Litecoin (LTC) is often referred to as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, which is not surprising as it’s essentially a Bitcoin fork with a couple of key differences. Many newcomers to the crypto space may not be aware of Litecoin and its place in crypto history because it has fallen down the rankings in recent years, but it can be regarded as one of the old guards of crypto that paved the way for others to follow.
But what is Litecoin? How do you buy it? And what will Litecoin be worth 10 years from now? Let’s find out a bit more about this crypto classic and whether it is still as relevant today as when it first launched.
What is Litecoin?
Litecoin is a digital currency that is similar to Bitcoin in some ways but is based on a different operating protocol. It was designed to act like a digital currency rather than with an underlying technology platform like some of the other coins available.
Litecoin is open source, decentralized, and backed by complicated math equations to ensure it runs smoothly. It was created by Charlie Lee in 2011, who admired the ethos of Bitcoin but felt that it wasn’t agile enough to be considered a regular currency. He, therefore, created Litecoin off the back of Bitcoin’s core code but implemented some key differences.
Litecoin vs. Bitcoin
|As of 08/2022||Litecoin (LTC)||Bitcoin (BTC)|
|Price||≈ $60 USD||≈ $23,600 USD|
|Market Cap||$4,358,657,577.15 USD||$459,213,771,997 USD|
|Total Supply||84,000,000 LTC||₿21,000,000|
|Algorithm||Scrypt||(PoW) Proof of Work|
|Max Block Size||1 MB||1 MB|
|Block Time||2.5 minutes||10 minutes|
|Block Reward||12.5 LTC||6.25 BTC|
The History of Litecoin
Charlie Lee released the initial version of Litecoin via GitHub on October 7th, 2011. He had been working on modifying the Bitcoin Core code to make it more versatile and more saleable by reducing block generation time and increasing the total number of coins available. Lee then created a fork with his new code and launched it under a new name – Litecoin. The Litecoin network went live on October 13th, 2011, with the genesis block mined that very same day.
In 2013, Litecoin saw a huge boost when Lee joined Coinbase. LTC would finally be listed on the popular exchange by 2017. Since then, many like to use the Litecoin network as a “test” on possible new features for Bitcoin. Litecoin was the first to see the testing in SegWit, the Lightning Network, and Atomic Swaps, all of which have now been applied to BTC.
Litecoin’s value has had a volatile history, to say the least. In November 2013, Litecoin saw its first bull market, with LTC reaching a value of $50 USD. But as with all crypto, what goes up must come down, and by the end of 2015, Litecoin’s price would stabilize at around $3. Litecoin’s record hit in 2017 at around $371, but at the time of this writing (Aug. 2022), 1 LTC is valued at around $60.
How to Buy Litecoin
If you’re looking to invest in Litecoin, follow these quick steps at your favorite crypto exchange.
- Step 1: Find a trusted crypto exchange and create an account.
- Step 2: Verify your identity using a photo ID and other required documents.
- Step 3: Deposit fiat money into your exchange wallet.
- Step 4: Purchase the amount of Litecoin you want to invest in.
- Step 5: Store your LTC securely in a crypto wallet.
Once you have purchased the amount of Litecoin you want, you need somewhere to securely store it. To do this, you will need a crypto wallet. Do not leave your Litecoin in your exchange wallet! Exchange wallets are notorious for being hacked into.
Instead, you will want to choose between either a hot wallet or cold wallet. Hot wallets are the most convenient option, where you can access them from your mobile device or laptop. Cold wallets offer the most security, as these physical wallets are only connected to the internet while you are using it.
Top crypto wallets where you can store your LTC include:
If you are familiar with Bitcoin mining, then you’ll find mining LTC easy! That being said, there are some key differences between the two.
- While Bitcoin has a ten minute block, Litecoin has a block time of 2.5 minutes.
- Litecoin’s max supply is 84 million coins versus BTC’s 21 million.
- Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm for mining, and LTC uses Scrypt.
Step 1: Upgrade Your Equipment
Interestingly, you can still mine Litecoin with low-level computer equipment, meaning you can essentially get up and running with just a half-decent PC and a Litecoin wallet. But, while you can mine with your PC, it will take an awfully long time to see any real profits.
