Official Litecoin logo
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 release0.21.2.1[2] / 7 June 2022; 19 months ago (2022-06-07)
Development statusActive
Project fork ofBitcoin
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

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

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. 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]


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.


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 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,[27] BitPay,[28] and Coingate.[29] BitPay added support for Litecoin in 2021, with Litecoin initially accounting for less than 3% of BitPay transactions.[28] As of June 2023, Litecoin surpassed Bitcoin as the #1 most used method for transactions by payment count with 34.9%.[30]

See also


  1. ^ The supply will approach, but never reach, 21 million. Issuance will permanently halt c. 2140 at 20,999,999.9769.[25]: ch. 8 


  1. ^ renaming of mLTC/µLTC to lites/photons
  2. ^ "Litecoin v0.21.2.1". 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.
  17. ^ Crypto with PayPal is here,
  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.
  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. ^ McGleenon, Brian (24 November 2022). "Why is this crypto token rising amid crash and FTX collapse?". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  24. ^ Nakamoto; et al. (1 April 2016). "Bitcoin source code - amount constraints". GitHub. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018.
  25. ^ Antonopoulos, Andreas M. (April 2014). Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Crypto-Currencies. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-1-4493-7404-4.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "CORRECTING and REPLACING PHOTO BitPay and Verifone Partner to Exclusively Enable Cryptocurrency Acceptance on Payment Terminals and In-App/eCommerce". 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  28. ^ a b "Bitcoin's Dominance of Crypto Payments Is Starting to Erode". Time. Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  29. ^ "Supported Cryptocurrencies For Each Service - CoinGate". Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  30. ^ "BitPay: Blockchain is revolutionizing how the world pays, learn the stats behind the shift". BitPay. Retrieved 2023-07-25.