Reading Time: 8 minutes
Lieutenant Colonel? Loving Tender Care? Let the…? No.
While there are over a dozen meanings for the LTC acronym, in the crypto world, LTC is an abbreviation for Litecoin.
Perhaps the coin that brought
light lite to the crypto world? We’ll find out.
This article will walk you through everything you need to know about Litecoin. Grab a
lighter bowl of popcorn or something that keeps your mouth busy and your fingers scrolling—and let’s embark on a litty journey.
Excited? Let’s get into it!
It all started in 2011 – when Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer, noticed some flaws in the Bitcoin network. Rather than try to compete with Bitcoin, he sought to create a new crypto coin entirely.
Charlie created Litecoin to address the Bitcoin limitations and complement its transaction speed, mining algorithm, and scalability. To achieve this, he created Litecoin with a different hashing algorithm and a shorter block generation time (more on that later).
For context, Bitcoin had a hashing algorithm of SHA-256 and a block generation time of 10 minutes. On the other hand, Litecoin (LTC) had a Scrypt hashing algorithm — which was faster than you could say Jack, and a block generation time of 2.5 minutes.
With this upgrade, more people could participate in LTC mining, and with viable consumer-grade hardware, compared to Bitcoin’s.
That popcorn reached half yet?
Popcorn aside, when you think of lite, what comes to mind? Light or speed?
In this case, it’s pretty much both.
Litecoin is a digital currency created as a faster, more secure, and low-cost alternative to Bitcoin. At the same time, Litecoin functions as digital money built on a decentralized blockchain network.
Just like any other cryptocurrency, Litecoin uses blockchain technology and maintains an open-source protocol.
A blockchain is a digital ledger or record-keeping system secured and maintained by a network of computers, spread all over the world. The concept of blockchain is built on decentralization, which means no single person can control the blockchain network.
Sounds foreign to you? Let’s break it down.
Imagine you and your folks are planning a group vacation. And instead of leaving the expense tracking to one person, ya’ll decide to have a digital notebook that everyone has access to.
In this scenario, the “digital notebook” is the blockchain.
Now, each notebook page represents a block, and whenever an expense is made on the trip, it’s automatically recorded on a new page. Everyone can verify the accuracy of the expense, ensuring that no single person can mess with the data.
The Litecoin blockchain is a decentralized ledger that records all Litecoin transactions and activities. It consists of a series of blocks, containing different Litecoin transactions.
The Litecoin blockchain is the largest global Scrypt-based network, operating with 100% uptime since its creation in 2011, securing and transacting billions of dollars.
Recall how we mentioned that the Litecoin blockchain records all Litecoin transactions? The question is, how are these transactions verified to be authentic?
Miners validate these blocks and add new ones to the Litecoin blockchain through the mining process.
Litecoin mining is the process of solving difficult mathematical problems, to validate and verify transactions on the Litecoin network — before adding them to the Litecoin blockchain. This complex process helps secure the Litecoin network.
To better understand Litecoin mining, let’s bring it back to you and your folks going on vacation.
Imagine there’s a hidden treasure somewhere in the forest. And to ensure fairness, you all decided that the treasure can only be found after solving a complex mathematical puzzle.
This puzzle requires a significant amount of brainpower and effort to solve, and whoever succeeds gets the treasure.
In the Litecoin case, whoever gets the puzzle will get newly minted Litecoins as a reward.
As Litecoin maintains an open-source protocol, there has to be an “open” way to view the Litecoin network, right?
That’s where Litecoin explorers come into play.
A Litecoin Explorer is a tool that enables users to check, explore, and view explicit information about the Litecoin blockchain. Litecoin Explorers analyze blocks, activities, transactions, addresses, and other important data associated with Litecoin.
Such data includes:
With a Litecoin Explorer, users can gain access to real-time and historical data of the Litecoin blockchain. This is especially useful to developers, traders, researchers, and anyone interested in the Litecoin network. This helps build more transparency and trust in the long run.
Litecoin transactions happen when you transfer Litecoin from one address to another.
However, this can’t happen without a Litecoin wallet – to securely store, receive, and send your Litecoin.
With a Litecoin wallet, you can manage addresses, transaction history, and many more.
Popular types of wallets include:
Interested in Litecoin? Just like your crush down the street? Here’s what you should know.
To buy LTC from a crypto exchange platform, follow these steps.
1. Ascertain Your Risk Appetite:
The first step is to weigh your risk affinity. How much are you willing to invest? Is it an amount you can do without, or that your life depends on? As an investment rule of thumb, you should only invest an amount you’re willing to lose.
Now once you’ve determined the quantity of LTC you’re willing to invest, you’re good to go.
