Litecoin (LTC) is a payment focused cryptocurrency and also one of the longest standing cryptocurrencies. Created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former employee of Google and Coinbase, Litecoin went live on October 13 2011. Litecoin is an open source project, so it managed by a community and not a central authority.
Why was Litecoin created?
There are a few qualms surrounding Bitcoin, mainly scalability, transaction times and fees. Litecoin was created to try and improve on the Bitcoin offering.
Litecoin is a Bitcoin fork with a few key changes:
- A shorter block generation time (2.5 minutes instead of 10 minutes), meaning transactions are confirmed much faster on Litecoin compared to Bitcoin
- A different hashing algorithm (scrypt instead of SHA-256) in an effort to make ASIC mining much harder and allowing more people to compete in the mining process with everyday hardware
- A larger maximum supply
Still a payment cryptocurrency
Litecoin and Bitcoin are certainly distinguishable, but they both exist to serve a similar purpose – peer to peer value transfer using blockchain technology. Both are open source and community driven. Of course, one key different is the creator of Bitcoin is unknown, whereas Charlie Lee is a famous face in the crypto scene.
In fact, there has been some controversy in the past surrounding Charlie Lee and his LTC holding. In late 2017 Charlie sold all of his LTC holding, apart from a few collectible coins. He claimed this was to remove any conflict of interest that could exist with him being a prominent figure in crypto and being a big Litecoin holder. By selling his LTC Lee hoped he would be able to discuss the good and bad of Litecoin without being accused of trying to manipulate the price.
Litecoin peaked in price in late 2017, much like all other cryptocurrencies, reaching a peak price of $371. Since then the price has dropped dramatically, reaching a low of $31 in December 2018. There was a recovery phase where LTC approached $160, but the price has since fallen below $50 again.