›   What is Litecoin?

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a cryptocurrency just like Bitcoin. It can be sent globally around the world almost instantly, for very low fees.

History of Litecoin

Litecoin was actually one of the first forks of Bitcoin. Its creator, Charlie Lee, was a former Google employee and created Litecoin when he got into cryptocurrency.

Why does Litecoin have value?

Litecoin has value for many of the reasons Bitcoin has value. The main reason Bitcoin has value is because it’s very useful and scarce. Litecoin is the same. Only 84 million LTC will ever exist, which creates the scarcity. Litecoin is also very useful because it can be sent anywhere in the world instantly for very low fees.

Litecoin Mining

Litecoin mining is much, much different than it used to be. At the time of writing, Litecoin is about $32. In its early days, Litecoin was very easy to mine because it was cheap and there was no competition.

How to Buy Litecoin

Litecoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, so it’s actually gotten pretty easy to buy compared to many of the other small altcoins.

Coinbase is the easiest way to buy bitcoins in the USA, Europe, UK, Australia, and Canada. You can buy with either a credit card or bank account.

If you live in South America, Africa or Asia then the easiest way is to buy bitcoins then convert using Changelly.

Litecoin Wallets

The number of Litecoin wallets are actually somewhat limited. Bitcoin is still the only cryptocurrency that people really use on a daily basis. So, the demand is not strong for many Litecoin wallets so not many exist.

Probably the best, most feature packed Litecoin wallet is Electrum LTC. It is a fork of the popular Bitcoin wallet Electrum. It is open-source software and can be used on Mac, PC, or Desktop.

If you want secure storage of your LTC, we recommend using a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S or the TREZOR.

Those devices both support litecoins and store the coins offline, and away from hackers or malware. Both devices are also compatible with Electrum LTC, so you can use that Electrum LTC wallet to communicate with your hardware wallet.

Hardware wallets will probably be the best option for you if you serious about long term, secure storage of your litecoins.

Litecoin vs Bitcoin

The only benefit Litecoin really has over Bitcoin is that it has more features. Bitcoin miners were blocking a very beneficial upgrade for the system purely to benefit financially. The Litecoin miners also tried to block this update but eventually caved.

The update is called Segwit, and it basically doubles the capacity of any network it is activated on. Right now, Litecoin has Segwit activated and Bitcoin does not.

Litecoin already had 4x the transaction capacity of Bitcoin, and with Segwit activated it now has 8x more capacity than Bitcoin and potentially more. Of course, not many people use Litecoin at all so this is theoretical. Bitcoin is the only crypto that today has any real usage.

Litecoin is also slightly faster than Bitcoin since blocks are created on average every 2.5 minutes, whereas for Bitcoin the blocks are every 10 minutes. This simply means that you get a lower amount of security faster with Litecoin.

Litecoin vs Bitcoin. These two cryptocurrencies are often compared, and for good reason.

Exchanges

Bitcoin is by far the easiest cryptocurrency to buy. Every crypto exchange supports Bitcoin. Most support Litecoin, but not all. Coinbase, the world’s largest Bitcoin broker, recently added Litecoin which made it very easy for Americans, Europeans, Australians, and Canadians to buy LTC with a credit card or bank account.

The main problem for LTC, however, is that it is very hard to buy Litecoin with cash. LocalBitcoins, BitQuick, and Wall of Coins are the biggest cash to Bitcoin exchanges and none support Litecoin.

Winner: Bitcoin

Price

The Bitcoin price is obviously higher than Litecoin, and so is its market cap. It may seem like Litecoin has more room for growth, but that is unlikely to happen unless Litecoin is able to take use-cases from BTC.

Winner: Bitcoin

Speed

The average Bitcoin confirmation takes 10 minutes, while Litecoin confirmations take on average 2.5 minutes. While this makes Litecoin seem faster, you’d still need 4 Litecoin confirmations to reach the same level of security as Bitcoin.

With Litecoin’s activation of Segwit, it does have Lightning Network while Bitcoin does not. This means Litecoin supports instant transactions, and Bitcoin doesn’t.

It’s a close call, but Bitcoin is likely to get these features eventually.

Winner: Tie

Security

Bitcoin’s network hash rate is far bigger than Litecoin. Bitcoin mining also seems to be more decentralized than Litecoin. This is not really a close competition.

Litecoin’s hash rate will grow if its price rises, but for now Bitcoin simply has a much more serious mining industry behind it.

Winner: Bitcoin

Acceptance

BitPay, the leader in helping merchants accept Bitcoin, does not have Litecoin support. This could change if BitPay added support for Litecoin, but for now Bitcoin is the clear winner here.

Winner: Bitcoin

Developers

Litecoin has a solid group of developers, but not nearly as many as Bitcoin. Also, much of Litecoin’s code is simply just ported over from Bitcoin.

Litecoin has good code, but most crypto developers focus on Bitcoin.

Winner: Bitcoin

Wallets

This is where it really shows that not many people are using Litecoin. There are very few wallets available for Litecoin compared to how many are available for Bitcoin.

Luckily for Litecoin, most hardware wallets like TREZOR and Ledger support LTC. However, there are not as many iOS and Android wallets available for Litecoin.

Winner: Bitcoin

Liquidity

Bitcoin is available on more markets and is considered the reserve currency of crypto. It is the most stable crypto.

Litecoin is probably the second most stable cryptocurrency, but it still does not even come close to matching Bitcoin’s stability.

The Bitcoin markets are also very deep compared to Litecoin, and larger trades can be made that don’t move the market as much as they would move the BTC market.

OTC markets also exist for BTC, so large buys and sells. While these markets may exist for LTC, they are not as popular.

Also, purely by market cap, Bitcoin is much bigger which means it can handle a much larger amount of trade than Litecoin.

Winner: Bitcoin

Privacy

Both Bitcoin and Litecoin have the same privacy features, which aren’t anything special.

Running a full node with either coin will be the most private user. Transactions on these coins are public, so anyone can see outputs and inputs.

Winner: Tie