Litecoin has maintained a position in the top five cryptocurrencies in recent years thanks to its market capitalization. This alternative currency is so-named because it was conceived as a lightweight version of Bitcoin. It works just like its more popular and older brother with a couple of important differences. Litecoin transactions are typically recorded faster and its mining is carried out under a different platform. You can trade Litecoin at almost every cryptocurrency exchange.
The History of Litecoin
Charles Lee spent his early years in computers working for Google. The industry giant has certainly developed many important people in the world of technology and Lee is no exception. Lee released the original version of Litecoin on GitHub as an open-source client in 2011. The client has undergone frequent updates since its introduction. The most recent of these was an in April 2014 which addressed various security issues as well as the Heartbleed bug.
Litecoin has since become one of the top five cryptocurrencies by its market capitalization. In August of 2017 the market capitalization of the currency was over $2.5 billion US and the coin’s value was just over $40. The pricing of Litecoin makes it a solid choice for investors who wish to test the cryptocurrency markets without making a giant investment.
Litecoin was always envisioned as a lightweight alternative to Bitcoin by its developers. Their goals were to reduce the time required for recording Litecoin transactions in a blockchain. They also wished to change the mining procedure. Success in both goals has been achieved. A recent transfer of Litecoin from Zurich to San Francisco was accomplished in less than one second. Overall, payments with Litecoin can be processed up to four times faster than they are with Bitcoin.
To understand how Litecoin is mined one must first have a basic grasp of how the mining process differs from that of Bitcoin. Litecoin is able to add new blocks to its blockchain in a smaller time interval. It takes approximately 2.5 minutes to process a Litecoin block. Bitcoin aims to process a block in 10 minutes. One reason for this technical improvement is Litecoin’s partnership with the Lightning Network and Segregated Wireless.
Instead of the SHA-256 algorithm that is used by Bitcoin, Litecoin uses something known as Scrypt. This platform is a proof-of-work verification system that functions like Bitcoin’s own algorithm but is much faster.
Whereas Bitcoin mining is no longer a real option for a single individual who pursues cryptocurrency as a hobby, it is still possible to mine Litecoin with a home PC. It should be noted, however, that the Scrypt protocol is more memory intensive than SHA-256. Trying to mine Litecoin will consume a lot of computer resources and a lot of electricity.
A more effective method of mining Litecoin for many individuals is to join a mining pool such as the one provided by Genesis Mining. In this scenario, individuals pool a small investment to lease mining equipment from a mining farm and purchase hash power. The individuals in the pool them share the rewards of their mining investment. Collectives like Genesis Mining will also allow members to trade the cryptocurrencies they have mined against other currencies.
Litecoin Use and Acceptance
The acceptance of all cryptocurrencies is growing by leaps and bounds. Bitcoin has obviously led the way in this regard, but Litecoin is gaining ground. It is the only cryptocurrency currently accepted by Uber.
There are not many brick and mortar businesses at the present time that are accepting Litecoin as a form of payment but this is expected to change as technology expands to make it easier for retailers to accept alternative currency. In the meantime, using Litecoin online is possible at many websites for a wide range of goods and services.
Litecoin has also began to make its way into the online gambling arena with some casinos now accepting it as a method of deposit.
What you may want to consider is making Litecoin your first cryptocurrency investment. The reasons for this is that it is still priced relatively low when compared to Bitcoin. The prospect that Litecoin will increase its value is reasonably good, but one should always remember that investing in cryptocurrencies carries an inherent risk factor and there are no guarantees.
It is advised, however, that those who plan to enter the market do so now while these currencies are still in their infancy.