Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency that started in January 2009 and was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was so successful that most people think of it as the cryptocurrency per se. And while this is very true that Bitcoin started it and became the largest cryptocurrency by market cap and network growth, it is not the only one out there on the market.
As soon as Bitcoin was out there in the open many people started to take interest into its possible economical impact and its features and specifications. Many ideas to change Bitcoin were rejected or simply postponed, because they were under discussion by the open-source community that took care of Bitcoins development after Satoshi left. It became clear that having own ideas about how a cryptocurrency should work needed to be developed independently from Bitcoin.
The era of altcoins started and the first and the perhaps most famous was and is Litecoin. In todays’ article we are going to compare Litecoin with Bitcoin. Again, like in our previous article we are not going to judge, but rather outline the differences between both coins.
Litecoin –Digital silver by design
It is impossible to speak about Litecoins history without mentioning Bitcoin as well. Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin and therefore they share similar features. Both rely on proof of work, but Litecoin is using the scrypt algorithm and Bitcoin is using SHA-256. Same goes for the block time and the maximum supply. A new block is created every 10 minutes on the Bitcoin blockchain on average, while Litecoins block time is 2,5 minutes on average.
Therefore, on-chain transactions with Litecoin are way faster than with Bitcoin and this is perceived a as a very unique feature that offers an advantage. Another major difference between both cryptocurrencies is the maximum supply. Bitcoin was created with a maximum supply that will be approximately achieved in the year 2145. Litecoin on the other hand has a maximum supply of 84 million LTC.
This was meant to be on purpose. Litecoin was in fact designed to be digital silver that is less scarce than Bitcoin and seeks to coexist rather than overtake the original invention. What they both have in common is the fact that they are each a decentralized payment system that cannot be controlled by any single entity on the planet. Another difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin is the fact the inventor of Litecoin is known to the public, while it is still unknown who Satoshi Nakamoto really is or was.
Charlie Lee, the inventor of Litecoin, sold his own holdings in December 2017 and put the Litecoin Foundation in charge of the project to foster relations to the open-source community and promote Litecoin and its technology worldwide. Lee was born on the Ivory Coast and moved with his family to the United States when he was 13. He graduated in computer science in 2000fromthe MIT with a master of science.
Litecoin is a test lab
One of the main reasons that Bitcoin is so valuable is that each and every change in the code is audited and slowly, but carefully implemented by a community of developers. Bitcoin moves slow, but stable at all times. It is reliable and that is a feature rather than an obstacle. Still, there are those who would like to see changes sooner then later.
Given the fact that Bitcoin was always slower adopting new ideas, Litecoin was a testing ground for many developers. A couple of notable changes were first developed and implemented on Litecoin before they found their way into the code of Bitcoin. Does Litecoin run less stable, because it has a different stance towards that question? No, but there is more risk involved moving faster. So far, Litecoin has seen no major issues because of its agility.
A good example is segregated witness or SegWit. It was proposed for Bitcoin in the year 2015, but it took two years until it was first adopted by Litecoin. SegWit created a deep controversy in the Bitcoin community and was eventually implemented later in 2017. The result of the debate whether SegWit should be adopt or not was Bitcoin Cash, because dissenters were convinced that only bigger blocks were the right solution to the scalability issue of BTC.
Same goes for the Lightning Network that is supposed to solve all scalability issues once and for all. But the second layer technology wasn’t introduced to Bitcoin first. Again, Litecoin was the early adopter of the new technology and offered a field test for Bitcoin developers to experiment with it before making the move and adopting it for BTC.
Another technology that is being implemented by Litecoin is the MimbleWimble protocol. Bitcoin transactions are not anonymous and MimbleWimble is supposed to protect Litecoin users from preying eyes that could invade their privacy. Many researchers have argued that without privacy there is no freedom to transact and MimbleWimble could be a cornerstone to preserve that right.
LiteBits own history with Litecoin
As some of our readers might already have guessed, LiteBits own history is closely connected to Litecoin. Founded in 2013 as a start-up by two crypto enthusiasts, Litecoin was the first cryptocurrency that was offered to our customers. Hence the name LiteBit.
Bitcoin was the second cryptocurrency listed and offered by our service. And while we are deeply committed to deliver the best service and treat all projects and communities equally, we are still proud of our own past that roots in the success of Litecoin as digital silver that not only convinced our customers, but also a huge community worldwide.
Litecoin is accepted
Many cryptocurrencies vanished over the course of time. There are still over 5.000 different cryptocurrencies out there. Litecoin was invented by Charly Lee in 2011 and unlike others it managed to stay for good and create something outstanding. This is not only reflected by the price which has increased drastically along with the rest of the market, but also its standing as a top 10 cryptocurrency in terms of market cap.
It not only stood the test of time, but also managed to fulfill its use case. Litecoin is digital silver and as a payment network that seeks to coexist with Bitcoin, Litecoin is accepted in most shops that accept BTC. You can use it for payments and many traders are still opting for Litecoin if they are going to transfer money between exchanges. Truly itis not attractive for that purpose as it was before stablecoins became popular, but LTC still offers very fast on-chain transactions and this is very attractive for arbitrage opportunities or other cases that are time critical.
Litecoin has also been included by PayPal along with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. Meaning that one of the biggest payment providers worldwide is exploring the option of offering cryptocurrencies with one of the oldest coins available on the market. Litecoin hasn’t seen a lot of hype yet, if you compare it to the growth of Bitcoin in the last 6 months. But at some point, it seems to be inevitable that the digital silver will see more traction and follow the digital gold.