Litecoin

What is Litecoin?

So, what is Litecoin? LTC is a cryptocurrency very similar to Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin, it can be sent or received to anyone in the world almost immediately, without having to pay very much in fees. Litecoin is one of the direct competitors of Bitcoin. Both work the same way, as a blockchain, where transactions are processed by participating nodes and miners verify and provide security for each transaction.

A Brief History

LTC is probably the third most used cryptocurrencies on the market, after Bitcoin and Ethereum. It was created by a former employee of Google named Charlie Lee.

Litecoin vs. Bitcoin

Litecoin has value for the exact same reasons that Bitcoin has value: It can be used in transactions online very safely and there isn’t very much of it. When 84 million have been mined, all of the mining will stop. No more than 84 million will ever be created.

Litecoin Mining

When this cryptocurrency first began, much like Bitcoin, it was very easy to mine because it was so cheap and there wasn’t all the competition there is today. Right now, mining is much more difficult because it is worth about $50 USD.

How to Buy Litecoin?

Since Litecoin is nearly as popular as Bitcoin in Ethereum, it is actually fairly easy to know how to buy Litecoin, especially when you compare it to some of the lesser-known competition. Coinbase is an app and website where you can purchase Litecoin as long as you live in Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia or the United States. 

You are able to purchase LTC through Coinbase by using a credit or debit card, or a bank transfer. There are other options such as Changelly if you happen to live in other parts of the world like Africa, Asia or South America. However you have to take the added step of buying Bitcoin first and then changing it.

Using Wallets

There aren’t that many wallets fort his currency out there at the moment. A cryptocurrency wallet is a place where people can send and receive that particular cryptocurrency, which interacts with the blockchain. Litecoin is not nearly as popular as Bitcoin, so there aren’t a lot of wallets out there yet.

However, Electrum is a well-known Bitcoin wallet and they also serve LTC with Electrum LTC. Electrum is open source and you can download it for PC or Mac.

There are also hardware wallets out there that allow you to store your Litecoin securely. One example is The Ledger Nano S.

Hardware wallet that supports Litecoin will store the coins offline, keeping them safe from destructive computer programs or hackers. You can also use those hardware wallets with Electrum LTC. Hardware wallets are not required but they are quite useful and add an extra layer of security.

Litecoin vs. Bitcoin

 

The Features

Even though Bitcoin has been around longer, Litecoin actually has more features. Recently there was a big battle with both Litecoin miners and Bitcoin miners where a much-needed upgrade was blocked because it would have cost some people money. Bitcoin miners were successful in blocking this update, but the miners allowed it. The update is called Segwit and whenever it is activated, the network that it is on doubles in capacity.

LTC already had more transaction capacity than Bitcoin. In fact, it had four times as much. With Segwit activated, that number has now gone to 8 times capacity.

Litecoin is a little faster than Bitcoin as well. With Bitcoin, blocks are created about every 10 minutes. With Litecoin, that time is shortened to just two and a half minutes. When it comes to Litecoin versus Bitcoin features, LTC definitely has the advantage.

Exchanges

Bitcoin is definitely quite a bit easier than LTC to buy. Since Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, it is also the easiest to purchase. Every cryptocurrency exchange that you can find supports Bitcoin. However many also support this currency and other lesser-known cryptocurrencies. Coinbase recently added it to their stable, which was definitely a boost for Litecoin LTC because Coinbase is the world’s largest exchange. People in the United States, Australia, Europe in Canada can easily buy Litecoin with their credit or debit card, or with a bank transfer. But Litecoin is very difficult to buy with cash. There are a number of cash Bitcoin exchanges but none of them currently support this currency. When it comes to exchanges, Bitcoin is the easy winner.

Pricing

The market cap for Bitcoin is much higher, as is the current price. However, at one point, the Bitcoin price was where Litecoin is now, so there may be room for growth. But as it currently stands, Bitcoin wins when it comes to pricing.

Speed

Speed is a little bit trickier to weigh. Right now, on average it takes about 10 minutes to do a Bitcoin transaction that is secure. Litecoin is faster, with an average of 2.5 minutes, but it suffers from a lack of security in comparison with Bitcoin.

So basically, you would need for transactions at 2.5 minutes to equal the amount of security with a Bitcoin transaction of 10 minutes. This is obviously a tie except for the fact that LTC now has Segwit and Bitcoin doesn’t. That means Litecoin can now support immediate transactions. While Bitcoin may eventually get those features, speed goes to this currency at the moment.

General Security

When it comes to security, the hash rate for Bitcoin is much larger than LTC. That’s because Bitcoin is so widely used. The hashrate for Litecoin make grow in the future if the price goes up, but Bitcoin has so many more people that they have a major head start so they take the win for security.

Merchant Acceptance

Bitcoin is much more widely accepted among merchants than LTC. That’s because BitPay is a service that allows companies to accept Bitcoin at checkout. They do not currently support the LTC currency, even though they may in the future. This makes Bitcoin the winner here.

Development

When it comes to coding and developers, Bitcoin is the clear winner. While Litecoin developers are good, there are not as many of them as there are with Bitcoin, not to mention that some of the Litecoin code is directly from Bitcoin. Basically, all of the good developers work on Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency Wallets

As we previously discussed, there are not that many wallets out there for Litecoin. There are few, and you can use Litecoin if you know where to go, but every wallet out there supports Bitcoin. When it comes to hardware wallets there are some options like TRAYZER and Ledger, but there are a severe lack of mobile wallets. Bitcoin is the winner here.

Stability

Basically, Bitcoin is synonymous with cryptocurrency. It is definitely the most stable currency out there. To LTC’s credit, it is almost certainly the second choice for stability, even above Ethereum. But Bitcoin is still the clear winner here. Also, larger trades can be made with Bitcoin because the market is very deep. Bitcoin also has a higher market cap and can handle a lot more trades. Obviously, we’re going with Bitcoin here.

Privacy

Trying to compare privacy is impossible because they both have exactly the same privacy features. If you want complete privacy, then you want to be running a full node. But transactions are public on both Bitcoin and Litecoin so anyone can see both the outputs and the inputs. There is no winner here. It is a tie.

Conclusion

Obviously, when you compare all of these factors, Bitcoin comes out ahead. That’s not to say that Litecoin has no value though, and investors should look carefully at both before they make their decision. Right now might be the perfect time to invest, as it could grow much more valuable in the future.