In the Beginning…

If you’re new towards cryptocurrency, you may just have found out about Bitcoin. However, you may be surprised to learn that a lot more cryptocurrencies have now flooded the market. Referred to as alternative cryptocurrencies, or just altcoins, they may be less developed in comparison to Bitcoin. With each altcoin boasting to improve the financial industry in the approaching years, it is hard to judge which of these is worth an investment. Among the more robust altcoins on the market is Litecoin.

Bitcoin surfaced as the world’s first cryptocurrency following its introduction by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. The code is open source, allowing one to freely modify and change for use on other projects. Because of the level of popularity and success of Bitcoin, a great many other cryptocurrencies were launched with an improved version of the code.

Litecoin was a fork off the Bitcoin source code by ex-Google employee, Charlie Lee. He tweaked Bitcoin’s code by changing the hashing algorithm from SHA-256 to Scrypt. Charlie also capped the maximum amount of Litecoin’s to 84 million, four times more than Bitcoin’s 21 million. Other changes included giving Litecoin a mining reward of 50 coins per block, a block time of 2.5 minutes and halved the reward every 840,000 blocks.

Using Scrypt rather than SHA-256 allowed for fairer mining as the Scrypt algorithm is more storage intensive and allowed for easier entry for the hobbyist miner. Litecoin was primarily intended to be ASIC-resistant. ASIC – Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, is a custom designed circuit that has one purpose – cryptocurrency mining. This involves high investment in purchasing and upgrading of the ASIC miners as time passes. These Scrypt ASICs soon became profitable and began hitting the marketplace in May 2014.

Litecoin transactions are confirmed far quicker than Bitcoin as the transaction time is much faster. Litecoin launched in 2011 and differentiates itself by professing to be the “silver” to bitcoin’s “gold”. Litecoin holds it’s own in Cryptocurrency Market Capitalization by consistently appearing in the top ten.

Buying Litecoin

Litecoin is now accepted by thousands of merchants around the world. To buy Litecoin we recommend using the following exchanges.

Coinbase

Coinbase

Binance

Binance

Coinmama

Coinmama

Bitpanda

Bitpanda

Litecoin wallets

Litecoin can be stored in a digital wallet available online, on a desktop, or mobile devices. The wallet allows you to send and receive Litecoin, it records transactions and the total value of your currency. Online wallets are usually held by the third party exchanges, this means that they hold and are in control of your your private keys which could lead to loss of coins if ever the exchange is attacked.

Desktop wallets are a safer option as you do not rely on a third party for security.

Securing your wallet

By utilising a desktop wallet, you essentially become your own bank. This implies that the security of your Litecoin is your responsibility.

Firstly, you’ll need to make sure that your computer is clear of any malware that may compromise security.

Next, you’ll need to encrypt your wallet with a very strong password. This is to ensure no one can spend your money if they obtain access to your wallet.

Your Litecoin wallet holds the private keys that allows access to your coins. Losing the private keys will cause you to lose your Litecoin forever. An excellent practice is always to create backups of your private keys and disperse them across multiple locations.

Cold storage and paper wallets are also an effective and very secure way to store your private keys.

We recommend the following mobile and desktop wallets for storing Litecoin.

Litecoin Core

Litecoin Core Wallet

LoafWallet

LoafWallet

Exodus

Exodus Wallet

Jaxx

Jaxx Wallet

Recap…

Litecoin was created as an alternative to Bitcoin and has an increased coin supply, different hashing algorithm, and faster block generation time.

Litecoin creator Charlie Lee envisions that Bitcoin will be utilized as a store of value and for large transactions while Litecoin is proven to be the cryptocurrency for every day payments.

Please be sure to conduct your own research before investing in any digital currency.