One of the initial crypto currencies introduced after the Bitcoin, Litecoin is often referred to as ‘the silver to bitcoins gold’. In other words, it is more affordable than bitcoin and more easily available. It was created by an ex-Google Employee called Charlie Lee in 2011 and is also designed to produce more coins — it has an 84 million coin limit, versus bitcoin’s 21 million. Besides this, Litecoin, is quicker and faster than Bitcoin and can process one block every 2.5 minutes, in comparison with Bitcoin’s 10 minutes thus allowing a faster transaction confirmation.
Litecoin, like Bitcoin is also an open source, peer-to-peer Internet currency that is fully decentralized. A major difference however is the near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. This means that there is a very minimal networking fee involved when transacting, buying or selling Litecoin. It therefore features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency. With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.
Those that have been observing and following the crypto market may feel that the price of Litecoin has dropped significantly from approximately $289.93 in Jan 2018 to $122.64 a month later. However, one must realise that at the start of 2017 Litecoin was at only $4.33 meaning that it enjoyed a tremendous surge in 2017. The fluctuation seen in the prices of Litecoin over the past few months have been seen proportionately with all other crypto currencies as well. While Bitcoin has had a meteoric rise towards the end of 2017, Litecoin has not been far behind. In fact, Litecoin has enjoyed more than twice Bitcoins, year to date gain. Where Bitcoin has had a 1800% rise Litecoin has had a 4213% rise in value.
So the ‘crypto-world’ shouldn’t yet write off Litecoin. While one cannot take away the fact that Bitcoin will always be the first decentralised cryptocurrency developed, there are and will be others that can and will compete. Its difficult to say whether Litecoin will be able to ever overtake bitcoin but for now , at present it is one of the more affordable and equally versatile crypto currencies.
So how can you get your hands on some Litecoin? Just like all cryptocurrencies, Litecoin can be mined, Miners are currently awarded with 50 new Litecoins per block, an amount which gets halved roughly every 4 years (every 840,000 blocks). The Litecoin mining industry is less developed than Bitcoin’s. ASICs (powerful computers designed to solve proof of work function) while available for Litecoin are difficult to purchase. Litecoin uses a different proof of work function than bitcoin and therefore Bitcoin miners cannot mine litecoins. Besides this there also exists what is called a ‘mining difficulty’ This is encrypted in the code of the currency itself so as to prevent over mining. Over mining would flood the market with a lot of the currency thereby resulting in a drop in value or price. The code is therefore written in such a way that the algorithm get more difficult to solve as mining increases. This is the case with most cryptocurrencies. An easier way to procure Litecoin is just to buy some from your friendly neighborhood exchange. You can trade other crypto for Litecoin or as offered by some exchanges buy with a bank account transfer or debit card.
Litecoin is also quite secure and has provisions made to ensure the security of your investment as far as possible.Wallet encryption allows you to secure your wallet, so that you can view transactions and your account balance. Furthermore, you are required to enter your password before spending Litecoins. This provides protection from wallet-stealing viruses and trojans as well as a does a sanity check before sending payments.
So go ahead, Try out Litecoin, but do remember, like any cryptocurrency or any investment for that matter there are risks involved. Do your research well on the source of purchase and try out smaller investments rather than large ones.
Buying & Selling Litecoin:
Litecoin is currently listed at almost all cryptocurrency exchanges, markets and platforms:
Global Markets: Poloniex / Bittrex / BleuTrade / Yobit / Shapeshift / InstaCrypto.in
Litecoin is also a great decentralized p2p cryptocurrency to use, hold, trade and mine.
Altcoins come and go, this is no secret. While we never know how developments may enhance Litecoin, it sure does have all the features for being a global payments tool.
Android – Coinomi
iOS – Jaxx
Windows Desktop – Litecoin Core, Electrum Wallet for Litecoin
Mac OS X – Jaxx
Linux – Litecoin Linux Wallet
Hardware Wallet – Ledger Nano S