Updated: Dec 20, 2019
Since 2017, Litecoin has shown itself to be quicker and more secure, compared to Bitcoin. It has gained the place of being the fourth largest cryptocurrency currently on the market, even though it began with modest origins and demonstrated only subtle improvements over Bitcoin (BTC). The cryptocurrency is often classified as the silver to BTC’s gold. But, there is a lot more to Litecoin than meets the eye.
This post will talk about why Litecoin was formed and by whom, how it works, and its various applications.
What is Litecoin Designed For?
Litecoin was released in October 2011 as an open-source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. The digital currency was not controlled by any country’s central bank and operated independently. It is one of the more famous Bitcoin forks to have ever been developed. It was created to be a ‘light version’ of Bitcoin, which is why it is also referred to as ‘easy coin’.
The technology was based on the same paradigm as Bitcoin, with some glaring changes. It was designed to be faster than the Bitcoin network, which led to its subsequent success. This success is reflected in the LTC coin value.
The developer, Lee, sought to make Litecoin different from Bitcoin on two accounts. First, he wanted to make it easier for people to mine LTC using consumer-grade hardware, instead of using specialized mining hardware, which is necessary to mine bitcoins.
And, secondly, Lee wanted a network that allowed for faster transactions without the added cost. Currently, Litecoin transactions take approximately 2.5 minutes, as opposed to Bitcoin transactions that take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.
Litecoin was designed to be able to enable customers for making smaller, routine and more day-to-day transactions.
Who Is Behind Litecoin?
Litecoin was released on GitHub, which provides hosting for software developments in 2011, by Charlie Lee. Lee is a computer science graduate from MIT and employed by Google, who had also worked as an Engineering Director at Coinbase.
Lee intended Litecoin to be the first original Bitcoin fork, but soon the cryptocurrency turned into its largest competitor.
Coinbase is a famous digital currency exchange that brokers exchanges of Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Lee created Litecoin on the same technical structure as Bitcoin, to address the various issues and limitations of the latter.
How Does Litecoin Work?
You can easily use Litecoin to transfer money. Currency can be exchanged by transferring LTC from your wallet to the recipients. The process is the same as with Bitcoins and any other cryptocurrency in general.
All you need to do is scan the recipient’s QR code corresponding to the address, or enter the address physically into your wallet application. Enter the amount of LTC you would like to send and that’s it. The payments are fast, easy and extremely simple.
Every transaction incurs a small miner’s fee that goes to the miners of Litecoin, who help support the entire network. The fee is a very small fraction of a Litecoin for each transaction and is not necessarily for the entire blockchain.
What are Current and Future Applications of Litecoin?
Litecoin can be used in nearly any place where bitcoins are accepted. It is currently the second most used cryptocurrency in the world, after bitcoins. Merchants around the world have been quick to adopt this cryptocurrency because of its simplistic nature and speed.
Litecoin has an ever-growing list of service providers and merchants, like Gipsybee.com, Crypto-Games.net, and CoinPayments, among many more. Some major players use Litecoin as well, including Overstock.com and eGifter.com.
Egifter allows you to use your LTC in offline stores and websites, that don’t directly accept cryptocurrency. You can buy gift cards from popular stores like JCPenny, Amazon, Kohl’s, and Home Depot, among others through eGifter. This way you can use the cryptocurrency for everyday purchases.
Other retailers and organizations that accept Litecoin include, CheapAir, NordVPN, and Free Software Foundation.
Recently, in July, New York-based blockchain payment startup ‘Flexa’ incorporated Litecoin into its payment network, following which LTC is now accepted in more than 39,250 locations.
The future looks great for Litecoin as its market capitalization is not expected to slow down anytime soon. This may result in more businesses adopting it as a complete replacement, or alongside bitcoins.
Also, a lot of work is being carried out on improving Litecoin’s payment network. This is expected to further improve speeds at which a transaction is verified, allowing for Atomic Swaps.
Several companies are slowly but steadily making the switch to Litecoins. Many new ATMs are being installed as well for Litecoin.