Home Litecoin PYMNTS Blockchain Collection: Litecoin Is the ‘Silver’ to Bitcoin’s ‘Gold’ – PYMNTS.com

PYMNTS Blockchain Collection: Litecoin Is the ‘Silver’ to Bitcoin’s ‘Gold’ – PYMNTS.com

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All through this sequence of articles, we’re wanting on the high blockchains in cryptocurrency that will help you make sense of the alphabet soup of so-called “altcoins” that exists past that of bitcoin’s BTC and Ethereum’s ETH.

We are going to take a look at what they’re, how they work, what they do, and their professionals and cons.

You’ll come out of this sequence not solely with a greater sense of what cryptocurrency is all about, however you’ll additionally perceive why the best way a token works — the best way its blockchain processes transactions — is vital to its success or failure as a digital asset.

See additionally: Bitcoin Cash Is the No. 2 Payments-Focused Crypto That Goes Its Own Way

So, what’s Litecoin?

One of many vital “altcoins” — which means any cryptocurrency aside from bitcoin — Litecoin launched in 2011, simply two years after the primary cryptocurrency.

Developed by Google software program engineer Charlie Lee, Litecoin was the primary vital try to repair the primary shortcoming bitcoin has as a payments-focused cryptocurrency, together with its dismally gradual transaction velocity and thus scalability.

Bitcoin has a block time of 10 minutes, which means a brand new batch of transactions is barely added to the blockchain six instances an hour, and it might deal with about eight transactions per second (TPS). Litecoin lowered the block time to 2.5 minutes and is able to 56 TPS.

Learn extra: Bitcoin’s 10-Minute Block Time Batches and Fluctuating Transaction Fees Give RTP a Leg Up

“Pondering of a future the place this unbelievable new know-how can be broadly adopted, I spotted instantly that transaction throughput would change into a critical scalability downside for the nascent cryptocurrency,” said Lee, who’s managing director of the Litecoin Basis. “I instantly started engaged on an answer to enrich bitcoin and in solely per week, Litecoin was born.”

Whereas bitcoin’s worth was nicely underneath $5 on the time, Lee stated he noticed bitcoin turning from a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital money — its supposed goal — right into a retailer of worth, like gold. The phrase “digital gold” was popularized when New York Instances crypto reporter Nathaniel Popper revealed a book by that title. It took off in 2021 as Wall Avenue monetary establishments picked it up when bitcoin started climbing from round $10,000 to greater than $65,000 — and even after its worth crashed greater than 50%, rebounded, after which crashed once more on the finish of the yr.

Lee was nicely forward of crowd.

“As a way to assist individuals rapidly perceive what it was, I described Litecoin because the ‘gentle model of bitcoin’ that would very nicely change into ‘the silver to bitcoin’s gold,’” he stated.

It was not a competitor to bitcoin, Lee argued. Moderately Litecoin was designed to meet bitcoin’s unique goal — as a funds device.

Crypto Silver

Litecoin has had some large wins on this regard, notably when PayPal (and later its different funds app, Venmo) chosen it and Bitcoin Money as the 2 payments-focused cryptocurrencies it supported, together with high cryptocurrencies bitcoin and Ethereum.

Nonetheless, there may be rising competitors from decentralized finance (DeFi) blockchains like Solana, which may deal with 60,000 TPS and launched a point-of-sale (POS) product, Solana Pay earlier this month. It really works with dollar-pegged stablecoins like Circle’s USD Coin (USDC)

Learn extra: Solana Pay Launches as Low-Cost, Instant Crypto Payment for Everyday Purchases

Then there’s block time. To ensure that a transaction to be really finalized, a minimal of six blocks need to be added after it for safety, and quarter-hour is rather a lot higher than bitcoin’s hour-long wait.

By way of switch charges, Litecoin runs a few cents, much more workable than bitcoin’s couple of {dollars}. However different newer blockchains can run fractions of a cent, Solana Pay, for instance, claims $0.00025 as its common transaction charge.

And whereas bitcoin has an absolute most of 210,000 BTC, Litecoin has 840,000.

Much less Polluting

Other than its quicker block time, Litecoin has additionally tried to cope with a few of the issues which have prompted bitcoin to create an enormous environmental downside. Whereas Litecoin additionally makes use of a proof-of-work consensus mechanism — the tactic by which transactions are added to the blockchain — it isn’t a fork of bitcoin however makes use of a barely up to date model of its code.

See additionally: What’s a Consensus Mechanism and Why Is It Destroying the Planet?

In bitcoin’s case, this has led to large environmental issues as bitcoin miners began a computing-power arms race to win the brand new bitcoin reward — at the moment 6.25 BTC, value about $235,000 as of Wednesday night (March 2) — which has led to country-sized quantities of energy getting used for mining.

Ranging from scratch, Litecoin modified the mathematical algorithm utilized in its mining that — for some time — made it not possible to make that kind of arms race work, because the specialised computer systems designed for BTC didn’t work for LTC. And whereas it nonetheless makes use of lower than bitcoin or Ethereum, Litecoin’s newer rivals run on a proof-of-stake, which makes use of just about no energy in any respect so as to add new blocks.

Learn additionally: What is Staking?

Litecoin has a variety of different issues going for it as a funds cryptocurrency, beginning with liquidity. The 24-hour buying and selling quantity Wednesday night was greater than $925 million.

However, apart from new, speedier DeFi rivals, there are a rising variety of rails on which bitcoin funds could be made, from Block’s BTC-centric CashApp (and PayPal) to crypto funds processors like BitPay and the rising array of bitcoin debits playing cards.



About: Forty-two percent of U.S. consumers are more likely to open accounts with FIs that make it easy to auto-share their banking details during sign-up. The PYMNTS study Account Opening And Loan Servicing In The Digital Environment, surveyed 2,300 consumers to examine how FIs can leverage open banking to engage customers and create a better account opening experience.

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