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Litecoin followed in Created by Charles Lee, an engineer who later helped build Coinbase , the leading cryptocurrency exchange, Litecoin is based on the same code as bitcoin but with a few tweaks designed to address two of its predecessor's limitations: transaction speed and access to the mining process.
And in , Ethereum made its debut, incorporating bitcoin's basic blockchain premise and Litecoin's pursuit of faster transaction speed, but adding a few of its own twists -- including the ability to process little chunks of code, called "smart contracts" -- and on its virtual peer-to-peer network as opposed to a dedicated server or mining rig.
Coinbase's support for bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum -- as well as Bitcoin Cash , a new branch of the bitcoin blockchain created in August -- helped install and keep them among the most visible and well-capitalized cryptocurrencies. For the purposes of introducing some of the prevailing concepts behind the growing population of cryptocurrencies, we'll take a closer look at the technologies behind Litecoin and Ethereum, how they compare to bitcoin and what they each bring to the table for prospective investors, miners and traders.
Litecoin is closely based on bitcoin -- they're built on the same underlying code -- but with a few distinctive tweaks. The central difference is that Litecoin is mined using the Scrypt algorithm , which is rooted in mathematical computations that are simpler than those used by bitcoin's SHA algorithm. And because Scrypt is less mathematically complex than SHA, Litecoin mining is way faster than bitcoin mining.
A Litecoin block takes only 2. So Litecoin transactions are also faster to process and confirm. Like Litecoin, it's based on the same fundamental blockchain concept as bitcoin, with blocks and hashes and such , but Ethereum adds its own distinctive twist. This collective, distributed computing network, called the "Ethereum Virtual Machine," can be, in a sense, rented out. Participants who consume computing power pay for it with tokens, called Ether; those who contribute processing power can earn them.
Of course, buyers and sellers can simply trade Ether independently of these activities. Consider that bitcoin mining is akin to thousands of chefs feverishly racing to prepare a new, extremely complicated dish -- and only the first one to serve up a perfect version of it ends up getting paid. In the Ethereum kitchen, miners serve as the restaurant's landlord, compensated for providing the infrastructure so that Ether chefs can invent new types of cuisine.
In fact, a group of companies and universities has formed a nonprofit expressly to legitimize Ethereum; promote it as an open-source platform and not a commercial enterprise per se; and develop and support those applications that run on it. And these are not rinky-dink startups -- we're talking about major technology players like Intel and Microsoft and financial behemoths like JP Morgan and Credit Suisse. Bitcoin remains the most visible and frequently traded cryptocurrency.
If only it was that easy. No one knows whether any cryptocurrency will increase in value -- or even be around in a year's time though we think the ones outlined in this article will check both of those boxes. None of them are regulated yet and only individuals with the highest capacity for risk should get into the cryptocurrency market. That noted, there are significant differences among these three that could be used to form a rational basis for investing in or mining one over another.
Bitcoin is the mainstream choice. If you're looking for a cryptocurrency with first-mover advantage, unmatched popular visibility and the highest market capitalization, it's a no-brainer. On the downside, it's now nearly impossible to mine profitably, incredibly energy-intensive and, after rising more than 1, percent over the past year, could have expended most of its potential for growth. This is debatable. No one knows anything.
So, which do you think will be more valuable in the future, Bitcoin or Litecoin? If something is valuable it can be traded for goods and services. A store of value is something that is not only valuable but stays valuable. The most well-known store of value in the world is gold. Currencies can also be stores of value. The currencies of powerful countries, like the USA, are better stores of value than weaker, less stable countries like Syria.
What about cryptocurrencies? Cryptocurrencies are still new. None are stores of value like gold. However, they do have the potential to become stores of value. Gold is a great store of value because it is precious and there is only a limited amount of it in the world. Gold is inflation proof. Its value is predictable and reliable. This could also be true in the case of Bitcoin and Litecoin. They both have limited supplies.
There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin and there will only ever be 84 million Litecoin. This means they could both become good stores of value. Bitcoin is the oldest and most trusted cryptocurrency. It will also reach its supply limit first. Three-quarters of all Bitcoin has already been mined.
This means that its value should become predictable and reliable in the near future, just like gold! I think that Bitcoin will become a long-term store of value before Litecoin. Bitcoin wins the round! You might be able to one day soon though There are quite a lot of well-known companies that take Bitcoin as payment.
