What is Litecoin?
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency that enables users with near instant payments with minimal fees. Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, who wanted to create improvements to Bitcoin. Although Litecoin is inspired by Bitcoin, it features several technical improvements over Bitcoin, as well as other major cryptocurrencies. One improvement is its adoption of Segregated Witness, which aims to increase transaction confirmation times. The second improvement that Litecoin has over Bitcoin is its use of the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network allows participants to transact with each other without having to make the transactions public on the blockchain. The last improvement that Litecoin offers is its use of atomic swaps, which would allow users to trade different cryptocurrencies without having to rely on a central exchange to do so. Furthermore, compared to Bitcoin, Litecoin features faster confirmation times and improved storage efficiency.
Litecoin differs from Bitcoin in several ways:
- The purpose of the Litecoin Network is to process a block every 2.5 minutes, as opposed to 10 minutes for Bitcoin, which allows for faster transaction confirmation times.
- Litecoin uses a different hashing algorithm, called scrypt, for proof-of-work. This is opposed to Bitcoin, which uses SHA-256 for its hashing algorithm.
- Litecoin has a slightly different GUI than Bitcoin
- Litecoin was released via an open-source client on Github on October 7th, 2011 by Charlie Lee.
- The litecoin network went live on October 13th, 2011.
- Litecoin reached a marketcap of $1 billion in November 2013.
- In May 2017, Litecoin became the first coin in the top 5 (by marketcap) to adopt Segregated Witness. Later in the month, the first Lightning Network transaction was completed through Litecoin, sending 0.00000001 LTC from Zurich to San Francisco in under one second.