Litecoin (LTC) definition: A cryptocurrency created from Bitcoin fork with an optimized, faster mining algorithm that avoids mining power concentration.

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was created by Charlie Lee in 2011 in a fork from Bitcoin. It is often referred to as the "silver to Bitcoin's gold," as it shares many similarities with Bitcoin while introducing certain technical enhancements. As an open-source project, Litecoin operates on a decentralized network that enables users to send and receive digital transactions without the need for intermediaries.

Litecoin employs a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, similar to Bitcoin, to validate and secure transactions. One of Litecoin's distinct features is its use of the Scrypt hashing algorithm, which is memory-intensive and designed to resist the dominance of specialized mining hardware, such as ASICs, fostering a more decentralized mining landscape.

While Litecoin shares similarities with Bitcoin, it also boasts certain key distinctions. For instance, Litecoin offers faster transaction confirmation times due to its shorter block generation time. This allows for quicker processing of transactions, making Litecoin suitable for everyday purchases and microtransactions. Additionally, Litecoin has a larger maximum supply of coins, with 84 million LTC compared to Bitcoin's 21 million BTC.

Litecoin's technical features and lower transaction fees have positioned it as a preferred cryptocurrency for everyday transactions. It can be used for a wide range of purposes, including online purchases, remittances, and even tipping content creators on various platforms.

Litecoin's legacy as one of the earliest cryptocurrencies, along with its consistent performance and active development community, contributes to its significance in the cryptocurrency space. Its technical enhancements and focus on faster transaction processing have influenced the broader blockchain ecosystem, prompting discussions on scalability solutions and improving user experiences. Over the years, Litecoin has garnered a strong community of supporters and users who value its utility and accessibility.

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Michelle Legge
By Michelle LeggeHead of Crypto Tax Education
Updated Nov 9, 2023
This article has been fact checked and reviewed as per our editorial policy.