Official Litecoin logo
SymbolŁ[citation needed]
11000lites,[1] millilitecoin, mŁ
11000000microlitecoins, photons, μŁ
Original author(s)Charlie Lee
Initial release0.1.0 / 7 October 2011; 12 years ago (2011-10-07)
Latest release0.21.2.2[2] / 2 March 2023; 16 months ago (2023-03-02)
Development statusActive
Project fork ofBitcoin [a]
Written inC++
Operating systemWindows, OS X, Linux, Android
Developer(s)Litecoin Core Development Team
Source modelOpen source
LicenseMIT License
Timestamping schemeProof-of-work
Hash functionscrypt
Block rewardŁ6.25 (as of August, 2 2023), (halved approximately every four years)
Block time2.5 minutes
Circulating supplyŁ73,342,352 (12 July 2023)
Supply limitŁ84,000,000
Exchange rateUS$105 (July 2023)
Issuing authoritydecentralized, block reward
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata
  1. ^ Source code fork shouldn't be confused with hard forks or soft forks.

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]


Units and divisibility

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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:



By 2011, Bitcoin mining was largely performed by GPUs.[10] 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,[11] which had been specifically designed in 2009 to be expensive to accelerate with FPGA or ASIC chips.[12] 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).[11] 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.[13]

To address this, Charlie Lee, a Google employee who would later become engineering director at Coinbase,[14] 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.[15] 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]


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.[16][17]

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.[18]


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.[19][20]

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.[21]


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.[22][non-primary source needed]

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.[23][non-primary source needed]

Differences from Bitcoin

Litecoin is different in some ways from Bitcoin:

Third party vendors providing point of sale infrastructure for Litecoin include BitPay.[28]

See also



  1. ^ renaming of mLTC/μLTC to lites/photons Archived 2021-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Litecoin v0.21.2.2". 2 March 2023. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-07-22. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  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. Archived from the original on 2022-07-15. Retrieved 2022-07-15.
  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. Archived from the original on July 15, 2022. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  10. ^ Browne, Ryan (2017-12-20). "Litecoin founder Charlie Lee says he's sold all his holdings in the cryptocurrency". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2021-02-02. Retrieved 2024-02-01.
  11. ^ a b Lee, David, ed. (May 5, 2015). Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Elsevier Science. ISBN 9780128023518.
  12. ^ "scrypt page on the Tarsnap website". Archived from the original on 28 May 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has sold all of his LTC". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2021-02-21. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  15. ^ Hacıoğlu, Ümit, ed. (2019). Blockchain economics and financial market innovation: financial innovations in the digital age. Contributions to economics. Cham: Springer. p. 213. ISBN 978-3-030-25275-5.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Cizek, Jakub. Bitcoin as a leader of crypto-currencies: A predictability study (PDF). Charles University. p. 11. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2024-02-01. Retrieved 2024-02-01.
  18. ^ Murdock, Jason (2021-04-14). "How to mine dogecoin as 129 billion tokens in circulation". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 2022-07-13. Retrieved 2022-07-13.
  19. ^ BBC (2020) "PayPal allows Bitcoin and crypto spending", October 21. Archived 2021-11-10 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Crypto with PayPal is here Archived 2022-01-20 at the Wayback Machine,
  21. ^ "Walmart denies tieup with litecoin, fake statement rattles cryptocurrency". Reuters. 2021-09-13. Archived from the original on 2022-10-15. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  22. ^ "MWEB Has Officially Activated". Litecoin Foundation. 2022-05-20. Archived from the original on 2022-05-26. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  23. ^ PAYPAL (2022) "PayPal Users Can Now Transfer, Send, and Receive Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin", June 21. Archived 2022-07-12 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Alec Liu (29 November 2013). "Beyond Bitcoin: A Guide to the Most Promising Cryptocurrencies". Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2024.
  26. ^ McGleenon, Brian (24 November 2022). "Why is this crypto token rising amid crash and FTX collapse?". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  27. ^ 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. PMC 8434605. PMID 34502842.
  28. ^ "Bitcoin's Dominance of Crypto Payments Is Starting to Erode". Time. Archived from the original on 2022-07-16. Retrieved 2022-07-16.