- Litecoin is widely regarded as the world’s first true altcoin which is still in active development
- Founder Charlie Lee created Litecoin in 2013, by forking Bitcoin Core and adding new speed and security features
- Litecoin developers work closely with Bitcoin developers and in 2019, will launch a new Litecoin powered Bitcoin payment network
What is Litecoin? – The Definitive Litecoin Wiki
During 2018, the Litecoin price pulled back from almost $400, to as low as $26. However, many people believe that Litecoin is a sleeping giant in the world of cryptocurrency. Specifically, thanks to the ongoing development of the Litecoin Lightning Network.
Due to launch in 2019, Lightning will allow Bitcoin to be transacted as Litecoin (and vice versa), via cross chain atomic swaps. These will expedite Bitcoin transaction times, lower fees, and potentially increase demand for Litecoin in the process.
Litecoin History & Key Features
Litecoin was launched in October 2013, by former Google developer, Charlie Lee. While created as a fork of Bitcoin, Litecoin is, nevertheless, a standalone cryptocurrency which differs considerably from Bitcoin itself.
- Litecoin has quadruple the total supply of Bitcoin, meaning that 84 million Litecoin coins will eventually enter circulation
- Litecoin processes transactions in under 2-minutes and 30-seconds, with fees averaging less than a cent per transaction
- Litecoin uses a different proof of work mining algorithm to Bitcoin called Scrypt. This makes mining more democratic and genuinely decentralized.
Litecoin Scrypt Mining Vs. Bitcoin SHA 256 Mining
Bitcoin and recent forks of Bitcoin like Bitcoin Cash, use a proof of work mining algorithm based on SHA 256 encryption.
Initially, Satoshi Nakamoto envisaged a world in which everyone could mine Bitcoin, resulting in a genuinely decentralized blockchain. However, in 2013, for purpose Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Bitcoin mining rigs started being mass produced. These capitalize on the fact that parallel computer processing can be used to crack SHA 256 encryption faster than when using a regular CPU.
For the most part, Bitcoin mining now takes place on an industrial scale. Mining coins using regular PC hardware is no longer possible, and because of this, many argue that mining is undemocratic.
What is Litecoin Scrypt Mining & Why is it Different?
To prevent Litecoin from being mined as industriously as Bitcoin, Litecoin uses an alternative mining algorithm called Scrypt. As detailed by the official Litecoin wiki, Scrypt is very similar to SHA 256. However, Scrypt mining requires more memory, making parallel processing more difficult. This results in Litecoin benefiting from a more genuinely decentralized blockchain and increased security.
Litecoin Price Predictions for 2019
Unlike recent forks of Bitcoin like Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin has never competed against Bitcoin for market cap dominance. Instead, Litecoin developers worked with Bitcoin developers in 2017, to help implement Segwit. Since this time, Litecoin and Bitcoin have also collaborated closely on Lightning.
When complete, the Lightning Network will allow Bitcoin to be transacted as Litecoin instantly. The Lightning network will, therefore, put an end to Bitcoin scaling concerns, by lowering transaction speeds and processing times. For this reason, many suspect that the Litecoin price will rise considerably in tandem with Bitcoin when Lightning is complete.
How Fast is the Lightning Network?
In April 2018, a $99 million transaction was completed by the Litecoin network in under three seconds. More importantly, total fees incurred amounted to just $0.40.