What is Litecoin (LTC)?
There are thousands of cryptocurrencies in the market. This is why it is very difficult to keep track of them. However, one of the oldest is Litecoin (LTC). If you were wondering what Litecoin is, all the information you should know about it will be discussed in this cryptopedia guide.
Moreover, we will also be discussing how this digital currency evolved over time and the new features that could be added to it.
What is Litecoin?
Litecoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world. According to CoinMarketCap, LTC is the 7th largest virtual currency in the market. It has a valuation that oscillates between $2 and $6.88 billion. Nevertheless, like every single digital asset in the market, its price fluctuates on a daily basis. Thus, these parameters can change at any moment.
Litecoin was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a developer at Google that was already using Bitcoin at that time. Litecoin is based on Bitcoin but it has a few differences that are worth taking into consideration. Nowadays, Litecoin is known as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.
Main Litecoin Features
As we all know, Bitcoin (BTC) is the largest cryptocurrency in terms of market valuation. It can be used for payments or just to store value. However, it has some issues that do not make it ideal. For example, it has high fees and it also takes around 10 minutes to process a transaction.
These are things Litecoin has addressed. If you were wondering what Litecoin is, then you should know this is one of the fastest cryptocurrencies. Due to LTC’s programming structure, sending a transaction using LTC will cost you less than with BTC and it will also be faster.
Currently, there are 66.09 million LTC coins available for investors. The total issuance of LTC is 84.000.000 but not all of them have been released to the market yet. New LTC coins are created on a daily basis by miners. Each block rewards miners with 12.5 LTC.
84.000.000 million LTC is 4 times more the number of BTC that will ever be issued (21 million). At the same time, blocks on the Litecoin network are found every 2.5 minutes rather than 10 minutes as it happens with Bitcoin. This is the reason why transactions are processed faster.
At the same time, many consider that Litecoin works as a Bitcoin testnet. That means that before implementing a feature on the Bitcoin network, Litecoin tests it first. This would reduce the negative impact of a wrongly-implemented feature on BTC. This is also one of the reasons why BTC and LTC holders are usually working together and cooperating in many aspects. There is no rivalry between these two coins.
You can compare this to applications released only to developers. When you download the Facebook application on your smartphone, it will work smoothly and without major issues. It is stable and fast. However, to reach this level of development, developers and a small number of users were testing the beta app of Facebook.
Litecoin can be considered the beta app of Bitcoin. One of the examples is related to SegWit (Segregated Witness). This implementation that allowed transactions to be cheaper and faster was firstly implemented on Litecoin. After months of testing by the crypto community, the SegWit implementation was deployed on Bitcoin as well.
As you will see in the following sections, Litecoin is now working on implementing privacy solutions. In the future, these could help improve the entire Bitcoin network. Moreover, Litecoin has also been working on atomic swaps.
Atomic swaps would allow for users to exchange one virtual currency for another without having to use a centralized exchange or platform. This is expected to improve the way in which users exchange their digital assets. Although this is still in its early days, it can be just the beginning to think which could be the future improvements on the Bitcoin network.
If you follow Litecoin, you might have a better idea which are the future trends related to Bitcoin. Although not all the improvements get approved to be deployed on Bitcoin, some of them will certainly make it and help the entire crypto market offer better services to users.
Future Litecoin Development
Litecoin developers are currently working on improved privacy for LTC holders. The goal is to increase the privacy related to transacting with Litecoin. Nowadays, Bitcoin and Litecoin have public blockchains. This is why it is possible for everyone to see all the transactions that take place in the network, and the funds held by wallets.
By implementing MimbleWimble on Ltc, the cryptocurrency aims at enhancing users’ privacy. In this way, Litecoin could become the largest virtual currency in the world to have implemented privacy solutions. Users would be able to transact LTC without being worried about releasing private information such as address holdings and funds transacted.
Of course, there are other implementations that can be added to LTC and that would be very important for the whole crypto space.