Litecoin is one of the earliest cryptocurrencies to have come into existence. The creation and transfer of Litecoin based on an open sourced cryptographic protocol. It is decentralized and hence managed by any individual or authority.
Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, developed and released Litecoin on GitHub via an open-source client on 0ctober 7, 2011; with the network, a fork of the Bitcoin Core client, going live 6 days later. He quit his job at Coinbase earlier this year to focus on Litecoin full time.
Purpose and Objective
Charlie Lee has always been a staunch Bitcoin supporter. When he started working on Litecoin, he never intended to compete with Bitcoin. Litecoin, in fact, draws inspiration from Bitcoin and is technically identical to Bitcoin. Lee actually wanted to create a currency that could complement the Bitcoin.
The primary objective of Litecoin is to make transactions cheaper and faster, without entering into a tug-of-war with Bitcoin. It is for this reason Litecoin is often addressed as ‘Digital Silver’, in an obvious reference to Bitcoin’s status as ‘Digital Gold’.
Key Features and Benefits
Even though Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin in a lot of technical aspects, certain key features prevent it from being termed a ‘clone’.
- Litecoin uses Scrypt in its Proof of Work algorithm.
- Litecoin has a block time of 2.5 minutes which is 4 times lesser than Bitcoin’s.
- The Litecoin network would produce a total of 84 million coins in its lifetime compared to Bitcoin’s maximum supply of 21 million coins.
- Litecoin is the first cryptocurrency to use the ‘Lightning Network’ that makes transactions faster and cheaper.
- It is among the first cryptocurrencies to use ‘Segregated Witness’ that enables it to handle high volume transactions efficiently.
- Litecoin has recently made attempts to perform cross-chain atomic swaps that could facilitate transactions across blockchains without the involvement of a third party or an exchange.
- Litecoin transactions are usually cheaper, faster and more scalable compared to other cryptocurrencies.
- It is one of the most well-integrated cryptocurrencies in the industry, has been adopted well by the public and is well supported by exchanges, merchants, and developers.
- By attempting to use Lightning Network, Segregated Witness, and atomic swaps, Litecoin has stayed true to its purpose of making transactions cheaper, faster and scalable.
Though there isn’t much criticism of Litecoin lately, it was earlier criticized for its unfriendly user experience, lack of innovation and following Bitcoin’s footsteps for longer than it should have. However, its recent attempts with Lightning Network, Segregated Witness, and atomic swaps have pretty much put those doubts to rest.