What Is Litecoin?
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, in 2011. The cryptocurrency was created based on the Bitcoin protocol, but it differs in terms of the hashing algorithm used, hard cap, block transaction times and a few other factors. Litecoin was released via an open-source client on GitHub on Oct. 7, 2011, and the Litecoin Network went live five days later on Oct. 13, 2011.
Lee’s intention behind Litecoin was to create a “lite version of Bitcoin,” and its developers have always stated that Litecoin can be seen as the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold.” Litecoin differs from Bitcoin in its prioritization of transaction confirmation speed, which is about 2.5 minutes per block. However, Litecoin users may have to wait up to around 30 minutes for their transaction to be processed due to network congestion.
Litecoin is accepted at a variety of merchants, you can see an updated list on the Litecoin Foundation’s website.
How Do You Mine Litecoin?
Unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin uses the memory intensive Scrypt proof of work mining algorithm. Scrypt allows consumer-grade hardware such as GPU to mine those coins, meaning that you can still mine Litecoin on a Mac or on Windows either solo or via a pool, something no longer possible for Bitcoin mining. Scrypt, by design, is more accessible for users that want to mine via CPUs or GPU, as ASIC-based mining rigs are not suitable for Litecoin mining.
In the beginning, Litecoin block rewards were 50 Litecoin, but the block reward was halved in 2015 to 25, and will continue to halve until its hard cap of 84 million Litecoin is reached.
Where Can You Store Litecoin?
Litecoin can be stored like most cryptocurrencies either on an exchange or in a cold or hot storage wallet.
How do I buy cryptocurrency?
While some cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are available for purchase with U.S. dollars, others require that you pay with bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
To buy cryptocurrencies, you’ll need a “wallet,” an online app that can hold your currency. Generally, you create an account on an exchange, and then you can transfer real money to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum.
Coinbase is one popular cryptocurrency trading exchange where you can create both a wallet and buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.