Litecoin (LTC) was officially launched in October 2011. Since then, the Cryptocurrency has grown to become the ninth largest coin by market cap on coinmarkecap.com at the time of writing this article. The altcoin brands itself as a peer-to-peer Cryptocurrency that supports fast and near-zero payments between different people around the world.
At the time of the launch of this Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was still the dominant coin. Although Litecoin and Bitcoin share various characteristics, the former was created as the latter’s lighter version. And true to its aspiration, its transactions are four times faster and transactions fees lower than Bitcoin’s.
Charlie Lee, an ex-Google employee created Litecoin. In the summer of 2017, Lee quit Coinbase exchange as an engineer to focus on the coin full time. Like most of his peers in the blockchain sector, he saw many flaws in Bitcoin such as concentrated mining pools, difficult in mining, high transaction fees, and transactions time. He believed that his new coin could be a perfect Bitcoin alternative and would allow large-scale adoption by individuals and businesses.
For Lee to develop a lighter version of Bitcoin, he needed to increase its scalability. Scalability in Cryptocurrencies refers to the number of transactions that a given blockchain can process in a second. Lee introduced some changes to the original blockchain to improve scalability through a process called hard fork.
Litecoin And Bitcoin Comparison
As mentioned, Litecoin is both faster and more efficient than Bitcoin. This has enhanced its adoption by merchants and vendors. Users can perform high volume transactions using Litecoin at a low cost and high speed as the coin relies on the Lightning Network and Segregated Witness (SegWit).
For other Cryptocurrencies, users have to rely on exchanges and other third parties to send or receive digital tokens. However, Litecoin recently introduced a system called cross chain atomic swap that uses smart contract that eliminates the need for third parties when swapping coins.
In terms of trading volume, no Cryptocurrency has matched the popularity of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is also more expensive than Litecoin. However, Litecoin’s low price makes it attractive for buying low-priced products and services. Perhaps with increased adoption of Cryptocurrencies, Litecoin will use this feature to close the gap with Bitcoin.
Getting Your First Litecoin
Mining is one of the ways you can use to get your first coin. Litecoin uses mining process called Proof-of-Work (PoW). You only need to ensure you have the right mining devices to create Litecoin.
You could also buy your first Litecoin. Various exchanges enable users to purchase Cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies. Given that Coinbase exchange is fully regulated by the American government, it is an ideal place to buy Litecoin for US residents. Although it may be expensive to use cards on this exchange, you are assured of getting your coins instantly.
You can store your Litecoins in several wallets. Both Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets support Litecoin. Given that hardware wallets are not connected to the internet, they are the safest. However, they are not ideal for those who want to send or receive their altcoins fast. You can also go to the official websites for Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and Mac among others to download your favorite wallet.