What Is Litecoin (LTC)? | The Silver to Bitcoin’s Gold


What is Litecoin?

Litecoin (LTC) is a decentralized peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was launched on October 7, 2011 and went live on October 13, 2011.

“Silver to Bitcoin gold. Bitcoin’s little brother that doesn’t come out much.”

These are just some of the things you may hear when crypto enthusiasts talk about Litecoin. At first glance, Litecoin does not earn much respect as a top 10 cryptocurrency by market cap. However, once you get into the weeds, Litecoin presents an extremely useful and interesting application of the original Bitcoin blockchain. Despite all the criticism that Litecoin receives, it is easy to overlook what it really is and the functions it fulfills.

In this guide, we will cover the following sections of the project. Jump to one in particular if you prefer to go directly to it:

The truth about Litecoin

Former Google employee Charlie Lee founded Litecoin. It was one of the first forks of the main Bitcoin client. It was proposed as a solution to some of Bitcoin’s bottlenecks and scalability issues, in particular the number of transactions that could be processed in a given period of time. The advantage that Litecoin has over Bitcoin is that the payment transaction costs are extremely low and it is able to facilitate payments around four times faster.

Silver to Bitcoin Gold

There is a reason why Litecoin receives many comparisons with Bitcoin. Except for a handful of minor distinctions, Litecoin serves the exact same purpose as Bitcoin. After all, it was one of the first forks of Bitcoin.

bitcoin vs litecoin

Litecoin was one of the first forks of Bitcoin.

Comparing Litecoin to Bitcoin not only makes sense from a convenience point of view, but also allows us to locate what makes it different technologically. Litecoin is intended to be used as a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. In reality, it is capable of performing the same work that Bitcoin does at a faster and cheaper rate.


Transaction confirmation speeds play a huge role in how quickly a currency is adopted. Bitcoin confirmations typically take around ten minutes with periods up to 2548 minutes. The Litecoin network can confirm transactions at a much faster rate.

The Litecoin verification period has a fixed duration of 2.5 minutes. For each individual Bitcoin block that is confirmed, four Litecoin blocks of the same size are confirmed.


The cost of sending any denomination of LTC cost around $0.02while Bitcoin currently around $0.35. The costs are almost negligible today, however during peak traffic Bitcoin transaction costs seem to increase quite drastically. This is an immediate advantage for small transactions, as splitting a $10 Uber with a friend doesn’t make sense to most people if you have to pay $5.00 on top of that. Litecoin offers the option to pay for everyday goods without high fees that start to add up very quickly.


One of Litecoin’s goals is to distribute hashing power more evenly than the Bitcoin network. This includes mining pools, mining pools, and a much smaller (and less decentralized) subset of miners. Litecoin aims to keep hashing power decentralized.

Litecoin mining also keeps transaction fees relatively low due to the inherently higher total supply. There can only be 21 million Bitcoins in existence, while there can be as many as 84 million Litecoins. This is important because it makes mining less competitive, and the more competitive mining becomes, the higher the transaction fees.

While Bitcoin is dealing with some serious scalability issues due to its high transaction fees, Litecoin can theoretically produce block after block while keeping its transaction costs lower. Granted, not as many people use Litecoin as Bitcoin and could theoretically end up dealing with the same scalability issues if it experienced similar growth and usage, but that’s just not the case yet.

Litecoin also uses the crypt hash algorithm that uses much less processing power than the Bitcoin SHA-256 hash algorithm. By putting a greater emphasis on high-speed RAM utilization, Litecoin makes it far less possible for a single player (or a small collective group of big players) to dominate the mining world.

About Litecoin


It is important to note the differences in how Bitcoin and Litecoin came to be. The origins of the founder of Bitcoin are relatively shrouded in mystery. Satoshi Nakamoto (the pseudonym of the founder of Bitcoin) is essentially relegated to legend and myth.

Litecoin’s founder, on the other hand, has been publicly available and active in the community. You can find Charlie Lee on Linkedin or on Twitter, like @SatoshiLite. After working at Google and founding Litecoin, he also worked in engineering at Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Lee seems to have an approachable and open nature compared to the mysterious and reserved Satoshi. The fact that Lee is able to take lightly (Lite) the situation is very humanizing. Furthermore, it would be hard to find any serious claims or illusions of grandeur within the Litecoin camp. He is out to make cryptocurrency accessible and usable for everyone and is perfectly fine with taking a backseat to Bitcoin.

