Litecoin (LTC)

Discover the basics of Litecoin and find links to beginner-friendly guides that show you the best way to invest in it.
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Updated: Oct 4, 2022
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About Litecoin

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a cryptocurrency just like Bitcoin and it’s one of the leading cryptocurrencies by market cap. Formed in 2011, Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee, an alumni of Google and Coinbase. It was created out of a fork from Bitcoin: where a fork comes from copying the original code and then altering it to create something new.

Despite being so similar, it improves on the original Bitcoin in several ways. The most notable are faster transaction speeds and new, innovative features that see it act like a test centre for ideas that could improve Bitcoin.

How does Litecoin work?

Litecoin uses a blockchain, or public ledger, in place of a bank. Every time a transaction is made, it’s added as the next block on the blockchain, which then cannot be changed. This creates an irrefutable proof of ownership for every coin, so spending money you don’t have is impossible.

Generally, this is the same process as Bitcoin. The differences between them are minor and technical, things like the fact that Litecoin can perform more transactions per second and there is a greater total supply of coins.

The other main difference is that Litecoin tends to be more open to development. This has led to features like a ‘lightning network’, allowing for near-instant transactions, which may also improve Bitcoin.

How is the Litecoin network secured?

Litecoin is secured similarly to Bitcoin, although it has a different algorithm. Litecoin uses Scrypt, while Bitcoin uses SHA-256. The algorithm encrypts transaction information inside each block. Once a transaction has been verified, it is linked to the previous block, creating a blockchain. The blockchain is a public ledger of all transactions on the Litecoin network.

Transactions are verified through mining, the process of solving complex equations. For solving the equation, miners are rewarded with Litecoin. In the early days, it was possible for almost anyone with basic knowledge and hardware to mine, however mining is predominantly under the control of large technology companies using massive amounts of computer power.

What is Litecoin used for?

Litecoin is a digital currency and, as a result, can be used as money to buy or sell goods. Although, for many people, it’s an asset to speculate on. It’s often referred to as Bitcoins younger brother and with the price of BTC being considerably higher, Litcoin offers a less expensive option. As with much of the cryptocurrency market, volatility is a driver in fluctuating prices, meaning Litecoin trading is a popular use for the coin.

Why does LTC have value?

Litecoins close relation to Bitcoin and its limited supply gives it some value. It’s also regularly used by developers to test new functions before moving to the Bitcoin ecosystem. Litecoin is also a leading altcoin and many crypto investors watch its price closely, as when it takes off, it indicates the wider market is about to gain. There are 84 million Litecoins, compared to 21 million Bitcoins, however generating a block on LTC takes just two and a half minutes, as opposed to the ten it takes on BTC, making it a much faster option.

Who created Litecoin?

Litecoin was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer. He used Bitcoins code to develop Litecoin, although he made a few changes he had identified, including faster transaction speeds. Lee remains involved with Litecoin as the foundation’s managing director. In 2017, during a crypto bull run, Lee sold all of his Litecoin, with many investors viewing the move as a lack of confidence in the long-term prospects of the platform.

Where can I buy Litecoin?

You can buy Litecoin on a crypto exchange. An exchange is a marketplace that allows you to sign up, deposit your money, and buy some crypto, just as you would with a stock platform.

Most cryptocurrency brokers allow you to keep the coins you buy in your account. However, you may want to sign up for a dedicated crypto wallet for some extra security.

You can deposit money into a broker or exchange account by a bank transfer or card payment. However, if you prefer to use a different payment method, like PayPal, then your options may be more limited. Use these guides to discover how to buy Litecoin with different payment methods.

Are there any other ways to invest in Litecoin?

The simplest way to invest in Litecoin is to buy it outright. However, another option is to simply open a crypto account. Crypto accounts are like regular bank accounts and allow you to store a variety of currencies, send and receive payments, earn interest on savings, and spend freely with a credit card.

Generally, you can invest in crypto through a crypto ETF or a crypto fund. These financial instruments expose you to a group of leading cryptocurrencies more suited to high net worth individuals.

More about LTC

What is the Litecoin price today?

The LTC price is currently $53.37 as of September 2022. The price of Litecoin is down 63% since the start of 2022. You can use the live Litecoin chart to track the LTC/USD price in real-time above or compare the Litecoin value today to its past performance using the Litecoin price history tab at the top of this page.

What is the price prediction for Litecoin?

The average Litecoin price prediction values the coin at $150 by the end of 2025. Economic climate, establishment support and acceptance, and the crypto market can all impact the price. Litecoin’s close correlation to Bitcoin will also affect the way its price moves in the future.

It’s best to take predictions with a grain of salt but you can use expert estimates to help you understand the weight of opinion about a coin.

What is the total supply of LTC?

The circulating supply is 71,268,443.78 LTC, out of a total maximum supply of 84,000,000 LTC.

Are there any Litecoin alternatives?

Litecoin is generally seen as a Bitcoin alternative; however, many other cryptocurrencies have attempted to imitate it and there are several alternatives on the market. Below are three Litecoin alternatives you can find more information on.

  • Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the original and is considered Litecoin’s ‘big brother.’
  • Monero. Monero focuses on privacy and can be used as a means of payment.
  • Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash offers faster transaction times similar to Litecoin.

More crypto guides

FAQs

Litecoin vs Bitcoin. What’s the difference?

The main differences between LTC and BTC include the number of coins available, transaction speeds, and mining algorithms. Litecoin has 84,000,000 coins available, while Bitcoin has just 21,000,000. Transactions are complete in 2.5 minutes on Litecoin, while Bitcoin times average around 10 minutes. The algorithm behind Litecoin is called Scrypt and for Bitcoin it’s SHA-256. Another difference is the secrecy surrounding the creators. The creator of Litecoin is Charlie Lee, while the name or names of Bitcoins’ creator remains unknown.

What is Litecoin halving?

Litecoin halving is when the reward for mining a Litecoin is cut in half. Halving helps reduce the number of newly created coins. The halving takes place every four years. The last Litecoin halving occurred in August 2019, with the next set to occur in August 2023.

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Sources & references
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Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.