Home - Altcoins - What is Litecoin? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

George Spencer

December 8, 2021

What is Litecoin? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Litecoin is the world’s first altcoin. If Bitcoin is the gold equivalent of the virtual currency world, then Litecoin is its silver counterpart due to their similarities. Matter fact, its inventor said that Litecoin was created in order to make a coin that is a silver to Bitcoin’s gold, but with the purpose of improving the king crypto. Litecoin was developed to improve on some of the shortcomings of the world’s first successful crypto, Bitcoin. At the moment, Litecoin is the eighteenth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap with a market cap of $11.37 billion. Here’s everything you need to know about the oldest altcoin. 

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin (LTC) is a cryptocurrency that was created two years after Bitcoin, by former Google engineer Charlie Lee, using an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority. Litecoin, however, differs from Bitcoin in aspects like faster block generation rate and use of Scrypt as a proof of work scheme. Like most cryptocurrencies, Litecoin utilizes blockchain technology to remain decentralized.

In its early years, the oldest altcoin was a strong competitor to Bitcoin, but as the crypto market is becoming more saturated and competitive, Litecoin’s power and popularity has somewhat faltered.

History of Litecoin

Litecoin rose to fame in October of 2011 after the publication of its whitepaper by Charlie Lee, who was a former engineer at Google and a old-time long-time Bitcoinist. Although Lee recognized and acknowledged the value of Bitcoin, he noticed that there were some areas that could help propel a larger blockchain adoption if improved, and he began to work on it. His improvements focused on reduced transaction times, fees, and the elimination of concentrated mining pools.

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It took LTC only two years to achieve a $1 billion market capitalization and the coin only went further. It reached its official all-time high of $360.93 at the end of 2017, representing an 8,200% increase over its value a year prior when its value was only $4.40. In a twist no one expected, Lee sold all his Litecoin holdings at the same time the coin hit its all-time high, explaining via Reddit that he was having concerns over his growing influence on the platform. In his famous posts, Lee said that whenever he tweets about Litecoin’s price or even just good news/bad news, he gets accused of doing it for selfish reasons and personal benefits. Some people even thought he shorted LTC, and he felt that it was a conflict of interest for him to keep holding the coin and tweet about it because he has way too much influence. 

Satoshi Nakamoto does it better, no?

LTC hit a new all-time high of $410.26 on May 10th, 2021.

How it Works

As mentioned, Litecoin operates in a way that is very similar to Bitcoin. The two are almost identical, except for a few differences. Charlie Lee began the creation of Litecoin by borrowing the core code from Bitcoin, the. He made several changes to the protocol. One of the major upgrades he made was he reduced the block approval time to two and a half minutes instead of ten minutes. Just like with Bitcoin, these blocks contain the next batch of transactions awaiting approval. 

This time reduction gave LTC more scalability as it is now 4x faster than Bitcoin in terms of transactions per seconds as it only costs 1/1000 of a LTC to process a transaction. The founder also changed the transaction fee model within Litecoin, making it more appealing to people. LTC’s fee structure is 1/50 the size of Bitcoin’s.

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  • Has a long-standing reputation in the crypto market top coins
  • Explosive returns are possible during uptrends
  • Transactions confirm much faster than Bitcoin
  • Lower fees than other cryptocurrencies
  • Good performance


  • Recent sentiment has been turning slightly bearish
  • Litecoin’s popularity and power has been going down recently as it dropped from top ten crypto to the eighteenth biggest crypto by market cap
  • The asset’s halving doesn’t have the same impact as Bitcoin’s
  • The founder’s asset sale tarnished reputation with early investors