Since its inception in 2011, the cryptocurrency Litecoin has become one of the world’s foremost top 5 cryptocurrencies within the digital space. It has also been referred to as “the sliver to Bitcoin’s gold”. Currently, Litecoin (LTE) is trading at around the $230 mark, and has a current market capitalization of around $12 billion.
It was in 2011 that the Google software engineer Charlie Lee was first inspired when he was introduced to Bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized currency, through the dark web marketplace, The Silk Road. Since it’s early October inception in 2011, Litecoin has been designed as a response to the scaling problems that had been on witnessed on the bitcoin network.
Litecoin’s vison has always been in the support of Bitcoin, acting as its payment currency. Litecoin is more useful for payments, while Bitcoin is leading the way in its ability to better store value, leaving the question, Is Litecoin a good investment?
Technical Aspects of Litecoin
Almost identical to Bitcoin in most ways, Litecoin has a few noticeable differences that enable it as an altcoin, to outperform many of the digital currencies available today, and that includes Bitcoin. The first notable difference is that Litecoin’s design means that it’s Blockchain is able to generate a block every 2.5 minutes, which a quite a bit smaller than Bitcoin’s lock generation time of 10 minutes. This is the reason why Litecoin’s transactions on their network are so much faster, as well as having the ability to handle micro-transactions better than Bitcoin.
The second difference is the total number of Litecoin that can be created. 84 million compared to Bitcoin’s only 21 million, and is a direct result of the faster block generation. Seeing as Litecoin is based on Bitcoin, the 84 million cap of Litecoin is based on the four-time block generation of Bitcoin’s 21 million.
The third aspect is Litecoin’s use of the proof-of-work consensus mechanism, employing a different algorithm than other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin makes use of a SHA-256 hashing algorithm, while Litecoin uses the Scrypt algorithm.
Finally, in an effort to better their Blockchain, Litecoin as the first cryptocurrency to implement Segregated Witness (SegWIT), allowing users to experience instant payments off-chain. Similarly, Litecoin was the first to introduce the atomic swap, which allows for the smooth exchange of cryptocurrencies without the use of a third party.
Since 2011, Litecoin has shown some impressive growth, and by the end of 2013, managed to achieve a billion in market capitalization. The 2017 global interest boom in the cryptocurrency market, allowed this altcoin to reach and all-time of $372 in December of last year. Throughout the course of this year, it is highly likely that the LTC-BTC will reach fresh new heights on the Bittrex exchange, recently moving above the fractal high of May 2017. Litecoin as a digital currency is one that is always going to be compared to Bitcoin due to the similarities shared by the two, and for the longest time Litecoin has had the second highest market cap after that if Bitcoin. Litecoin has since slipped down into the fifth position.
Should You Invest in Litecoin?
Litecoin is one of the only altcoins that has been around since the earliest days of cryptocurrencies, not only managing to survive, but has also managing to maintain its “silver to Bitcoin’s gold” status. Moreover, since its beginnings in 2011, Litecoin has managed to stay a regular fixture in the top ten largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization category. Their lower transaction times and fees have allowed Litecoin to be perceived as a better transactional digital currency that others, with recent announcements regarding the launch of Litepay and merchant payment tool from Coinbase, Litecoin can only stand in its own way of capitalizing on these opportunities.
The impressive track record that shadows Litecoin should be enough convincing if you have not been already. A proven history and strong affiliation of partners, backed by the latest technological innovation and strategies, are aspects that make the viability of Litecoin undeniable.
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