In four words or less : Faster Bitcoin
Litecoin (LTC) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. The creation and transfer of coins is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. Litecoin was created in October 2011 by ex-Google employee Charlie Lee. Charlie’s vision is for Litecoin to be the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin.
What problem does Litecoin solve: Litecoin is a faster, nimbler version of Bitcoin. Transaction fees and speeds are faster and cheaper than Bitcoin.
Properties of Litecoin:
- Litecoin has a limited supply. This is capped at 84 million Litecoins
- Because it generates blocks four times faster than Bitcoin, Litecoin can confirm and process transactions a lot faster than Bitcoin
- Like Bitcoin, Litecoin is open source, decentralised, and backed by cryptographic math to secure transactions on its blockchain
- Litecoin uses a memory-intensive algorithm referred to as scrypt. This is intended to protect mining decentralisation
Adoption and penetration:
Litecoin was one of the first alt coins and it has since established a strong community of supporters and a consistent placing in the top 10 coins by marketcap. In late 2017 Charlie Lee sold his Litecoin as he felt it would be a conflict of interest if he worked to promote Litecoin while also holding Litecoins as an investor. Some of the community felt that this was the wrong decision. In response Charlie committed to ensuring that under his guidance he would help Litecoin regain the same value that he sold at.
Management and governance:
Charlie Lee is the lead developer of Litecoin and he is committed to helping the move towards mainstream cryptocurrency adoption. He has been very active in using Litecoin as a test-bed for Bitcoin. In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top 5 crypto coins to adopt Segregated Witness. In May 2017 the first Lightning Network transaction was completed through Litecoin.
Risks and limitations:
The main risk for Litecoin is that as Bitcoin scales it may be used as both a store of value and medium of exchange. It’s possible that there would be less use for Litecoin in this scenario.
Competition: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash