Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Creation and transfer of coins is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. While inspired by, and in most regards technically nearly identical to Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin has some technical differences compared to Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, such as the adoption of Segregated Witness, and the Lightning Network. These effectively allow a greater number of transactions to be processed by the network in a given time, reducing potential bottlenecks, as seen with Bitcoin. Litecoin also has almost zero payment cost and facilitates payments approximately four times faster than Bitcoin.
Official Litecoin logo
|Plural||Litecoin, Litecoins, LTCs|
|Date of introduction||7 October 2011|
|Inflation||Limited release (geometric series, rate halves every 4 years reaching a final total of 84 million LTC)|
|Method||Increasing difficulty per every 2016 blocks produced.|
Litecoin was released via an open-source client on GitHub on October 7, 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee. The Litecoin network went live on October 13, 2011. It was a fork of the Bitcoin Core client, differing primarily by having a decreased block generation time (2.5 minutes), increased maximum number of coins, different hashing algorithm (scrypt, instead of SHA-256), and a slightly modified GUI.
During the month of November 2013, the aggregate value of Litecoin experienced massive growth which included a 100% leap within 24 hours.
In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top-5 (by market cap) cryptocurrencies to adopt Segregated Witness. Later in May of the same year, the first Lightning Network transaction was completed through litecoin, transferring 0.00000001 LTC from Zurich to San Francisco in under one second.
The beginning of September had Litecoin topping out its record high run of $92.07 per coin. The recent regulatory crackdown by China started the severe down turn back to a low of around $46.04 per coin as of the 14th of September.
Differences from BitcoinEdit
Litecoin is different in some ways from Bitcoin.
- The Litecoin Network aims to process a block every 2.5 minutes, rather than Bitcoin's 10 minutes, which its developers claim allows for faster transaction confirmation.
- Litecoin uses scrypt in its proof-of-work algorithm, a sequential memory-hard function requiring asymptotically more memory than an algorithm which is not memory-hard.
Due to Litecoin's use of the scrypt algorithm, FPGA and ASIC devices made for mining Litecoin are more complicated to create and more expensive to produce than they are for Bitcoin, which uses SHA-256.
- "Litecoin charts". ltc-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
- "Litecoin.org". litecoin.org. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
- Satoshi, Nakamoto. "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" (PDF). Bitcoin.org. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Litecoin's SegWit Activation: Why it Matters and What's Next - CoinDesk". CoinDesk. 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
- "Bitcoin Scaling Problem, Explained". CoinTelegraph. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
- "Litecoin Block Time chart". bitinfocharts.com. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
- "Block hashing algorithm".
- Charlton, Alistair (2013-11-28). "Litecoin value leaps 100% in a day as market cap passes $1bn". International Business Times, UK Edition. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- Cohen, Reuven (2013-11-28). "Crypto-currency bubble continues: Litecoin surpasses billion dollar market capitalization". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
- "Litecoin Charts - Litecoin Cryptocurrency Blockchain Explorer". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- Russell, Rusty. "Lightning on Litecoin". Blockstream. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- Bovaird, Charles. "Litecoin Prices Plunge As Crypto Markets Suffer Sell-Off". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
- Steadman, Ian (2013-05-11). "Wary of Bitcoin? A guide to some other cryptocurrencies". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
- Percival, Colin. "Stronger key derivation via sequential memory-hard functions" (PDF). Self-published. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
- Coventry, Alex (2012-04-25). "Nooshare: A decentralized ledger of shared computational resources" (PDF). Self-published. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
These hash functions can be tuned to require rapid access a very large memory space, making them particularly hard to optimize to specialized massively parallel hardware.