What is Litecoin and How Does it Work?

Litecoin is a P2P cryptocurrency which was launched in 2011 following the success of similar cryptocurrency Bitcoin in 2009.

Released initially via GitHub by founder and former Google employee Charlie Lee, Litecoin began originally as an offshoot of the Bitcoin source code.

Litecoin differs from Bitcoin in that it take 2.5 minutes to decrease a block generation and has a modified graphical user interface, along with a larger number of coins available for users to trade too.

Litecoin has continued to grow and expand, and by mid-2017, Litecoin was named as one of the five top cryptocurrencies to use the SegWit name, signifying the soft fork alteration in any Bitcoin form of transaction.

Litecoin also uses a cryptographic zero-knowledge proof algorithm along with scrypt and is known by the ledger LTC.

What are the Use Cases for Litecoin?

Simply put, Litecoin can be described as a quicker version of competitor Bitcoin, and is designed to be more user-friendly for beginner traders or those who do not have access to the amount of computer power that is needed to successfully mine cryptocurrency.

This is also why the Litecoin algorithm can build blockchains faster and can also process transactions faster too.

Litecoin has been designed primarily as an accessible digital form of currency, meaning that the main use case for Litecoin is as money. As well as being faster to use than Bitcoin, it also has lower fees and it is currently accepted as a form of payment by a range of online stores.

Although this makes Litecoin immediately useful, it arguable does not have the same level of development or scalability as say some of its competitors, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. So whilst Litecoin is a convenient source of currency, it is perhaps not the cryptocurrency to choose for long term investment purposes.

Who are the Main Competitors to Litecoin?

There are a number of different Litecoin competitors, all of which hold similarities to this popular cryptocurrency. Here are the top five main competitors –

1. Bitcoin – Bitcoin is the main competitor to Litecoin as it remains the world’s largest cryptocurrency. Bitcoin can be bought, sold and traded in a similar way to Litecoin as part of P2P technology lending.

However, Bitcoin needs to be mined in order to make the most money from it, whereas Litecoin has been simplified in order to make it more accessible to those without the computer power to undertake mining.

Bitcoin does use a blockchain secure system similar to Litecoin too and retains its value better than Litecoin currently as well.

2. Ripple – Ripple is a type of funds transfer system often referred to as real time gross settlement. Similar to Litecoin, Ripple uses tokens or coins that can be distributed online as a form of cryptocurrency.

Ripple allows for secure transactions in the same way as Litecoin and is known by the ledger XRP. Ripple debuted before Bitcoin, but has proved to be more volatile and currently has a market cap of $73b.

3. BitQuark – BitQuark uses mining technology and is the result of a merger between Bitcoin and Quarkcoin.

Similar to Bitcoin, BitQuark uses a secure algorithm known as quark, and rewards users with 2.5 BTQ per completed blockchain. BitQuark can be used as a cryptocurrency in the same way as Litecoin.

4. Htmlcoin – Htmlcoin utilises Ethereum smart contracts in order to create secure and un-hackable blockchains. Launched in 2014, Htmlcoin uses a scrypt type of crypto coin which is its main similarity to Litecoin.

Htmlcoin have continued to update their blockchain platform to make them as secure as possible, offering a hybrid form of many other successful cryptocurrencies.

5. BitPay – BitPay was founded in 2011 around the same time as Bitcoin and provides users an easy way to pay using Bitcoin.

BitPay is the intermediary that allows users to convert Bitcoin to currency, so although it is not a cryptocurrency in and of itself, it is a competitor to Litecoin, as Litecoin has been designed to already incorporate the simplicity of payment without the need for a separate payment platform.

How do I Buy Litecoin in Ireland?

Purchasing Litecoin can be done quickly and easily online, all you need is an account with a trading platform and a verified payment method.

Once you have completed all your personal account information and checks, you can then select the amount of Litecoin you wish to buy. All you need to do is select the LTC ledger on whatever platform you are using.

Most platforms have low minimum deposit amounts, making it now more straightforward than ever to purchase Litecoin to use as currency. You can then decide whether or not you wish to spend your Litecoin immediately, send it to someone else or keep it in your virtual wallet for investment purposes too.