Spotlight: Litecoin (LTC/USD)

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LTC/USD:  Litecoin (LTC) has been one of the better performing coins over the past few weeks, with LTC recovering slowly from its early January slumps to post some encouraging gains, especially in February.   

What is litecoin:

While the identity of the Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is shrouded in mystery, Litecoin’s creator Charlie Lee is very active on social media and his blog. Charlie Lee is an ex-Google employee who had the vision to create a lighter version of Bitcoin.  While Bitcoin was seen as “gold” and a store of value for long-term purposes, Litecoin was seen as the “silver” and a means of a transaction for cheaper and everyday purposes. So, on October 7 2011, litecoin was released via an open-source client on GitHub. The Litecoin Network went live on October 13 2011. It is essentially a fork of the Bitcoin Core client.

Difference from Bitcoin:

  • Total supply capped at 84 million coins, while BItcoin is 21 million.

  • The Litecoin Network aims to process a block every 2.5 minutes, rather than Bitcoin's 10 minutes.   The developers claim that this allows Litecoin to have faster transaction confirmation.

  • Litecoin uses scrypt in its proof-of-work algorithm, a sequential memory-hard function requiring asymptotically more memory than an algorithm which is not memory-hard.

Why the bullish moves now?

The recent surge in interest in Litecoin can be attributed to the following key developments:

  • New privacy features

  • Upcoming ‘halving’

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Privacy Developments:

There may be some valid reasons why such bullish movement is expected by many from Litecoin, the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. Charlie Lee of the Litecoin Foundation only recently announced that Litecoin will be pursuing confidential transaction features to upgrade the safety, security and anonymity feature LTC provides its users. In this pursuit, LTC is exploring the implementation of bulletproof MimbleWimble extension blocks, a characteristic of other privacy coins in the market.

This solution to Litecoin’s fungibility problems and its corresponding promise of added security and anonymity has thus, supported the bullish prospect of the LTC market.

Halving:

In approximately 179 days, Litecoin will undergo its next block-reward halving — cutting the coin reward for miners from 25 to 12.5 coins

Halving is a term common among cryptocurrency miners – the process sees the reduction of mining rewards of cryptocurrencies slashed by 50 percent.

Litecoin which runs on the same base code as Bitcoin halves its mining rewards every four years.  One major reason Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies halve their block rewards is to keep the activities of miners in check as the cryptocurrency grows over time.

With the mining reward set to be cut by half post the Halving, bullish prospects would push the price upwards while a higher reward can be received and although there is no evidence to suggest halving itself will have any effect of price - a statement corroborated by Charlie Lee himself, the expectation of positive price action can however, encourage the bulls to push the price of a coin like LTC upward.

Litecoin is currently ranked as the 4th largest cryptocurrency, with a current market capitalisation of USD$2.6b.

The information contained on this website is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.