You have a couple of choices beyond this, you can build a graphics processing unit (GPU) with a selection of mid-range or higher graphics cards or you can invest in an ASIC miner. A GPU rig will set you back a little less than the ASIC miner, but the ASIC miner is purpose-built to mine cryptos, so it performs much better. Litecoin uses the Scrypt algorithm, this means that you can’t just use any good old Bitcoin ASIC miner to get the job done.
You can get a pretty decent Scrypt ASIC miner from Amazon for about $700. Once you have a Scrypt ASIC, you can put it to work mining any crypto that makes use of that particular algorithm.
Step 2: Join a Mining Pool
It’s pretty easy to join a Litecoin mining pool – simply head over to a pool’s website and create an account. Once you’ve done that, you just point your hash rate at the pool and watch the rewards roll in.
Pools work by sending your mining rig a set of data that it will then turn into a unique hash and send back to the pool. If the pool is successful in creating the first unique hash, the block from your pool will be added to the chain and the pool will receive the block reward.
The block reward is then distributed to the entire pool based on the percentage of hash rate each miner contributed. For example, if your mining equipment provides 1% of the total pool hash rate, you will receive 1% of the total block reward should your pool win – at the current rate of 12.5 LTC per block reward, your 1% would give you 0.125 LTC.
Step 3: Choose Your Protocol
To connect your mining rig up to either the pool or the Litecoin network, you’ll need to install a protocol first. Most miners use the Stratum protocol as it is one of the oldest and most widely used, meaning its well accepted. However, some miners have issues with it, feeling that it gives the mining pools too much power. This creates centralization in the mining process, which undermines the main point of cryptocurrency.
An Alternative protocol is BetterHash which gives more power to miners and lets them decide exactly what they mine and in what way. Stratum is better for beginners, as all you have to do is point your mining rig to the pool or network and the rest is taken care of. However, if you have a bit of experience, BetterHash might be worth exploring.
Step 4: Mind Your Overhead
You will still need to perform routine maintenance on your mining rig, such as ensuring it stays as cool as possible and that your electricity bills don’t run out of control. Like all electrical equipment, when your mining rig is running it will get extremely warm. Therefore, it is important that you keep it as cool as possible to maximize its lifetime, or you could risk overheating it.. Many miners use AC units placed right above the mining rig, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you could set up a water-cooling system.
Once you have the cooling under control, you need to keep an eye on power usage. Crypto mining farms draw huge amounts of power! So, if you are running a large operation you will need to contact your local council and power company so you can be given a special crypto mining rate. Miners are often given higher costs per KW/h due to this drain on the grid, and is one of the reasons many mining farms are going out of business in certain areas.
What could Litecoin be worth in 10 years?
Litecoin faces a challenge to keep up with newer and trendir cryptocurrencies, but it is still accepted by many retailers and is still a top 10 cryptocurrency, which says a lot. But the currency is still thriving and constantly providing updates to stay competitive.
At the time of writing (Aug. 2022), LTC had hit a value of $60 USD, with market analysts predicting it will hit $118 by end of year. Long-term predictions place the value of Litecoin in 10 years between a high of $6,000 and a low of $4,000.
Just remember, crypto markets are notoriously volatile, so anything can happen. But if you are going to invest, your best time to buy is now while prices are low.
Is Litecoin better than Bitcoin?
When comparing cryptos, you will need to look at all aspects to determine which will be a better investment for you. For example, between LTC and BTC, Litecoin is generated faster, but Bitcoin has a much higher value.
Is Litecoin dead?
While nearly all cryptocurrency has seen a tremendous decrease in value in 2022, including LTC, it is safe to say that Litecoin is not dead. The downward trend has appeared to hit bottom and most analysts are predicting huge upswings over the next 10 years.
Is Litecoin a good investment?
With most experts predicting massive growth for all of the top 10 cryptocurrncies over the next ten years, if you are looking to invest in LTC, now would be the time. Many analysts predict Litecoin will hit a value over $100 by end of 2022 and within a ten year period, will hit values between $4,000-$6,000.