Currency name(s): Litecoin (LTC)
Genesis Block: October 2011
Total Supply: the current Litecoin token total supply is around 62.5 million; the total maximum supply is capped at 84 million tokens
Algorithm: Proof of work algorithm – Scrypt (a variant of SHA-256)
Features: low fees, fast transactions, decentralized, supporting peer-to-peer transactions
The Litecoin network operates solely on proof of work and is used for its ability to quickly and cheaply transfer value within its blockchain – therefore it is seen as a pure cryptocurrency in the same way Bitcoin is. The impetus behind Litecoin’s creation was to provide a faster, more reliable, and less expensive bitcoin alternative, and that vision has been successful in implementation so far. In order to decentralize the network further, Litecoin's development is open source which in return has no negative impact on the Litecoin network itself as the upgrade process is transparent and contributors are able to detect malicious code before it makes it into the software.
The Litecoin network architecture is in many ways very similar to the cryptocurrency leader, Bitcoin, as its source code was derived from Bitcoin’s itself, but with key differences in protocol parameters. The founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, designed Litecoin to be a potentially faster and cheaper network than Bitcoin could be, and of course this goal has yet to be achieved given that bitcoin still remains the dominant cryptocurrency in the space. That said, thanks to Litecoin Bitcoin now has Segwit and Lightning so Litecoin is often viewed as a testing ground for new bitcoin developments/implementations.
The technology behind the Litecoin network is based on the algorithm called Scrypt which is used in the hashing as well as mining processes. The algorithm is prone to change so that the hashing cannot be optimized as much, therefore it is energy-intensive to mine this token. Once a new block is hashed, and the proof-of-work consensus on the network is reached, the new block is added to the blockchain. In general, a new block on the Litecoin blockchain is mined every 2 and a half minutes, which makes it faster than Bitcoin’s processing power, as Bitcoin processes a block in 10 minutes on average.
It is also important to note how the network’s proof-of-work consensus operates as well (which functions the same as Bitcoin's). All nodes that are connected to the network need to have a copy of the whole blockchain as well as their code. This is difficult as well as a consuming task but is very important so that the network is secure at all times. In order to prevent Denial of Service (or DoS) attacks, the whole network is checked so that malevolent actions towards the network can be stopped almost instantly. This is also the case with spam attacks as well and that is why there is a very minute fee included in all transactions that occur on the Litecoin network.
Due to its many technical similarities to bitcoin, litecoin's exchange marketplaces operate similarly to bitcoin's in that price is typically set by supply and demand dynamics as well as technicals hence our analysis is quite effective for LTC. Another important thing to note regarding the litecoin markets is that it is often used to transfer value from exchange to exchange cheaper and faster than with BTC making a fairly effective medium of exchange.
Despite the fact that litecoin has yet to gain the growth and attention that bitcoin has, it remains a formidable network in the cryptocurrency universe. For the time being, the Litecoin network is on a trajectory to stay atop the altcoin leaderboard, although it has yet to be seen whether or not Litecoin can be successful in being adopted as a major world currency or not.
In our analysis of the Litecoin markets it has become clear that they are in a longer-term bear market both in terms of BTC and USD and currently we see no signs of this trend reversing at this time. The overall market cap for Litecoin is around $7.4 billion, which makes it the fifth-most valued cryptocurrency network in the world, with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and BCash taking the first four places. The highest price per Litecoin token ever recorded was $375 during the price rally in December 2017, while the lowest price per token was seen in January 2015, where one Litecoin token was going for only $1.10.
As Litecoin is among the top 5 cryptocurrency networks in the world, many markets support trading pairs for it. CoinEgg, HitBTC, Fatbtc, and Bibox support Litecoin trading for other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Tether. Fiat currency pairs are also supported, so those interested in trading with this token can trade it for US dollars or Euro on Bitfinex, Kraken, or Coinbase.
Below is a sample of some of the past work that BBA has done on the LTC/BTC market in order to illustrate the kind of value that we provide to full members:
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