Introduced in October, 2011, Litecoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system, in the vein of Bitcoin. Though most of the mechanics involved in the mining, transfer and management of Litecoins are similar to the cryptographic protocols ushered in by Bitcoin, there are a few – potentially significant – differences between the two. The reason why matching up Litecoin against Bitcoin and comparing the two every step of the way makes sense, is that Bitcoin is the gold standard of the crypto currency scene.
Most of the differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin are jotted down as advantages for the latter. In this regard, it has to be noted that Litecoin has already adopted SegWit, a scaling solution only currently considered for Bitcoin, as well as the Lightning Network. Due to these advantages, Litecoin payments are about 4 times faster than Bitcoin payments and there are almost no costs associated with the use of the currency.
The Litecoin network is set to process a block every 2.5 minutes, while the Bitcoin Network accomplishes the same every 10 minutes. While this approach raises the possibility of orphaned blocks resulting from the processing, it also allows for faster transaction confirmation.
Another major difference between Bitcoin and Litcoin is the fact that a total of 84 million litecoins are set to be mined over the mining cycle of the lifetime of the currency.
Due to the fact that in its proof-of-work algo, Litcoin uses scrypt, it’s safe to say that ASICS and GPU-based mining is not at a particular advantage compared to CPU-based mining in its case.
The current market cap for Litecoin approaches the 2.5 billion mark. In this regard, it is the 4th biggest crypto currency, behind Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. A little over 51.6 million LTCs have been mined thus far.