What more could you need! There are fewer companies that accept Litecoin as payment. Although, Uber has taken Litecoin as payment as a part of trials in the Czech Republic. So, Bitcoin wins? Maybe not. Businesses and customers might like this idea and start using Litecoin instead of Bitcoin. Or will they?
If you tried to spend Bitcoin in a shop, you would be standing at the counter for 10 minutes before you could leave! This is because it takes 10 minutes for the Bitcoin blockchain to verify the transaction. By checking with a few nodes, the shop can be almost certain that you have enough money to pay. This is called a zero-confirmation transaction.
The hat store is happy to let me have my hat today. It has done a quick check and knows that I have enough money in my account to pay. It also makes use of zero-confirmation transactions to make buying things faster. Sorry, Litecoin fans! Bitcoin wins again! Cryptocurrencies were invented to help people. Their creators wanted to take power away from banks and governments. They wanted to give power back to the people of the world. The main difference between Litecoin vs Bitcoin is the way mining on each platform works.
As I said earlier, mining Bitcoin is more difficult and more expensive than mining Litecoin. So, to make money mining Bitcoin, you need a very powerful computer. Most people use special computers that are designed to mine Bitcoin. Which are called ASIC miners? As Bitcoin has grown in value, Bitcoin mining has become its own industry. Whole warehouses have been set up to mine Bitcoin. This means that new Bitcoin is going to fewer and fewer people.
Cryptocurrencies are supposed to be different. They were created to spread wealth more evenly. Charlie Lee knew all this when he created Litecoin. Litecoin can be mined using normal computers. So, new coins go to a wider group of users. Litecoin is more democratic because more people can get involved.
This round is an easy win for Litecoin. Bitcoin vs Litecoin both want to speed up transaction times. Both are using the same idea to get this done. The Lightning Network is a way of verifying transactions away from the main blockchain. Miners will have less work to do and the whole system will work faster. The Lightning Network will allow users to open their own mini-networks.
These networks are called payment channels. The transactions that happen in these networks will be guided by rules called smart contracts. Using this system would also make trading across platforms possible. This means that you could change your Bitcoin to Litecoin without using a crypto exchange.
If you wanted to change your Litecoin to Bitcoin then all you would need to do is set up a payment channel with a user on the Bitcoin network. This kind of transaction is called an atomic swap. As long as both users have enough currency to do the swap, it will happen. Bitcoin and Litecoin have both started using the Lightning Network.
However, some people think that Bitcoin using the Lightning Network will end Litecoin. They think that faster Bitcoin transaction times will make Litecoin useless. I disagree. I think that the introduction of the Lightning Network will bring the two platforms closer together. Charlie Lee described the Lightning Network as a bridge between two roads. He said that the Bitcoin road is full of cars, moving slowly. The Litecoin road is nearly empty. The Lightning Network bridge will make it easier for cars to move between the two roads.
Best Bitcoin mining hardware: Your top choices for choosing the best Bitcoin mining hardware for building the ultimate Bitcoin mining machine. Wondering what is SegWit and how does it work? Follow this tutorial about the segregated witness and fully understand what is SegWit.
Some people think that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency worth using. There is a place in the market for other coins. Out of these other coins, Litecoin is one of the best. Bitcoin and Litecoin are often compared to gold and silver. Some people love Coke, others want that great Coke taste but with less sugar. Coke and Diet Coke are on supermarket shelves all around the world. They are right next to each other and they probably always will be. What do you think about Litecoin vs Bitcoin?
Is Litecoin is better than Bitcoin? Do you think the two can work together? Let me know! We do not publish biased feedback or spam. So if you want to share your experience, opinion or give advice - the scene is yours! Picking out the best crypto exchange for yourself, you should always focus on maintaining a balance between the essential features that all top crypto exchanges should have, and those that are important to you, personally.
That said, many users believe that Coinbase is one of the simpler exchanges on the current market. The exchange platform i. Binance acts as a middleman - it connects you your offer or request with that other person the seller or the buyer.
When considering cryptocurrency exchange rankings, though, both of these types of businesses exchanges and brokerages are usually just thrown under the umbrella term - exchange. This is done for the sake of simplicity. No, definitely not! While some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges are, indeed, based in the United States i. Coinbase or Kraken , there are other very well-known industry leaders that are located all over the world.
While there are many reasons for why an exchange would prefer to be based in one location over another, most of them boil down to business intricacies, and usually have no effect on the user of the platform. By Laura M.
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