Litecoin
6 Full Logo S-2.png
Official Litecoin logo
Denominations
PluralLitecoins
SymbolŁ
CodeLTC
Precision10−8
Subunits
11000lites,[1] millilitecoin, mŁ
11000000microlitecoins, photons, μŁ
1100000000litoshis
Development
Original author(s)Charlie Lee
Initial release0.1.0 / 7 October 2011; 11 years ago (2011-10-07)
Latest release0.21.2.1[2] / 7 June 2022; 5 months ago (2022-06-07)
Code repositorygithub.com/litecoin-project/litecoin
Development statusActive
Project fork ofBitcoin
Written inC++
Operating systemWindows, OS X, Linux, Android
Developer(s)Litecoin Core Development Team
Source modelOpen source
LicenseMIT License
Ledger
Timestamping schemeProof-of-work
Hash functionscrypt
Block rewardŁ12.5 (approximately till August 2023), halved approximately every four years
Block time2.5 minutes
Circulating supplyŁ70,715,481 (14 July 2022)
Supply limitŁ84,000,000
Valuation
Exchange rateUS$55 (July 2022)
Market capUS$3.4 billion (July 2022)
Administration
Issuing authoritydecentralized, block reward
Website
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Litecoin (Abbreviation: LTC; sign: Ł) is a decentralized peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open-source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Inspired by Bitcoin, Litecoin was among the earliest altcoins, starting in October 2011.[3][4] In technical details, the Litecoin main chain shares a slightly modified Bitcoin codebase. The practical effects of those codebase differences are lower transaction fees,[5] faster transaction confirmations,[4] and faster mining difficulty retargeting. Due to its underlying similarities to Bitcoin, Litecoin has historically been referred to as the "silver to Bitcoin's gold."[6][7][8] In 2022, Litecoin added optional privacy features via soft fork through the MWEB (MimbleWimble extension block) upgrade.[8][9]

Design

Units and divisibility

The unit of account of the litecoin system is the litecoin. Currency codes for representing litecoin is LTC. Its Unicode character is Ł.

One litecoin is divisible to eight decimal places. Units for smaller amounts of litecoin are lites, millilitecoin (mŁ), equal to 11000 litecoin, photons, microlitecoin (μŁ), equal to 1100000 and the litoshi, which is the smallest possible division, and named in homage to bitcoin's smallest denomination the satoshi, representing 1100000000 (one hundred millionth) litecoin.

History

Pre-Litecoin

By 2011, Bitcoin mining was largely performed by GPUs. This raised concern in some users that mining now had a high barrier to entry, and that CPU resources were becoming obsolete and worthless for mining. Using code from Bitcoin, a new alternative currency was created called Tenebrix (TBX). Tenebrix replaced the SHA-256 rounds in Bitcoin's mining algorithm with the scrypt function,[10] which had been specifically designed in 2009 to be expensive to accelerate with FPGA or ASIC chips.[11] This would allow Tenebrix to have been "GPU-resistant", and utilize the available CPU resources from bitcoin miners. Tenebrix itself was a successor project to an earlier cryptocurrency which replaced Bitcoin's issuance schedule with a constant block reward (thus creating an unlimited money supply).[10] However, the developers included a clause in the code that would allow them to claim 7.7 million TBX for themselves at no cost, which was criticized by users.[12]

To address this, Charlie Lee, a Google employee who would later become engineering director at Coinbase,[13] created an alternative version of Tenebrix called Fairbrix (FBX).[3] Litecoin inherits the scrypt mining algorithm from Fairbrix, but returns to the limited money supply of Bitcoin, with other changes.

Creation and launch

Lee released Litecoin via an open-source client on GitHub on October 7, 2011. The Litecoin network went live on October 13, 2011.

Litecoin was a source code fork of the Bitcoin Core client, originally differing by having a decreased block generation time (2.5 minutes), increased maximum number of coins, different hashing algorithm (scrypt, instead of SHA-256), faster difficulty retarget, and a slightly modified GUI.[citation needed]

2011–2016

After launch, the early growth of Litecoin was aided by its increasing exchange availability and liquidity on early exchanges such as BTC-e. During the month of November 2013, the aggregate value of Litecoin experienced massive growth which included a 100% leap within 24 hours.[14][better source needed]

In early 2014, Lee suggested merge mining (auxPOW) Dogecoin with Litecoin to the Dogecoin community at large. In September 2014, Dogecoin began merge-mining with Litecoin,[15] providing increased security for Dogecoin and a permanent block subsidy that previously was not available with Litecoin mining.

2017–2021

In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top 5 (by market cap) cryptocurrencies to adopt Segregated Witness. Later in May of the same year, the first Lightning Network transaction was completed through Litecoin, transferring Ł0.00000001 from Zürich to San Francisco in under one second.

In 2020, PayPal added the ability for users to purchase a derivative of Litecoin along with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash which could not be withdrawn or spent as part of its Crypto feature.[16][17]

In September 2021, a fake press release was published on GlobeNewswire announcing a partnership between Litecoin and Walmart. This caused the price of Litecoin to increase by around 30%, before the press release was revealed as a hoax.[18] In February 2022, Litecoin has reached a marketcap of $8.7 Billion.

