first started, there was only Bitcoin. The digital currency itself was already complex, complicated, and fairly challenging to understand. But a few years later, more and more cryptocurrencies started emerging. One of the most notable was Litecoin. Piggybacking on the success of Bitcoin, Litecoin stood as proof that all of the former's efforts in legitimizing cryptocurrency weren't in vain. And over time, Litecoin became its own force to be reckoned with. But what is Litecoin, exactly? How does it differ from Bitcoin? Well, here are a few answers that many would like to know.
The Litecoin - What is it?
Simply put, Litecoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency that allows payments and transactions with little to no cost. In many ways, it's similar to Bitcoin
, however, it's important to note that they're not the same. On the contrary, Litecoin's role is to complement Bitcoin, similarly to how silver complements gold. But while Litecoin is lower than Bitcoin in market capitalization, the former trumps the latter in terms of quantity. It's said that there are only around 84 million Litecoins to mine overall, while for Bitcoins, there are only 21 million. The 63 million difference makes Litcoin a lot more accessible compared to Bitcoins.
Compute scientist Charlie Lee invented Litecoin back in 2011. Around that time, Bitcoin dominated and practically monopolized the cryptocurrency market even though the currency itself had a few shortcomings. Charlie Lee came up with Litecoin as a form of support and to answer the problems that mining Bitcoins left. And so, based on Bitcoin’s open-source codebase, Litecoin was created as a complementary form of cryptocurrency which was easier and faster to transact. Compared to Bitcoin's standard ten-minute transaction time, it only takes Litecoins around 2.5 minutes in total. The difference was staggering, resulting in Litecoin's steady rise in high market capitalization.
The Differences Between Mining Litecoins and Bitcoins
As already mentioned, Litecoin transactions are faster compared to Bitcoins, making it a desirable alternative to the latter. However, that's not the only difference between the two. Setting aside market capitalization and speed of transactions, there are a ton of differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin. When it comes to mining these cryptocurrencies, for instance, Bitcoin is more processor-intensive while Litecoins is more memory intensive through scrypt. Charlie Lee made it so that more developers, who can't afford the necessary equipment to mine Bitcoins, can still mine Litecoins with standard techniques such as regular computers (CPUs) and gaming computers (GPUs).
How to Get Litecoins
Thanks to its accessibility, buying Litecoins is also easy for beginners to cryptocurrency. Firstly, you need to set up an account on a cryptocurrency or digital money platform, decide how many Litecoins you want to purchase, and then buy them on the spot. Out of all the available platforms out there, Coinbase
is arguably the best since Litecoin's founder, Charlie Lee, once worked there. However, you can also go for Gemini
or standard money-sharing platforms like PayPal
. Do note, however, that when you decide to buy Litecoins, you have to check the current value of the cryptocurrency in real-time. Litecoins, just like any other cryptocurrency, have a volatile market value that can fluctuate instantly.
Keeping Up with Litecoin
Speaking of Charlie Lee, he is one of a handful of cryptocurrency founders and developers who continuously engages with the online community. As compared to 'Satoshi Nakamoto,' whose true identity hasn't even been revealed yet, Lee is active in providing updates and upgrades to Litecoin. Just this 2017, Lee successfully launched Segregated Witness (SegWit) as a new platform for Litecoin, allowing for more development and future innovation. He's even gone as far as to urge the Litecoin community to support SegWit to help push Litecoin forward into the future. If you want to keep updated by Charlie Lee himself, follow his Twitter account, @SatoshiLee
More than just an alternative to Bitcoin, Litecoin has become its own important cryptocurrency. It's not far-fetched to expect that Litecoin might even become the highest-valued cryptocurrency soon.