History of LitecoinLitecoin (LTC) is quite similar to Bitcoin. It is actually a fork of Bitcoin that came into existence in 2011. The founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee is a former Google employee and former Engineering Director at Coinbase.
Lee was recently interviewed on the Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast and highlighted Litecoin’s biggest strengths. He explained that Litecoin has shorter block times and cheaper fees and is ideal for making payments. Lee said Litecoin is also great for testing ‘new stuff’ due to the fact that the coin’s market cap is smaller than Bitcoin’s and the developers can take more risks.
He said Litecoin is available on almost all cryptocurrency exchanges, including AltCoinTrader and even the Chinese exchanges added Litecoin as second only to Bitcoin. Furthermore, two-thirds of all Bitcoin ATMs support Litecoin and therefore it is easy to make use of Litecoin in everyday activities.
Is Litecoin better than Bitcoin?In order to determine if Bitcoin’s clone, Litecoin is indeed better we have to take a look at the following: Mining, transaction speed and pricing, amongst other things.
Litecoin mining vs Bitcoin miningBitcoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm to mine. However, this algorithm requires a lot of processing power, uses a lot of electricity and is quite slow. Litecoin uses the Scrypt algorithm which is four times faster and uses less electricity. Comparing transaction speed
It only takes 2.5 minutes for the Litecoin network to add a new block of transactions to its blockchain. On the other hand, Bitcoin can take up to 10 minutes. Basically, when you are buying or selling goods or services with Litecoin as your preferred method of payment, you can get two confirmations within 5 minutes. This makes Litecoin the better option for merchants.
Litecoin Atomic SwapsLitecoin’s Atomic Swaps allow hodler to swap Bitcoins, for example for Litecoins without having to go through an exchange or third party and pay associated fees. Atomic Swaps allow you to swap your Bitcoin for someone else’s Litecoin. This is done through the implementation of Hashed timelock contracts (HTLCs). The HTLC opens up a payment channel between the two parties on a pre-agreed deadline. Cryptographic proofs serve as payment acknowledgement and parties can also forfeit payments and return the coins.
Comparing potential increase in priceThe bull run of 2017 was epic! Almost all cryptocurrencies went to the moon including Litecoin. During that period Litecoin increased by 7 291% whilst Bitcoin increased by 1 731%. Will history repeat itself?
In conclusion, majority of merchants who accept cryptocurrency payments prefer Bitcoin since it is the most popular crypto. Fewer merchants accept Litecoin, so Litecoin still has a way to go even though it is faster than Bitcoin. It is also worth noting that Litecoin (84 million) has a larger supply than Bitcoin (21 million). This is important because the less supply of an asset, the more value it has.