With over 1000 cryptocurrencies now available, there are plenty of options for those looking to diversify their holdings. One of the most popular altcoins is Litecoin. Here are the basic facts you should know about Litecoin.
Litecoin is almost identical to Bitcoin
Litecoin is a peer to peer cryptocurrency which works in pretty much the same way as Bitcoin.
Litecoin is better suited to small transactions
Think of all the transaction you have made in the last 24 hours. Chances are high that most were small payments -a takeout coffee, a pack of gum, a book. The majority of the purchases we make tend to be little and need to be fast.
Hence one of the core benefits of Litecoin. The Litecoin network can process transactions in around 2.5 minutes. By contrast, the Bitcoin network takes four times as long and transaction fees are substantially higher.
It’s ideal for everyday purchases which don’t need Bitcoin’s extra level of security.
There are four times as many Litecoins as Bitcoins
Cryptocurrencies are designed to be finite – a certain number of coins are available to be mined. If a particular cryptocurrency becomes popular, that scarcity will cause prices to rise.
With Bitcoin prices at the current level, keeping track of zeros and decimal places on smaller transactions can get complicated.
To simplify matters, there are four times as many Litecoins (84 million) available as there are Bitcoins (21 million.)
Litecoin was released by Charlie Lee in 2011
Former Google employee Charlie Lee developed Litecoin in his spare time while working on ChromeOS. Lee studied computer science at MIT, worked at Microsoft and Guidewire prior to Google, and was director of engineering at Coinbase.
Unlike the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, Lee’s identity is obviously known. He remains an active participant in cryptocurrency forums and Twitter discussions. His tech background lends the currency an air of credibility. Lee has repeatedly made it clear that his goal is to make Litecoin succeed, not to make himself rich. In late 2017, Lee sold all his Litecoin holdings to prevent conflicts of interest.
While many early altcoins proved to be short-lived scams or were crippled by poor technology, Litecoin is thriving.
Charlie Lee describes Litecoin as ‘Silver To Bitcoin’s Gold’
Litecoin may sound like a competitor to Bitcoin. But Lee -and much of the crypto community – see it differently. In his initial forum post announcing the release of Litecoin, he described it as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.
Think of it as Bitcoin’s sprightly younger sibling, with fewer knocks to its reputation. Being four years younger, Litecoin has learned from Bitcoin’s mistakes and corrected some infrastructural issues. Lee also made it easier for desktop users to mine Litecoin.
Litecoin quickly gained traction within the cryptocurrency community
At first, some people were sceptical about the need for another cryptocurrency – especially one so similar to Bitcoin. It soon became apparent that the two are complementary and Litecoin has grown alongside Bitcoin.
Hovering at a few dollars, the price of a Litecoin remained low for its first few years of existence. Around March of 2017, its popularity surged. Between March and July, Litecoin prices shot from around $4 to over $50, then around $80 by September. As of January 2018, the price has climbed as high as over $300 with the market cap reaching $20 billion.
Buy, store & spend Litecoin with Wirex
Our development team have added the integration of the litecoin wallet onto the roadmap for Q2 2018. Soon you’ll be able to buy, store and spend Litecoin within the Wirex app (more about this shortly).
For now, did you know you can spend your Litecoin (and other alt coins) with the wirex app?
Whilst we are working on the development of the Litecoin wallet, you can still deposit Litecoin into your Bitcoin wallet (we’ve integrated with Shapeshift), making it ready to spend via your Wirex card.
It’s just a few taps away. If you’re new to Wirex, it’s free to sign up.
With anything, we urge you to do your own research (DYOR) and get involved with the community. What are your thoughts on Litecoin? Join the discussion in our community forum here.