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Litecoin (LTC) price, chart, coin profile and news

Find the latest Litecoin (LTC) price, coin profile, news and history to get you started with Litecoin trading and investing.

Disclaimer: This information is not financial advice or an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and high risk. Do your own research and seek financial advice before buying. And make sure the provider you're interested in is available in your state.

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer decentralised payments blockchain and cryptocurrency. Building from Bitcoin's success, Litecoin developers wanted to create a payments network that was quicker and cheaper than its predecessor. This was achieved by changing elements of Bitcoin's open-source code.

To improve upon Bitcoin's design, the total supply of Litecoins was set 4 times higher. The effort required to add a new block to the blockchain was also made 4 times easier. The functional result of these changes is a cryptocurrency and blockchain that is 4 times faster than Bitcoin, with fees that are a quarter of the price.

As an early predecessor to Bitcoin, Litecoin was one of the first-ever altcoins. Since its inception in 2011, it has grown from a price of zero to a multi-billion-dollar project. Unlike most other altcoins, Litecoin's price actually outperformed Bitcoin for several years after its launch.

At times, it has captured enough investment to rank as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. This early investment and persistent development from the Litecoin Foundation mean the coin is now one of the world's best-known cryptocurrencies.

Litecoin (LTC) price chart

Litecoin at a glance

Ticker symbolLTC
UseDigital Asset
Year released2011
OriginUnited States
Maximum supply84,000,000
Consensus algorithmProof of Work
Notable team membersCharlie Lee
Notable partnershipsAliant Payments Systems
Learn more about Litecoin

How does Litecoin work?

Just like Bitcoin, Litecoin was developed as a decentralised network for the transfer of wealth. However, the primary goal was to create a blockchain that offered quicker transaction times and cheaper transaction fees.

Litecoin, the digital cryptocurrency (LTC), can be transferred to anyone globally using the Litecoin blockchain. The blockchain processes and records all transactions. Each new group of transactions is added as a new "block" in the chain.

Like Bitcoin, the Litecoin blockchain implements a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to process transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain. Participants of the Litecoin network, usually referred to as "miners", compete with each other to solve a complex mathematical problem. This problem requires significant computing power to solve.

The miner that solves the problem first and, therefore, has proved a certain level of power usage, is allowed to validate the next set of transactions and add the next block to the chain. For their effort, miners are rewarded with newly minted Litecoins.

Once transactions have been processed on the blockchain, the Litecoin digital currency is sent from sender to recipient.

To improve transaction times and costs in comparison to Bitcoin, developers increased the total coin supply and reduced the time it takes to create a new block in the chain. They also changed the mining algorithm to a version called "script".

Scrypt allowed the mining process to be more memory intensive and, therefore, more energy-efficient. It was the hope of developers that, unlike Bitcoin, more people could mine Litecoin from their homes using standard computing equipment.

The issues with Litecoin

Unfortunately, the benefits Litecoin enjoyed when it launched in 2011 don't apply today. With the passing of time, both the speed and advantages of the new scrypt mining algorithm have become redundant.

  • People created specialised scrypt miners. The deliberately memory-intensive design of scrypt only delayed, rather than prevented, the industrialisation of Litecoin mining. It's no longer realistically possible to profitably mine Litecoin at home.
  • Receive payment in Litecoin. In reality, energy-efficient crypto mining means miners end up using more machines to consume the same amount of energy, instead of consuming less energy.

As for Litecoin's other advantage – a faster block time – this is completely arbitrary. There's nothing stopping another cryptocurrency from improving on that with an even faster average block time. There are now multiple blockchains that offer far superior transaction times and costs.

Even though Litecoin's initial advantages are no longer relevant, there are still reasons people like Litecoin.

  • Despite its volatility, Litecoin has consistently retained a healthy price tag.
  • Litecoin is an undeniably cheap and fast way of transferring monetary value anywhere in the world.
  • There are plans to develop Litecoin further and introduce new useful features.
  • Litecoin has stood the test of time. It has a longer history than most other cryptocurrencies in existence today.

What's next for Litecoin?

Litecoin is continually developing to become a suitable blockchain for individuals and businesses. Although a roadmap is not available, future updates are announced through the website. Here are a couple of major developments on the horizon.

  • Privacy. MWEB is the largest update that Litecoin developers have been working on over the past couple of years. The MimbleWimble Extension Block (MWEB) Privacy Protocol is a privacy update that was developed to obscure transactions. It is set to provide increased privacy and protect the details of users. It will be a first for the cryptocurrency industry. The update will mean transactions are untraceable and remain confidential to outside parties. According to Litecoin's blog posts, the update is set to launch by the end of 2021.
  • Throughput. In conjunction with the MWEB privacy update, Litecoin is planning to change the Bitcoin-inherited mining algorithm called SHA2-526. All MWEB hashes will use a new Blake 3 hash function that is reportedly 10 times faster than SHA2-526. As a result, the Litecoin network should be able to handle a slightly higher throughput.
  • Smart contracts. Most recently, the Litecoin Foundation announced the launch of OmniLite. This platform will enable token creation and bring smart contracts, DAOs, tokenisation and NFTs to the Litecoin blockchain. If successful, the blockchain may become a direct competitor of other deployment blockchains such as Ethereum, Solana and Cardano.
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Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds BTC, BNB.

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