A hard fork of its forefather Bitcoin, Litecoin was launched with the aim of making the online transactions easy and transparent. Like other digital cryptocurrencies, it runs on a global peer-to-peer blockchain network and is based on open-source cryptography. This decentralized currency supports instant, near-zero transactions and negates the possibility of any third party interference. Individuals are in control of their funds as the Scrypt (Proof-of-Work) algorithm fortifies the network. It also brings with itself certain additional features that are lacking in Bitcoin. Increased trade volume and liquidity, combined with considerable support from industry experts makes Litecoin a recognized means of exchange that perfectly complements Bitcoin.
Litecoin was developed by ex-Googler Charles Lee and first launched on GitHub, an open-source platform on 7th October 2011. The system went live on 13th October 2011. By increasing the total supply, Litecoin makes way for increased transaction volume. Owing to faster block generation, Litecoin’s network easily allows room for high-volume transactions without any need to change the software design. Merchants and traders receive confirmation much faster, without having to wait in a queue.
Litecoin uses ‘Scrypt’ as its evidence of work (calculations done by the miners). It is based on the core Bitcoin blockchain, and comes with a reduced block generation time of 2.5 minutes (as compared to Bitcoin’s block time of 10 minutes), a different hash protocol (Scrypt, in place of SHA-256), a coin cap of 84 million (as compared to Bitcoin’s 21 million) and a somewhat modified GUI. It is a memory-hard algorithm that requires exponentially greater storing capacity, and because of this, FPGA and ASIC devices meant for Litecoin mining are more difficult to design and far more expensive to purchase.
In early May of 2017, Litecoin became the first of the best 5 digital currencies to receive the Segregated Witness approval. Later that month, the first of the Lightning Network bargain was initiated through Litecoin, exchanging 0.00000001 LTC from Zürich in Europe to San Francisco in USA in less than a second.
Litecoin mining is quite similar to that of Bitcoin, except the fact that GPU mining rigs are a more favourable option to go with, as opposed to Bitcoin’s ASIC setup. For every new block generated, Litecoin miners are rewarded with 25 new coins. This amount is halved in every 4 years, i.e., for every 840,000 blocks.
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