Litecoin is among the most commonly accepted cryptocurrencies and has been in existence for almost a decade. As cryptocurrency itself is more widely used, it is expected that Litecoin, along with many others, will see increased use.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency as well as the most valuable by market capitalization. Beyond this, it has been observed that the fortunes of bitcoin tend to have a ripple effect on many tokens, including Litecoin. But what exactly is Litecoin and how does it differ from bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency?
Origin of Bitcoin BTC
Bitcoin was created in 2008 during the global economic meltdown. The creator or creators of bitcoin are not yet known but are referred to by the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. The official whitepaper for bitcoin was released on 31st October 2008. By 2009, the Genesis block for the bitcoin ecosystem was first mined and the bitcoin open-source software was made available. Satoshi has not been heard from since 2010 and the alert key and code control of Bitcoin was given to Gavin Andersen, a developer who has since gone to ensure the decentralization of the network.
Bitcoin is largely credited with bringing cryptocurrency to mainstream attention as its explosion in use and price in the 2010s served as an introduction to cryptocurrency for millions around the world. Beyond this, the acceptance of bitcoin has led to greater interest and adoption of cryptocurrencies as a whole. Bitcoin is widely believed to have been created as a response to the economic meltdown at the time and to act as a replacement for the system in place.
Origin of Litecoin LTC
Litecoin was created roughly 3 years after bitcoin in 2011. Unlike bitcoin, the creator of Litecoin is not unknown but is Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, who published the open-source software on October 7, 2011. Six days later on October 13, 2011, the Litecoin network officially went live, with the network seeing exponential growth within a month of operations. It should be noted that Litecoin is a fork of the origin Bitcoin Core client. In 2017, the Litecoin network successfully activated the SegWit scaling solution which helps to prevent third-party interference in transactions and also allows for the Lighting Network in the ecosystem.
Lee had previously attempted to create an altcoin project by the name Fairbrix but it was unsuccessful. The philosophy behind Litecoin was to improve on bitcoin’s characteristics and this can be seen in its ecosystem and inner workings.
Bitcoin operates as a peer-to-peer permissionless network that allows the sending and receiving of tokens between bitcoin wallets. The public Bitcoin ledger keeps records of all bitcoin transactions and cannot be altered. In terms of the creation of tokens themselves, bitcoin uses the proof-of-work system. In this system, tokens are acquired through the process of mining. Mining involves the solving of a highly complex mathematical equation using specialized computer systems. Once this highly energy-intensive process is completed, a ‘block’ is giving to the miner who completes it. A block contains a pre-determined number of tokens that is kept by the miner or split among multiple miners who complete the task together. Bitcoin can also be purchased on practically every cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
As previously stated, Litecoin was created following the failure of Fairbrix in a bid to correct some of the perceived flaws in bitcoin. For example, the Litecoin network processes a block every 2.5 minutes, which is significantly faster than Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. This means that transactions carried out using the Litecoin network are faster than those using the Bitcoin network.
Litecoin, however, does also make use of the proof-of-work system for the attainment of tokens. Also, in a bid to prevent a future scarcity of tokens, the Litecoin network is designed to create 84 million tokens in total, compared to Bitcoin’s 21 million. Just like Bitcoin, Litecoin can be purchased on practically all exchanges, and tokens can be stored in a variety of wallets. One of the goals of the Litecoin network is to allow for smaller transactions that would otherwise take place on the Bitcoin network.
Price and trading history
Bitcoin’s current market capitalization is $150 billion dollars, which makes it the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency. While it has seen a lot of price volatility over the years, it had an all-time high price was $20,089 on December 17, 2017.
In terms of possible future price, bitcoin has been predicted to rise to as high as a million dollars by some enthusiasts. It should however be noted that many predict a future value of $1. The unpredictable nature of cryptocurrency means that either is possible and investors should proceed with caution.
Litecoin, in contrast, has about $3 million in market capitalization and is the top ten of cryptocurrencies by market cap. Its all-time price high was $375.29 on December 19, 2017, and its all-time low was $1.11 on January 14, 2015.