What Is Litecoin? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Litecoin is based on Bitcoin, but has a lot of advantages over Bitcoin.
According to their website, Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. Litecoin is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities. Mathematics secures the network and empowers individuals to control their own finances. Litecoin features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than the leading math-based currency. With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.
As much as bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that has the most mainstream attention, there are hundreds upon hundreds of alternative coins which have been created over the years since it was born. While some alternatives like Ethereum and ZCash have become vogue in only the past couple of years though, some cryptocurrencies have been around for much longer, like Litecoin.
But what is Litecoin? In a nutshell, it’s a cryptocurrency like many others, built on a similar framework and ideal as bitcoin itself. Created by an ex-Google employee a few years after the first cryptocurrency, it’s now one of the most commonly traded crypto-coins out there, with a market value in the billions.
If you’ve heard of Litecoin, you’ve heard of bitcoin and have a reasonable idea of what the whole cryptocurrency scene is all about, but it never hurts to have a quick refresher. Cryptocurrencies are entirely digital currencies. Think of them as the way you operate your online banking. It’s not a ‘real’ or physical currency, but it can have real value. That currency can be transferred between users all over the world with low fees and far faster than most traditional currencies.
One key difference between your online bank account and cryptocurrencies is that they are (for the most part) entirely decentralized. That is, they aren’t controlled by any one authority. The ‘ledger,’ or “blockchain,” that records and confirms all transactions as valid is publicly viewable and editable by a large system of users all over the world.
In the case of Litecoin, those confirmations are created by a process known as “mining.” That’s a rather complicated topic in its own right, but suffice to say it involves performing complex mathematical calculations with powerful computing hardware. Miners who take part in it also create new Litecoins, which they are rewarded with for performing the service, along with a transaction fee.
Those calculations get more and more complicated as time goes on, limiting the influx of new Litecoin. There is also a hard limit of 84 billion Litecoin, which means there will come a day where no new tokens are created. Those factors create a scarcity which has helped drive up Litecoin’s value over the years, among other factors.
Launched in October 2011, just under three years after the debut of its inspiration, bitcoin, Litecoin was created by former Google employee, Charlie Lee. Described by its creator as the “silver” to bitcoin’s gold, Litecoin is based on the Bitcoin Core client. Litecoin was designed to emulate its predecessor, extolling the same virtues of decentralization but with a few key features that arguably make it a more nimble alternative.
Where to buy Litecoin?
Here are few exchanges we suggest to use:
- Kraken.com – you can buy LTC with EUR, USD and BTC.
There are many more exchanges that allow to buy LTC. From the links above you can find many other exchanges to purchase LTC.
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