The first cryptocurrency alternative to Bitcoin came into existence in October 2011, when former Google employee Charlie Lee released the digital currency on Github as a fork of Bitcoin Core.
By many considered as the silver crypto asset, second only to Bitcoin, Litecoin is in all regards very similar to its counterpart: a peer-to-peer currency based on open-source cryptographic software.
The main difference with Bitcoin is the processing time of block generation, which is every 2.5 minutes, as opposed to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. This feature allows Litecoin to have faster transaction confirmation.
In a way, Litecoin acts as a testing platform for Bitcoin.
For example, it was the first to support Segregated Witness in 2017 and the first to test a Lightning Network transaction transferring 0.00000001 LTC from Zürich to San Francisco in under one second. Both developments were later widely adopted by Bitcoin.
Just like BTC its circulating supply is also fixed.
- 84 million coins will ever be created, against 21 million Bitcoins.
- 62,718,762 LTC have been mined so far.
In just three weeks (ETA date: 08 Aug 2019 22:42:52) Litecoin will go through a halving process that sees the reduction of mining reward of the coin to 50%.
What impact will the event have on Litecoin?
Crypto enthusiasts are divided on the effects that the halving will have on Litecoin.
With historical data of only one LTC halving that occurred in August 2015, it’s difficult to run a proper analysis. Records show that 6 months after the event its price dropped by 35% in value against Bitcoin. Whereas its ATH in December 2017 of $360 signaled an increase of 8200% compared to the price one year before ($4.40).
Both for Bitcoin and Litecoin, the halving appears as an event that has long term positive consequences.
For instance, Bitcoin’s current price of $10,500 is a 2000% increase from its last halving in May 2016 ($457).
This is mainly due to the resulting scarcity of the coins mined that with the next event will see a reduction from the current 25 to 12.5 LTC and from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC per block.
Yet many doubt about Litecoin’s survival since its use case has not proved strong enough so far.
Litecoin has a big community of consistent and loyal followers who view it as the only altcoin that is both very close to robust Bitcoin and has an added value of faster and cheaper on-chain transactions.
Its recent partnership with professional American football team Miami Dolphins has sparked a renewed interest in the currency that had been sluggish since its recent high of just over $144 about one month ago.
Will it all be enough to enhance the cryptocurrency dominance in the space, especially with its second halving now closer than ever?
Litecoin founder, Charlie Lee recently said that the halving would shock miners, meaning the best approach would be to fold our hands and watch what becomes of the silver Bitcoin.