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Litecoin (LTC or Ł[1]) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license.[2] Creation and transfer of coins is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority.[2][3] While inspired by, and in most regards technically nearly identical to Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin has some minor technical differences compared to Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. Litecoin also has almost zero payment cost.

6 Full Logo S-2.png
Official Litecoin logo
 0.001 lites
 0.00000001 photons
Plural Litecoin, LTCs
Symbol LTC, Ł
Date of introduction 7 October 2011; 6 years ago (2011-10-07)
User(s) International
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.[4] The Litecoin network went live on October 13, 2011.[5] 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.[6]

During the month of November 2013, the aggregate value of Litecoin experienced massive growth which included a 100% leap within 24 hours.[7]

Litecoin reached a $1 billion market capitalization in November 2013.[8] By late November 2017, its market capitalization was US$4,600,081,733 ($85.18 per coin).[9][10]

In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top-5 (by market cap) cryptocurrencies to adopt Segregated Witness.[11] Later in May of the same year, the first Lightning Network transaction was completed through Litecoin, transferring 0.00000001 LTC from Zürich to San Francisco in under one second.[12]

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.[2][13]
  • 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.[14]

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.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Litecoin charts". Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "". Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  3. ^ Satoshi, Nakamoto. "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" (PDF). Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Googler Gives the World a Better Bitcoin". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-10-25. 
  5. ^ "When should Litecoin be launched?". 
  6. ^ "Block hashing algorithm". 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Cohen, Reuven (2013-11-28). "Crypto-currency bubble continues: Litecoin surpasses billion dollar market capitalization". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  9. ^ "Litecoin (LTC) price, charts, market cap, and other metrics - CoinMarketCap". 
  10. ^ "Litecoin Charts - Litecoin Cryptocurrency Blockchain Explorer". Retrieved 2017-11-26. 
  11. ^ Blockstream [@Blockstream] (10 May 2017). "Blockstream's Christian Decker @Snyke completes first Lightning network payment on Litecoin. See. Blog post soon!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  12. ^ Russell, Rusty. "Lightning on Litecoin". Blockstream. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  13. ^ Steadman, Ian (2013-05-11). "Wary of Bitcoin? A guide to some other cryptocurrencies". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  14. ^ Percival, Colin. "Stronger key derivation via sequential memory-hard functions" (PDF). Self-published. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  15. ^ 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. 

External linksEdit