Crypto exchange platforms allow you to invest in any cryptocurrency. Popular ones include Binance, Coinbase, BitFinex, Kraken, etc. Some platforms also come with wallets to help you store your crypto.
Found a crypto exchange platform that catches your fancy? Good.
The next step is to fund the crypto exchange platform with fiat. Most crypto exchange platforms come with a fiat wallet, enabling you to transfer money to the platform and buy your preferred cryptocurrency.
After funding your crypto account with the amount you’re willing to invest, proceed to buy. Navigate to the market section and search for LTC. But if you’re buying directly from the platform, search for the LTC trading pair instead.
Popular pairs include. LTC/ETH, LTC/BTC, LTC/USDT, etc. You can also convert the fiat in your account into BTC, ETH, USDT, or your preferred opposite pair.
5. Place a Buy Order
This next step only applies if you’re buying on p2p or directly from the crypto platform.
If so, choose a market order (buying at the current market price) or a limit order (setting your desired price).
6. Store your LTC
Once you’ve bought LTC, it will be automatically deposited into your LTC wallet on the platform. You can choose to leave it on the platform or transfer to a more secure wallet.
Feeling like you’ve had some market gains? Or you need some fiat?
You can sell your LTC for fiat or use it to pay for goods and services. You can sell LTC through p2p (peer-to-peer), i.e., within users in the platform, or sell to the crypto exchange itself.
However, if you plan to sell on another platform, first transfer your LTC to the platform’s LTC wallet.
Here’s a step-by-step process:
Just like you bought LTC, you’ll also need a crypto exchange platform to sell your LTC.
2. Connect Your Fiat Bank Account
If you aren’t selling for fiat, skip this step.
If you’re selling your LTC for fiat, you’ll need to link a fiat account to receive fiat. But if you’re selling through p2p, you can send the buyer your fiat bank account details.
If selling directly to the crypto exchange, navigate to the “market” or “sell section” to sell the LTC for your preferred currency. Confirm the amount of LTC you want to sell, and review the order details.
If selling via p2p, navigate to the p2p section.
4. Withdraw your Funds
Once your sell order is processed, withdraw your fiat into your preferred bank account or fiat wallet.
P:S These steps are general guidelines, and the exact steps may differ from platform to platform.
Litecoin’s usage doesn’t stop at being a digital currency. Investing in Litecoin has several advantages. However, all crypto investments carry inherent risks, so do your research before investing.
Since its inception in 2011, Litecoin has gained market ground and become a major cryptocurrency. With its dominant market presence and liquidity, Litecoin remains a reputable choice for investors.
With more widespread adoption by developers and other individuals, Litecoin’s value is bound to increase. This makes it alluring to investors seeking measurable returns over time.
A major perk of Litecoin is how its blocks are generated in as little as 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin, which takes a whooping 10 minutes. This promotes quick transaction confirmations and makes Litecoin easy to use.
Litecoin has lower transaction fees compared to Bitcoin, making it a more affordable option for sending digital currencies from one wallet to another.
Just like any good thing in life, investing in LTC also has its downsides. Some of those include:
Cryptocurrency in general faces a lot of regulatory uncertainty, and Litecoin is no exception. This poses significant threat to investors, as some regulations can make markets go haywire and leave investors in the red.
Litecoin’s value is prone to market instability, as well as the forces of demand and supply. These fluctuations can make Litecoin volatile, and make market gains difficult to predict.
While Litecoin has gained massive recognition and adoption in the crypto ecosystem, it is yet to be adopted in mainstream industries — compared to Bitcoin. This limited universal acceptance may reduce the coin’s usability for daily transactions around the globe.
Till today, Litecoin’s existence remains attached to Bitcoin. While this can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. Unfavourable market dynamics in the Bitcoin ecosystem can affect Litecoin adversely.
Litecoin’s future largely depends on its global acceptance and adoption among individuals, enterprises, and businesses. Increased adoption would lead to more usage, driving the coin’s value to the moon.
Asides that, we may see advances in Litecoin in facets like:
To gain more adoption and utility of the coin, Litecoin may form partnerships with major businesses and global payment processors. This could lead to the integration of Litecoin into major financial systems, thereby increasing its usability and acceptance.
We may see changes in Litecoins protocol, security, and scalability. This would fix existing challenges and allow the Litecoin network to facilitate new technologies and innovative solutions.
Privacy is crucial for cryptocurrencies. Litecoin may explore advanced privacy features like enhanced fungibility— to improve the security of transactions on the Litecoin network.
Saved some popcorn for the end of this Litecoin movie?
Litecoin has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 2011— to its current position as a renowned cryptocurrency.
Without a doubt, Litecoin holds limitless potential for the future. If you’re looking to invest in Litecoin, you’re in for a ride. However, always seek financial advice and do your own research before taking a leap.