Litecoin was launched in 2011. Like many cryptocurrencies, it uses a proof-of-work consensus mechanism and relies on mining for its security and the minting process.
Litecoin mining is a highly complex and energy-intensive process, requiring a lot of computer processing power. Unfortunately, this means that common CPUs do not offer enough processing power to mine Litecoin.
As a cryptocurrency, Litecoin is almost identical to Bitcoin. However, it has a much higher unit limit. If you decide to start mining Litecoin, there are a few things you need to know first, such as: How many Litecoins are there? And how do you extract them?
What is Litecoin?
Litecoin is a cryptocurrency and blockchain that was released as open source software in 2011. It was one of the first altcoins to be released and was a top contender to Bitcoin for a while.
Although it has lost popularity over the years, Litecoin is still one of the most popular altcoins out there. As of January 2022, it was ranked 20th among other cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with just over $7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.
As with all other blockchains, the underlying structure of Litecoin is that of a distributed ledger connected through a peer-to-peer network. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin solves the double-spending problem by having network nodes verify transactions and then permanently record them on the blockchain through a process known as “mining.”
What is mining?
In cryptocurrencies that are based on a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, mining is a metaphor for the process of verifying and storing “blocks” of transactions on a blockchain carried out by the nodes of its network in the hope to be rewarded with the cryptographic tokens of the blockchain. .
Since blockchains are distributed servers that lack a central authority, this task is performed by network nodes, also known as miners. To complete this task, the nodes must dedicate the computer’s processing power to solving very complex computational mathematical problems.
Once the task is complete, the node that solved the problem first is rewarded with newly minted “coins,” or whatever the name of the unit of account the network uses for its crypto tokens. This reward works as an incentive for nodes to lend their computing power to the network.
How many litecoins are there?
Like Bitcoin, Litecoin has a hard limit on the amount of Litecoin that can be in circulation. However, in contrast to Bitcoin’s limit of 21 million coins, Litecoin can issue 84 million coins, four times more than Bitcoin.
How much Litecoin has been mined?
At the beginning of 2022, there were about 70 million Litecoin in circulation. This means that there is still a little less than 15 million Litecoin left waiting to be mined.
How to mine Litecoin
As mentioned above, mining is the verification and record-keeping process performed by the network of nodes on a blockchain. As such, to start mining Litecoin, you must first become a node.
All you need to do is download and install Litecoin Core, the software behind the Litecoin network, and follow its instructions. This will connect your computer to the network and allow you to add your processing power (or hashing power, as it is often called in the crypto world) to the Litecoin blockchain.
If, on the other hand, you are using a Scrypt ASIC miner (which you most likely need), it probably comes with the necessary software pre-installed.
Litecoin mining requirements
Since Litecoin was launched as a freely accessible and open network, anyone with access to the processing power of a computer can join it. When Litecoin was first launched, the idea was that everyone with a mainstream CPU or GPU could join the network and start mining.
One of the main differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin is that the latter uses Scrypt for its hashing function instead of the one used by Bitcoin. This, Litecoin claimed, would limit miners’ reliance on ASIC mining machines. However, this has not been maintained since then; Scrypt ASIC miners were created in 2021. Nowadays, it would not be profitable to mine Litecoin on a conventional CPU or GPU.
Should I start mining Litecoin?
Although Litecoin’s popularity has waned over the years, it remains a very popular altcoin today, ranking 20th among other cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Admittedly, Litecoin’s initial promise that it could be mined on conventional CPUs or GPUs did not hold up for long. However, Litecoin mining is still profitable today if you use a Scrypt ASIC miner, and there are still over 14 million Litecoin waiting to be mined.
If you plan to mine Bitcoin or Ethereum, or any other cryptocurrency, you can go it alone or join a mining pool. But what is the best method?
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