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Litecoin: What it is and what you need to know about the fast and cheap crypto

Faster, cheaper and based on Bitcoin's code, there's many reasons Litecoin is a popular crypto.

Litecoin: What it is and what you need to know about the fast and cheap crypto

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that shares similarities with Bitcoin.

In fact, it is based on Bitcoin’s original source code.

Like many other cryptocurrencies uses the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm to secure its networks. 

Litecoin's back story

Litecoin was set up by a former Google employee. It started its journey on October 7, 2011, through an open-source client on GitHub. Its network went live on October 13, 2011.

In 2017, Litecoin adopted the segregated witness protocol, jumping on Bitcoin’s upgrade process and this resulted in a significant increase in its transaction speed and pushed the prices higher.

By May 2017, Litecoin adopted what’s called a segregated witness protocol, effectively jumping on Bitcoin’s upgrade process and this helped in establishing the Lightning Network in the Litecoin software.

As a result, transaction speeds became significantly faster and pushed its prices up.

How it works

Litecoin involves the creation and transfer of digital coins via an open-source, cryptographic protocol.

It used blockchain technology to record a decentralised, public ledger of all transactions.

Litecoin allows mining to take place on a simple computer without needing expensive mining rigs.

How it differs

The most important distinction between Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies is the different cryptographic algorithms they employ.

Litecoin uses a newer algorithm called Scrypt, which work on different principles.

Significantly for some, is the fact that Litecoin has very low transaction fees, making it more suitable for micro-transactions and point-of sale-payments.

It also has a block time of just 2.5 minutes that makes Litecoin faster than most other cryptocurrencies.

Where in the pecking order

With a market cap of US$8.5bn, Litecoin is the 13th most valuable digital currency globally.

Currently, there are 66 million UNI coins are in circulation and the maximum supply of its coins are capped at 84 million.

How it has performed recently

Following the broader crypto trend, Litecoin prices went up sharply in the first five months of the current year to touch a record high of US$401.82 in May.

Since then, the price fell more than 60% and on Friday, July 16, they were trading at US$127.24.

What does the future hold

Traders and analysts are bullish on the prospects of Litecoin, whose Block time of 2.5 minutes gives an edge to other cryptocurrencies. 

Moreover, traders are also encouraged by the interest shown by WallStreet investors and some believe the price can cross the US$1,000 mark in the next two or three years.

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