Bitcoin may be the leading cryptocurrency, but hundreds of other coins are fighting for the same space. There are popular alternatives like ZCash, Ethereum, and Litecoin that have been around for a while.
What is Litecoin?
This peer-to-peer open source digital currency is a universally decentralized payment network that facilitates affordable global payments. Litecoin runs on a mathematical algorithm that secures the network and gives users a safe handle on their finances. Litecoin’s leading features include a quick transaction confirmation time and an enhanced storage capacity.
Validation happens through “mining.” Miners who take part create new Litecoins and they get remunerated via a transaction fee. There is the highest ceiling of 84 billion Litecoins; when the limit is eventually reached miners won’t be able to create any more tokens. This limits the influx of Litecoins and helps to boost the value.
The Origin of Litecoin
Litecoin was launched in October 2011, less than three years following the launch Bitcoin. Its creator, Charlie Lee, is a former employee of Google Inc. who describes his creation as the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold” and draws its clientele from Bitcoin Core. Litecoin’s design imitates Bitcoin in terms of decentralization but has extra features. The board of directors includes Charlie Lee, Xinxi Wang, Franklyn Richards, Zing Yang, Keith Yong, John Eidson and Adrian Gallagher among others.
Where the Bitcoin blockchain takes ten minutes to process new blocks and longer confirmation times during peak periods, Litecoin has a larger capacity that allows it to take at two-and-a-half minutes to process a new block.
Litecoin is built on a dynamic S-Crypt algorithm. The S-Crypt algorithm is easier to configure and is more streamlined and enables “lightning speed” transaction validation.
Potential Uses of Litecoin
Cryptocurrencies have the potential of completely restructuring different industries globally, thanks to the Smart Contract feature. The two major places where cryptocurrencies stand out are:
Transactions: Digital currencies that run in the same vein as the conventional ‘fiat’ currencies are being used to pay for goods and services. Many legitimate outlets are including Litecoin among the acceptable forms of payment. You can now pay for clothing, jewelry, or luxury cars using Litecoin.
Gifts: Litecoin is a great alternative for cash tokens or gift vouchers. Thanks to its short block time, quick confirmations, and low fees, you can easily transfer Litecoin to anyone with a cryptocurrency wallet address.
Litecoin as a Treasure Store
Litecoin has created wealth for thousands of investors in a short time span. In 2017, Litecoin’s value increased exponentially. At the beginning of 2017 a Litecoin was worth only $4 but during its peak, in December 2017, it hit a high of $371 before correcting to the current price of $58 USD.
Mining Litecoin is reportedly easier since because of the low-difficulty in solving blocks. Litecoin uses the “proof of work” model during mining. While the process of mining Litecoin is easier, Bitcoin still has a higher value and the ease of mining must be put in perspective with every coin’s value.
The SHA2556 algorithm used by Bitcoin differs from the S-Crypt algorithm used by Litecoin.
SHA256 algorithm: This algorithm is favorable to systems that need a large processing power for their mining processes. This method works best when in situations where there is more processing power.
S-Crypt algorithm: This mining algorithm takes a different approach at is favorable to systems that have a big RAM (random access memory) for mining.
You can re-purpose any computer with a powerful Graphics Card that has been used to mine Bitcoin but are now not being used to mine your Litecoin. With S-Crypt mining you can easily use your basic home computer.
The Right Hardware and Software
Cryptocurrency mining requires specialized computers called Rigs. However, you can use a personal computer at the beginning after uploading the relevant software and join a mining pool before you can afford to buy a Rig. Once you acquire a computer and set up your software, you need a wallet to keep the Litecoins (LTC) you will earn from mining.
Wallet encryption lets you secure your cryptocurrency wallet, view information about your transactions and account balances from a mobile device or a desktop. Litecoin wallets are password protected and need entering key information before you can transact business; the best wallets offer a safeguard against Trojans and viruses that try to penetrate and steal your Litecoins.
Buying and Storing Litecoin
If you want to buy Litecoin, secure a wallet. Litecoin Core is the crypto currency’s original wallet. It’s a free Desktop Application that will download the entire Litecoin Blockchain. Most leading cryptocurrency exchanges accept debit or credit card payments and wire transfers in exchange of Litecoin. The list of currencies you can use to buy Litecoin has exploded over the last one year.
Tips for Buying Litecoin
Litecoin attracted thousands of speculators following Bitcoin’s price surge in November 2013, but, the costs of both cryptocurrencies have since dropped significantly. You should expect a similar pattern of rising and falling.
Verify the authenticity of every transaction continuously before you contribute your assets so you don’t lose your money. Take the time to learn of potential traps and dangers involved buying cryptocurrencies so you can see the red flags.
The fastest and least expensive way to buy Litecoins is to use Bitcoin. Use your Bitcoin reserve to buy Litecoins from the leading exchanges. Buying Litecoin via a fiat wire exchange should have been the most direct approach but unfortunately, it’s not the case. The reason is that major Bitcoin exchanges such as Coinbase and BTC China don’t deal directly with Litecoin exchanges.
Litecoin’s Long-Term Relevance
Today there are over 1,600 cryptocurrencies and more are being created but Litecoin is more recognized than tens of other cryptocurrencies. Litecoin’s Blockchain capacity to handle more transactions than Bitcoin gives it an edge over many similar coins. This is due to the network’s larger block generation capacity and the ability to generate more transactions. The outcome is happy merchants enjoying faster verification times.
LTC’s market cap rate is likely to continue increasing as time moves. This is likely to lead to more businesses adopting the coin alongside Bitcoin or completely replacing it. With additional Litecoin ATMs being installed and more companies switching to Litecoin, potential buyers want to consider all developments before they buy Litecoin.