What Is Litecoin (LTC)?

Written by

Samu-Ville Lampiranta

Senior Writer

Published Jan 9, 2023 at 10:59 AM
Last updated Feb 23, 2024 at 10:32 AM

Litecoin is one of the first so-called alt-coins to appear once Bitcoin had started to really take off.

It was launched in 2011, and the code is based on Bitcoin. However, Litecoin is not a copy of Bitcoin.

In fact, it was initially designed to fix some of the issues the developers saw in Bitcoin.

Take a closer look at Litecoin to see how it compares to other cryptocurrencies, what are its pros and cons, and what you can do with it once you start investing in Litecoin. 
 

Litecoin History  

Some of the most common questions about LTC are ‘who created Litecoin?’ and ‘when was Litecoin created?’ As we know, anonymous individuals or groups have created Bitcoin and many others. But that is not the case here. 

Former Google engineer Charlie Lee started Litecoin in October 2011. It was designed to be faster than Bitcoin, with lower transaction fees. Lee was concerned that bitcoin might become too centralized, so he started developing a more decentralized alternative. 

Litecoin was listed in many of the early cryptocurrency exchanges. The value started to gain momentum in 2013, but it took a few more years before it settled on a higher level. 

In 2014, Litecoin and Dogecoin began merge-mining, and the added security for Dogecoin is arguably one of the reasons why the meme coin has also seen great success over the past few years.
 

Litecoin Price History 

The Litecoin lowest price ever was in January 2015, when the token hit $1.11. The all-time high so far was over $410 in May 2021. Since then, the value has dropped significantly, but it’s still significantly higher than the all-time low. 
 

The Real Benefits of Litecoin 

Now that you know the most important facts about Litecoin, you might wonder how does Litecoin work? We’ll give you a quick run-through, so you’ll understand all the Litecoin news today, tomorrow, and beyond. So here is Litecoin explained! 

Litecoin is an open-source cryptocurrency that can be traded from one user to another without using any intermediaries, such as banks. But what is the difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin? 
 

Speed 

Compared with Bitcoin, one of the benefits of Litecoin is speed. Bitcoin can create a new block in 10 minutes, but Litecoin only takes two and a half, so it is four times faster.

 


Is Litecoin Fast

Of course, many faster cryptocurrencies are now available, but that doesn’t remove the fact that it’s still a lot faster than Bitcoin. 
 

Mining

Litecoin can only be mined using special software and hardware thanks to its algorithm, Scrypt. Mining LTC is easier than mining bitcoin, but the rewards might also be inferior. 

If you want to start mining Litecoin, you can either join a mining pool or go solo and mine by yourself. 
 

Litecoin Is Safe

The algorithm was designed to withstand massive attacks on Litecoin, making it a safer alternative than many other cryptocurrencies. 

 

Is Litecoin Safe
Is Litecoin Safe

There have not been any serious security issues with Litecoin in the past. Thanks to its security features, it doesn’t look likely that we’d encounter any real trouble in the future, either. 
 

Litecoin has a Finite Supply

Litecoin tokens cannot be created indefinitely, as there is a maximum circulating supply of 84,000,000. As Bitcoin’s maximum supply is 21,000,000, it means Litecoin is not only four times faster, but there are also four times more tokens available. 

Litecoin goes through an event called halving every four years. Halving means that the mining rewards are reduced by half, so the creation of new tokens slows down. With fewer tokens created, the value of the existing ones can rise. 
 

The Real Drawbacks of Litecoin 

Litecoin shares some of the cons other cryptocurrencies suffer from as well. Here are some disadvantages you should be aware of before investing. 
 

Highly Volatile

One of Litecoin’s drawbacks is volatility. At the time of writing, the value is far from its all-time high, and it might drop more in the future. 

Of course, volatility works two ways, so it might also be that the value goes up in the future. 
 

Reputation

Litecoin’s reputation took a big hit in 2017 when the founder Charlie Lee sold a massive amount of his holdings. Why would anyone else believe in this project if the founder does not want to hold on to his tokens? 

Another blow to its reputation is the token’s use in the dark web. Some investors might be afraid that using or even simply owning a cryptocurrency used by many criminals will also label them as criminals. 
 

What Makes Litecoin Go Up/Down?

Litecoin’s value is determined by its users. Like most other cryptocurrencies, the value increases when there is more demand and plummets when people dump their coins. 

Bitcoin has often been called digital gold, and many investors treat it as such: they only invest in it to benefit from the increasing value, or at least so their investment will not lose its value. 

Litecoin is different: it was intended to be fast and easy to use so that it could be used to pay for all kinds of goods and services. This hasn’t really happened so far, but if some major retailers start accepting Litecoin, it could make the price soar. 
 

What Is Litecoin Used For? 

Several international payment providers have adopted Litecoin. For example, Verifone, Bitpay, Coingate, and PayPal support Litecoin. Some charities, like the American Red Cross, also accept donations in Litecoin, so you can do some good with your LTC. 

Many online casinos and betting sites also accept Litecoin, so gamblers can make deposits and withdraw their winnings in LTC. Litecoin can be used to play all types of games, from slots to classic casino table games to sports betting. 

As cryptocurrencies are constantly becoming more common among retailers, it looks likely that Litecoin will also become a more widely accepted currency. Even though the news about Litecoin and Walmart starting a collaboration was a hoax, it might not be too far-fetched for some bigger retailers to start accepting it. 
 

What Is The Future Of Litecoin?

Let’s face it: the past couple of years have been pretty rough for the entire crypto industry. Therefore, predicting the future of any crypto is probably more difficult than ever, so there are no certainties for Litecoin either. 

Judging by market cap, it is still one of the biggest cryptocurrencies out there, so the market's turmoil has not shunned investors. While nothing is certain, Litecoin will likely stay atop the crypto world for years to come. Knowing the Litecoin price history, there is still room for the value to increase.