Litecoin: The Bitcoin Killer?
Consensus Algorithm: Proof-of-Work
Native Blockchain: Litecoin Blockchain
Release Date: 7 October 2011
Supply: 62,424,175 (as of 26 June 2019)
Official Website: https://litecoin.org/
What is Litecoin?
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, much like Bitcoin. When first released, it aimed to build on the early successes of Bitcoin, but address some of its downsides by delivering almost zero-cost payments to anybody, anywhere on the planet. A very noble and worthwhile objective.
There are some similarities to Bitcoin, mainly in the way that LTC is encrypted. Transactions are protected by the same encryption as Bitcoin, allowing people to move and create money.
There are no central authorities involved in the massive payment network created by Litecoin. This is entirely decentralized and completely open-source. Thanks to the way this network has been set up, people that use it have a higher degree of control over their finances. In essence, you can do what you want without anyone looking over you and preventing you from doing something.
How does Litecoin differ from Bitcoin?
Litecoin vs Bitcoin in transactions
On the face of it, both cryptocurrencies are similar in their purpose. Both are seen as a way of storing and moving value. Naturally, Bitcoin gets all the headlines because it was the first of its kind and grabbed mainstream media headlines in 2017/18 when it shot up to $20,000. By comparison, Litecoin peaked at around $350 at the same time.
However, the key difference between the two comes in the transaction department. LTC is proven to have much faster transaction confirmation times than Bitcoin. If this surprises you, then it shouldn't! Remember, the whole purpose of this cryptocurrency was to evolve Bitcoin and create a cryptocurrency that could be used as a means of transferring value.
As a comparison, Bitcoin's block confirmation time sits at around 10 minutes. Litecoins is just over 2 minutes. What does this mean? Well, LTC can process transactions in a fraction of the time, meaning more can be completed. In theory, you could process close to 5 transactions for every 1 from Bitcoin. As a result, Bitcoin tends to have a huge backlog of transactions because it can't keep up. To fix this, they charge higher transaction fees to try and speed everything up. With Litecoin, fees are much smaller because of its quicker transaction speeds.
To further drive this point home, the most recent average reports for Litecoin show that transactions are completed at a rate of just 30 cents per transaction. Bitcoin is sitting at $8.50 per transaction. So, you can clearly see a massive difference in how the two hold up as a medium for processing transactions.