What is Litecoin?
Litecoin was launched in 2011 as a hard fork of Bitcoin by ex-Google engineer, Charlie Lee. Due to this, Litecoin shares many similarities with Bitcoin. It was created using Bitcoin’s original source code with a few upgrades to make transactions faster and cheaper for everyday use.
Litecoin has much shorter blocks than Bitcoin, with new blocks created roughly every 2.5 minutes as opposed to Bitcoin’s 10 minute block time. This allows Litecoin to process transactions much faster than Bitcoin, to enable payments to scale as demand grows. This is aided by Litecoin’s higher max circulating supply at 84 million, making it four times larger than Bitcoin’s 21 million to make up for the faster blocks. Launched just two years after Bitcoin, Litecoin was an early altcoin competitor to Bitcoin but has since seen a decline in its share of the crypto market as new projects, such as Ethereum, came to prominence during the 2010s.
Litecoin was also the first cryptocurrency to test the lightning network before it arrived on the Bitcoin network. Once its use case was proven on Litecoin, Bitcoin was able to adopt it too.