Litecoin is a cryptocurrency much like Bitcoin. Its creator, Charles Lee, worked with Google previously, and he released Litecoin on October 7, 2011.
It can be said that Litecoin came from Bitcoin, since Litecoin was a fork from Bitcoin (basically a currency that diverged from bitcoin, since they have different technical information).
Litecoin is also the first big market cryptocurrency to use Segregated Witness. What this means is that Litecoin has been faster than others for a time since by using Segregated Witness, processing the confirmation of a transaction, or what you can call as a signature, as a different portion after the buying and selling and quantities are confirmed.
This has led to faster processing and mining, as well as bigger trust on the cryptocurrencies. Now, most if not all cryptocurrencies use Segregated Witness.
Comparison of Litecoin to Bitcoin
Litecoin is fast and cheap, with almost 0 fees for payment costs and transactions are processed at around four times faster than bitcoin. Litecoin, like Bitcoin, can be created by mining. Mining boils down to having your computer’s surplus processing power to “mine” blocks and after which you will get some Litecoins for the trouble.
To make it simpler, Bitcoin uses a more complex algorithm. These calculations can get to be extremely costly, which has led the community, particularly the miners, to do an arm’s race for better and faster making of algorithms.
Litecoin, on the other hand, has a different route to getting mined litecoins. Their algorithm also uses the algorithm by Bitcoin, but Litecoin’s calculations are more serial and structured in nature. Instead of relying on raw processing power, Litecoin will use the RAM of a computer. This has led to the perception that Litecoin is a little fairer to miners since the playing, or mining, field is almost the same with everybody.
Confirmation of transactions would normally take a little over two minutes for Litecoin. It takes around 10 minutes for bitcoin.
However, processing is almost done in an instant. Confirmations just take time since all the ledgers, or the blockchain, must be updated first.
The Creator of Litecoin, Charles Lee, said an important distinction as to purpose of Litecoin compared to Bitcoin. The creator said that:
Bitcoin will always be the gold standard because bitcoin will have the strongest network, the most secure, the most money mining it. Litecoin will be second to that and bitcoin being the most secure will obviously cost more. Litecoin transaction will cost less. So Litecoin will provide a niche where it will be more used for payment whereas bitcoin will be more used for storing – Source
In simpler words, Litecoin is more like silver and Bitcoin is like gold; silver is more useful in purchasing and gold is better for storage.
Likewise, the speed of Litecoin makes it convenient as a payment method, while Bitcoin, is older and more known and is seen as a safer investment compared to Litecoin.
Another important thing to note is that Litecoin does not have a central body or even a foundation to talk about.
Litecoin hits its current All Time High on September 1, 2017 at $98.01 with a maximum supply of 84 million Litecoins and more than 52 million in circulation. Average daily volume is at $415 million and market cap as of September 12, 2017 is at $3 billion.