoin’.
Litecoin (LTC) is an online virtual currency that ranks behind Bitcoin and Ripple in market capitalization. The coin was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee and is available on many exchanges and wallets. Similar to most of the other Cryptocurrencies, Litecoin holders can pay with or trade the coin. Lee, a Google ex-employee created the coin with the aim of addressing some of the challenges linked with Bitcoin such as transaction times and fees.
Bitcoin vs Litecoin
A comparison between Bitcoin and Litecoin is common when talking about the latter, especially because its development was based on the former. The two coins share the following similarities and differences:
Lee wanted a Cryptocurrency with a more distributed hash power than Bitcoin. Litecoin has managed to decentralize the hashing power. Furthermore, the high supply of LTC coins keeps its mining fees lower than BTC’s. Whereas the supply of Bitcoin is capped at 21 million, Litecoin has a maximum supply of 84 million making its mining less competitive.
Although most Cryptocurrency transaction fees are negligible, Litecoin is cheaper to transact with than Bitcoin. The low altcoin transaction fees are incomparable to the high fees common in the fiat system. Litecoin enables its users to pay for everyday goods without incurring significant transaction costs.
One of the greatest achievements of Lee’s idea was that he was able to increase Bitcoin’s transaction speed significantly. Litecoin transactions are four times faster than Bitcoin’s. Whereas its verification lasts only 2.5 minutes, Bitcoin confirmations take about ten minutes. However, these figures can fluctuate when there is network congestion.
Charlie Lee, the man behind Litecoin is a known figure. He is a former Google employee and regularly interacts with the public on the various social media networks. Apart from Google, he has also worked at Coinbase exchange as an engineer. Bitcoin, however, is a product of an anonymous figure only known by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. No information is available about this person or group of people anywhere.
Buying your first Litecoin
Litecoin is available in various small and large exchanges where it is paired with other Cryptos and even with fiat currencies. Some of the exchanges that support the buying and selling of this coin include Huobi, OKEx, Binance, Coinbase, and Bittrex among others.
Various exchanges allow their customers to store their coins in mobile wallets although the users don’t hold their private keys. Loafwallet and Jaxx are some of the mobile wallets that support Litecoin. Desktop wallets are also ideal for regular LTC users. Hardware wallets such as Trezor, Nano S, and Ledger are the best when storing a large amount of the coins.
Although Litecoin has managed to address most of the challenges with Bitcoin, it has never been a major threat to the world’s largest Crypto in terms of market dominance. However, there is so much opportunity for a wide adoption, uses, and growth with Litecoin. With almost everyone getting into Cryptocurrency going for Bitcoin, the future of this coin remains hard to tell.