What is Litecoin?

Litecoin was the first cryptocurrency to be forked off of Bitcoin, with its own features to make it unique. To truly understand Litecoin, you must have a decent understanding of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer decentralised digital currency much like Bitcoin but designed specifically for cheaper and faster everyday transactions. Charlie Lee, its creator, describes it best:

‘‘When I designed the coin, I was trying to design a coin that was like silver compared to gold. So I made the confirmation times four times as fast and the total supply four times as much. That’s also why I decided to call it “lite” coin.’’

Since Litecoin is forked off Bitcoin, it shares the same attributes of being a decentralised, blockchain-based digital currency. Here are two core attributes of Litecoin.

Litecoin has more coins

As a cryptocurrency, there are no physical coins or notes when it comes to Litecoin. It’s all digital. There is a limit of 84 million litecoins that can be mined out of the network, which is four times more than Bitcoin’s 21 million. The token ticker for litecoin is LTC.

Faster transactions and lower fees

Litecoin is a ‘lite’ version of Bitcoin, by providing lower transaction fees and faster transaction times, while still using the same open source code behind Bitcoin. This is because Litecoin’s blockchain generates blocks about four times faster than bitcoin. This means that transactions take considerably less time to process, and the fees are cheaper.

Where did Litecoin come from?

Litecoin was created in October 2011 by former Google engineer Charlie Lee. Litecoin was designed to be a ‘lite’ version of Bitcoin.

Lee sold all his litecoins in December 2017 with the idea that this will let him focus on the development on litecoin and have the ability to comment on the coin unbiased.

Where to get Litecoin?

You can gain access to litecoin from a number of sources. These include purchasing or receiving it from another person via a wallet or exchange. You can also mine for litecoins directly from the network.

Mine litecoin

Both Bitcoin and Litecoin are blockchain-based currencies, but they use different algorithms for mining purposes. Litecoin uses the Scrypt algorithm, which is designed to make sure mining is as accessible and well distributed as possible.

Scrypt is less memory-intensive so mining can be performed on computers that are less powerful and more energy efficient. Lee designed this in mind that mining should be more accessible to anyone who wishes to partake in it.

Where to store your litecoin

A big part of implementing best security practice is deciding the best digital currency wallet for you to hold your private keys securely. To learn about the best wallet for you, read the ‘Keeping your Coins safe’ section of this guide.