What is Litecoin?
Litecoin was released in 2011 as an early hard fork of Bitcoin, by Charlie Lee.
At that time, Bitcoin mining was moving from CPUs to GPUs and an industry of application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) arose around mining BTC, and Charlie Lee wanted to design something that would create a different set of miners and more decentralized network participants.
Litecoin was designed to be a “lighter” version of BTC. It processes and confirms transactions about 4x faster than Bitcoin.
Being a Bitcoin fork, Litecoin shares a similar design such as being a proof-of-work network, miner rewards halving, using the unspent transactions output (UTXO) accounting model, etc., but with some differences.
What are the core features of Litecoin?
- Scrypt algorithm: Litecoin uses a different mining algorithm than Bitcoin called Scrypt, which is designed to be more memory-intensive and resistant to ASIC mining. This allows for a more decentralized mining process and makes it more accessible to individual miners.
- Faster block time: Litecoin has a block time of 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. This means that transactions are confirmed more quickly on the Litecoin network.
- Increased supply: Litecoin has a maximum supply of 84 million coins, four times more than Bitcoin’s 21 million. This means that there is more supply available to meet demand and helps to keep the price of Litecoin relatively stable.
- Segregated Witness (SegWit): Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies to implement SegWit, a protocol upgrade that improves transaction speed and reduces fees.
- Atomic swaps: Litecoin supports atomic swaps, which allows for the exchange of one cryptocurrency for another without the need for a centralized exchange.
- Decentralized development: Litecoin is an open-source project with a decentralized development process, meaning that anyone can contribute to its development and improvement.
What is the native token of Litecoin?
The native token is Litecoin (LTC). It is needed to pay for gas fees for all transactions on the Litecoin network.