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What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. Litecoin is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities.

Mathematics secures the network and empowers individuals to control their own finances. Litecoin features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than the leading math-based currency. With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.

Differences from Bitcoin?

Litecoin offers three key differences from Bitcoin.

The Litecoin Network aims to process a block every 2.5 minutes, rather than Bitcoin's 10 minutes, which its developers claim allows for faster transaction confirmation.A drawback is a higher probability of orphaned blocks.

Advantages can include greater resistance to a double spending attack over the same period as bitcoin. However, total work done is a consideration. For example, if the Litecoin Network has comparatively ten times less computing work done per block than the bitcoin network, the bitcoin confirmation is around ten times harder to reverse, even though the Litecoin Network is likely to add confirmation blocks at a rate four times faster.

Litecoin uses scrypt in its proof-of-work algorithm, a sequential memory-hard function requiring asymptotically more memory than an algorithm which is not memory-hard. The Litecoin Network will produce 84 million Litecoins, or four times as many currency units as will be issued by the Bitcoin Network.

The original intended purpose of using Scrypt was to allow miners to mine both Bitcoin and Litecoin at the same time.The choice to use scrypt was also partially to avoid giving advantage to video card (GPU), FPGA and ASIC miners over CPU miners; although Charlie Lee has never publicly agreed with this opinion.

Due to Litecoin's use of the scrypt algorithm, FPGA and ASIC devices made for mining Litecoin are more complicated to create and more expensive to produce than they are for bitcoin, which uses SHA-256.This is widely due to the Scrypt hashing scheme being more memory intensive; increasing memory requirements for ASICs and FPGAs. However, as of December 2015, ASIC miners are widely available and the primary method of mining Litecoin

Is Litecoin Giving Bitcoin a Run for its Money?

This question has been on the minds of many players in the cryptocurrency industry. Ever since its introduction, Bitcoin has always been at the top. This can be explained by the fact that it was the first digital currency presented to the public. Consequently, Bitcoin has gone ahead to set the bar for virtually all types of digital currencies that have come after it.

Bitcoin also has the highest market share and value of in the alternative currency section.

Litecoin has firmly taken the number two slot in the alternative currency industry. At some point, its fate seemed to be tied to that of Bitcoin. When Bitcoin appreciated in value, the same happened to Litecoin. If Bitcoin’s price dropped, so did that of Litecoin. This trend became predictable and familiar. Litecoin showed that it could keep up with the pace, but just could not gain any further ground on Bitcoin.

How Litecoin Is Made?

Like all cryptocurrencies, litecoin is not issued by a government, which historically has been the only entity that society trusts to issue money. Instead being regulated by a Federal Reserve and coming off a press at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, litecoins are created by the elaborate procedure called mining, which consists of processing a list of litecoin transactions. Unlike traditional currencies, the supply of litecoins is fixed.

There will ultimately be only 84 million litecoins in circulation and not one more. Every 2.5 minutes (as opposed to 10 minutes for bitcoin), the litecoin network generates a what is called a block—a ledger entry of recent litecoin transactions throughout the world. And here is where litecoin’s inherent value derives.

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What will be the total number of Litecoins?

The total number of Litecoins that will be produced after mining would be around 84 million, meaning that there would be more Litecoins than Bitcoins. Therefore, this might lead to more liquidity whereas it might also mean less value for the Litecoin. You need to understand that liquidity is not going to be necessarily true because they can be divided into smaller fractions. Nevertheless, people can still use it for other services, which means that they might be more readily used.

Development

Litecoin version 0.8.5.1 was released in November 2013. The release included fixes for vulnerabilities and added enhanced security to the Litecoin network.

The Litecoin developer team released version 0.8.6.1 in early December 2013. The new version offered a 20x reduction in transaction fees, along with other security and performance improvements in the client and network. The source code and binaries were released early to people in the "#litecoin" IRC channel, on the official Litecoin forums, and on Reddit, with information for power users to add a Litecoin supernode to the configuration file, while the main site was to be updated after enough of the network was running the new version. This release method was used to ensure that the low fee transactions from version 0.8.6.1 clients would not be delayed by clients running older versions.

In April 2014, a new version of Litecoin was released, version 0.8.7.1, which fixed some minor issues along with an important fix related to the Heartbleed.



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