2022–present

In May 2022, MWEB (Mimblewimble Extension Blocks) upgrade was activated on the Litecoin network as a soft fork. This upgrade provides users with the option of sending confidential Litecoin transactions, in which the amount being sent is only known between the sender and receiver.[19]

In June 2022, PayPal added the ability for users to transfer Litecoin along with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash between PayPal to other wallets and exchanges.[20]

Differences from Bitcoin

Litecoin is different in some ways from Bitcoin:

Third party vendors providing point of sale infrastructure for Litecoin include companies such as Verifone,[26] BitPay,[27] and Coingate.[28] BitPay added support for Litecoin in 2021, with Litecoin initially accounting for less that 3% of BitPay transactions.[27] As of June 2022, Litecoin had grown to represent 21% of BitPay transactions by payment count.[29]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The supply will approach, but never reach, 21 million. Issuance will permanently halt c. 2140 at 20,999,999.9769.[24]: ch. 8 

References

  1. ^ renaming of mLTC/µLTC to lites/photons https://github.com/litecoin-project/litecoin/pull/375
  2. ^ "Litecoin v0.21.2.1". litecoin.org. 7 June 2022. Retrieved 2022-07-11.
  3. ^ a b "Ex-Googler Gives the World a Better Bitcoin". WIRED. Archived from the original on 2018-07-09. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  4. ^ a b Gibbs, Toby; Yordchim, Suwaree (2014). "Thai Perception on Litecoin Value" (PDF). International Journal of Social, Education, Economics and Management Engineering. 8 (8): 2589–2591.
  5. ^ Miglietti, Cynthia; Kubosova, Zdenka; Skulanova, Nicole (20 May 2019). "Bitcoin, Litecoin, and the Euro: an annualized volatility analysis". Studies in Economics and Finance. 37 (2): 229–242. doi:10.1108/SEF-02-2019-0050. S2CID 199363476.
  6. ^ Mandjee, Tara (2014). "Bitcoin, its legal classification and its regulatory framework". Journal of Business & Securities Law. 15.
  7. ^ Jumaili, Mustafa Lateef Fadhil; Karim, Sulaiman M (2021). "Comparison of two cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Litecoin". Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 1963 (1): 7. Bibcode:2021JPhCS1963a2143J. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1963/1/012143. S2CID 236441485.
  8. ^ a b Ismail, Ashiana. "Permissioned blockchains for real world applications." PhD diss., 2020.
  9. ^ a b Hake, Mark R. (February 14, 2022). "Litecoin Should See Broader Appeal With New Privacy Technology". Nasdaq. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Lee, David, ed. (May 5, 2015). Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Elsevier Science. ISBN 9780128023518.
  11. ^ "scrypt page on the Tarsnap website". Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  12. ^ Deng, Robert H. (3 August 2017). Handbook of Blockchain, Digital Finance, and Inclusion, Volume 1: Cryptocurrency, FinTech, InsurTech, and Regulation. United Kingdom: Elsevier Science. ISBN 9780128104422.
  13. ^ "Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has sold all of his LTC". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2021-02-21. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  14. ^ Charlton, Alistair (2013-11-28). "Litecoin value leaps 100% in a day as market cap passes $1bn". International Business Times, UK Edition. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
  15. ^ Murdock, Jason (2021-04-14). "How to mine dogecoin as 129 billion tokens in circulation". Newsweek. Retrieved 2022-07-13.
  16. ^ BBC (2020) "PayPal allows Bitcoin and crypto spending", October 21. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54630283
  17. ^ Crypto with PayPal is here, PayPal.com
  18. ^ "Walmart denies tieup with litecoin, fake statement rattles cryptocurrency". Reuters. 2021-09-13. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  19. ^ "MWEB Has Officially Activated". Litecoin Foundation. 2022-05-20.
  20. ^ PAYPAL (2022) "PayPal Users Can Now Transfer, Send, and Receive Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin", June 21. https://newsroom.paypal-corp.com/2022-06-07-PayPal-Users-Can-Now-Transfer-Send-and-Receive-Bitcoin-Ethereum-Bitcoin-Cash-and-Litecoin
  21. ^ Steadman, Ian (2013-05-11). "Wary of Bitcoin? A guide to some other cryptocurrencies". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  22. ^ Coventry, Alex (2012-04-25). "Nooshare: A decentralized ledger of shared computational resources" (PDF). Self-published. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2012-09-21. These hash functions can be tuned to require rapid access a very large memory space, making them particularly hard to optimize to specialized massively parallel hardware.
  23. ^ Nakamoto; et al. (1 April 2016). "Bitcoin source code - amount constraints". GitHub. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018.
  24. ^ Antonopoulos, Andreas M. (April 2014). Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Crypto-Currencies. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-1-4493-7404-4.
  25. ^ Silveira, Adrián; Betarte, Gustavo; Cristiá, Maximiliano; Luna, Carlos (2021-09-04). "A Formal Analysis of the Mimblewimble Cryptocurrency Protocol". Sensors. 21 (17): 5951. arXiv:2104.00822. Bibcode:2021Senso..21.5951S. doi:10.3390/s21175951. ISSN 1424-8220. PMID 34502842.
  26. ^ "CORRECTING and REPLACING PHOTO BitPay and Verifone Partner to Exclusively Enable Cryptocurrency Acceptance on Payment Terminals and In-App/eCommerce". www.businesswire.com. 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  27. ^ a b "Bitcoin's Dominance of Crypto Payments Is Starting to Erode". Time. Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  28. ^ "Supported Cryptocurrencies For Each Service - CoinGate". coingate.com. Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  29. ^ "BitPay: Buy Crypto Without Fees | Store, Swap & Spend Bitcoin". BitPay. Retrieved 2022-07-16.