Litecoin was created on 7th Oct 2011 by Charlie Lee, an ex-Google employee. Litecoin was designed to complement Bitcoin by solving problems like concentrated mining pools and transaction timings. Lee envisaged creating a currency that would be complementary to Bitcoin and operate as “digital silver” to Bitcoin’s status as a digital store of value similar to gold.
Lee acts as a vocal and transparent front man for the project and can often be found sharing his thoughts on a number of topics affecting the general cryptocurrency community.
Litecoin is open source software and is open to independent verification of binaries and their corresponding source code. Litecoin also seeks to implement technological advances that allow it to maintain its position as a leading cryptocurrency. These include:
Blockchain – The Litecoin blockchain is geared to handle a high volume of transactions when compared to Bitcoin. By implementing frequent block generation, Lightening, and Segregated Witness (SegWit), the Litecoin network supports high volume transactions without needing to modify the software in the future. This makes Litecoin more efficient for merchants and customers who benefit from faster confirmation times and lower fees.
Mining – Litecoin uses an algorithm called Scrypt which determines the mining process for new coins, and Scrypt allows for a higher degree of parallel processing and is generally more accessible for new miners than a more traditional algorithm. Using Scrypt helps to facilitate the mining of Litecoin without using the ASIC-based mining hardware needed to mine coins using the SHA-256 algorithm.
Miners are currently awarded with 25 new Litecoin per block, an amount which is halved every 4 years or approximately every 840,000 blocks. The Litecoin network is scheduled to produce 84 million Litecoin, which is exactly 4 times as Bitcoin’s maximum supply.
Industry Integration – Litecoin was originally a fork of Bitcoin and as a result the two currencies still share many of the same characteristics. Litecoin is therefore one of the most well integrated cryptocurrencies in the sector and enjoys a wide range of support across the entire industry. Litecoin is well supported by exchanges, ATMs, online and offline merchants, web casinos, and developers. It is also backed up by a loyal and passionate community.