The fact that Litecoin can hold its own weight when it comes to having a legitimate use case speaks volumes, especially in a cryptocurrency world with over 700 altcoins serving dubious purposes. After all, it has a market cap of over $1.8 billion. That doesn’t just happen by sheer luck.

However, to be fair, users have not pushed Litecoin to the limit because there are simply not many people using it. At the moment, Litecoin does exactly what it was created to do: offer fast, low-cost transactions in a way that Bitcoin couldn’t.


Compared to Bitcoin, which has a market capitalization approximately 33 times larger, Litecoin has several advantages. As mentioned above, it is able to offer users lower transaction fees, faster transaction processing times, a more decentralized mining network, and its founder even drops an occasional comment on Twitter. These advantages technically make Litecoin a better currency for the vast majority of small transactions.

business history

Litecoin originally started turning heads during its explosive growth in November 2013, where it saw a nearly 15x price increase. This jump in price, however, was short-lived and Litecoin hovered in the $4 per LTC range for about two years. It wasn’t until May 2017 that it started to pick up steam again at a time when all cryptocurrencies in general saw massive growth.

The price peaked around $350 in late 2017 and the range bound process seems to be playing out again. Judging by history, we may see prices decline for a year or two before the bulls come back. Since then, Litecoin has hovered around the $40 per LTC mark.

Litecoin has also been relatively innovative, embracing new technologies such as Segregated Witness and conducting the first Lightning Network transaction that sent 0.00000001 LTC from Zurich, Switzerland to San Francisco, USA in less than a second.

On a more controversial note, Charlie Lee reported that he sold all of his Litecoin holdings at the end of 2017. At the time, some members of the community had questioned his commitment to the project. This move was either sheer genius or sheer luck from a trading perspective, considering that it timed the market almost perfectly. Savvy investors may want to pay attention if you ever decide to buy again.

Where to buy Litecoin

Exchanges both big and small sell Litecoin, so you shouldn’t have a problem picking up some. It is particularly popular in Asia on exchanges like OKExbibox and Huobi. If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, you can grab a drink at Bittrex or base of coins.

Where to store Litecoin

Due to the wider adoption of LTC, there are quite a few ways to store it. If you’re storing a large amount, your best bet is always to go with a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano S or Trezor. If you plan to trade it regularly and/or use it daily, there are a few more convenient options. could you go with him official desktop wallet for Windows, Mac and Linux.

If you’re on the go, you’ll probably want something more mobile like the jaxx wallet or LoafWallet. Note that many exchanges offer mobile wallets, even though you don’t actually have your own private keys.


LTC is just another cryptocurrency that just so happens to demonstrate its use case as a low-cost decentralized peer-to-peer payment method.

It was never made to compete head-to-head with Bitcoin, but its technological advantages pose something of a threat. While it could theoretically be “better” than Bitcoin, Bitcoin has already run away with the network effect of rapidly adding a much larger and more active user base.

Bitcoin also has the advantage of being an almost household name at the moment, while Litecoin is much more obscure (especially as new tokens are added to the space on a regular basis). The vast majority of people who jump into the world of cryptocurrencies will buy Bitcoin first. If your hunger is not satisfied, may it also takes some Litecoin and Ethereum as well.


While it seems to work very well for what it is intended for, it is interesting to consider situations where it could see massive user adoption and growth. There isn’t much meat on the bone of whatever loyalists are munching on, but it’s worth noting that it could only be a matter of time before more people start adding Litecoin to their wallets.

If, and this is a big IF, Bitcoin can’t address its scalability issues, Litecoin will be there to at least offer the same utility without paying much (and if Bitcoin reaches the climax of its scalability issues, extremely high). ) Rate.

Until then, Litecoin is likely to remain in the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap, doing what it has always done.

Editor’s note: Ryan Smith updated this article on December 19, 2018 to reflect recent project changes.

Additional Resources

You can find more information about the coin, the team and the project in the following channels: