Anyone with any access to news as of late is likely to have heard of the phenomenon that is Bitcoin. This cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm, and while it’s hardly quite at the level of becoming as popular as average fiat currencies, it’s certainly not something to be ignored. However, for those of you who have done a little extra reading, you may have come across one of the ‘altcoins’ – Litecoin. Often thought of as Bitcoin’s greatest rival, this alternate cryptocurrency is strong in its own right and when put up against Bitcoin, it certainly makes for an interesting comparison. Here, we’re exploring both of these amazing digital coins for our very own comprehensive comparison of Bitcoin vs Litecoin.
An Introduction To Bitcoin
Bitcoin, first proposed back in 2008, is undoubtedly the longest standing and most popular of all the cryptocurrencies. Created by an anonymous entity known only by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, it was barely worth a single dollar in its first few years, but in the following years, its value has only skyrocketed ever since. Crafted with security and anonymity in mind, it can be difficult to understand the ins and outs of this cryptocurrency and how it works, but Bitcoin’s entire functionality can be put down to the Blockchain. This technology acts as a digital ledger that anyone can access, allowing for the decentralised nature of the currency that makes it much more secure and anonymous for its users.
With values reaching an incredible high of $19498.63 in December 2017, security of these coins is paramount. However, with the blockchain being hosted on millions of computers all over the world, hacking the system is virtually impossible – but how does this compare to Litecoin?
An Introduction To Litecoin
Unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin’s creator is a very much known entity. Charlie Lee, an ex-Google employee, created Litecoin in an attempt to build a ‘lighter’ version of the original cryptocurrency. Of course, its later creation in 2011 means that Litecoin has been living in Bitcoin’s shadow since the beginning, but the question remains as to whether or not this has had an effect on its growth. With 84million coins available, it has the potential to overtake Bitcoin as the biggest and most widely-used cryptocurrency, but the question is will it?
Whether Litecoin has any inherent advantages over Bitcoin is said to be open to debate, but with its intention to be used as a transaction method for cheaper purchases and everyday use, this debate may not even be needed. Why can’t the two live side by side? Well, with Bitcoin being used on a consumer level as well as corporate level, things have certainly changed since 2011.
So, which is better?
While no currency was ever invented with the intention of making a profit, Bitcoin and Litecoin, among other cryptocurrencies, are certainly changing that. It was an unintentional change, of course, but with the volatility of their markets it’s become far easier over the years to trade, exchange and move around your coins and make one hell of a profit from it if done correctly. The price of a cryptocurrency can be easily influenced, and as a result, the markets fluctuate multiple times a day. It’s constantly moving, with incredible rises and horrific crashes, but for experienced traders, it can be a wave they find is worth riding.
Bitcoin went from just $1,000 in 2017, to just under $20,000 in 2017, but has since started to crash. While both Bitcoins and Litecoins have volatility, the popularity of Bitcoin can almost be put to blame for its lack of stability. In fact, it’s this lack of stability that is causing traders, consumers and businesses across the globe to actually consider dropping Bitcoin, and pick up an alternative cryptocurrency instead.
Nevertheless, Litecoin certainly has its crashes too. While its worth sits much lower at just $163 at time of writing, it’s climbed and crashed just as frequently as Bitcoin. However, due to this lower worth, the risks involved aren’t necessarily as high. After all, a loss of a few dollars is far more manageable than the loss of thousands.
One of the biggest pros that come with any cryptocurrency is the sheer speed of transactions. In fact, they’re so fast in most cases that there’s barely anything to compare between them. However, the difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin is certainly one to be noted.
Bitcoin’s transaction confirmation time usually sits at around 10 minutes – not bad for a currency that has no central system. However, while this is technically an exceptional speed for cryptocurrencies, if Bitcoin were to be used more widely with merchants, this could prove to be inconvenient. BitPay has recently proposed Inter-Channel Payments, however, which could make transactions much faster. Nevertheless, Litecoin would still take the cake.
With a transaction confirmation time of just 2.5 minutes, Litecoin could be far more attractive to retailers and consumers looking to make quick payments for goods. While the Inter-Channel Payments might improve Bitcoin, they’ll make Litecoin even faster too, making payments practically instantaneous in most cases. Where transaction speed is concerned, Litecoin is certainly the faster contender.
Popularity might seem like a conversation that isn’t worth having considering that Bitcoin certainly wins out in this case, but it’s worth looking into Litecoin and its currently skyrocketing popularity regardless. It might not be as widely known, but the Litecoin network is a much faster and streamlined alternative to Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency fans are coming to realise this on a much larger scale.
Transaction fees for Litecoin are much lower than that of Bitcoin, which is an attractive point for merchants – in fact, even industry leaders Amazon are rumoured to be adopting Litecoin as a payment option in 2018. There’s no denying that it’s certainly gaining traction as the cryptocurrency of choice, and only time will tell just how far this could go.
Overall, Bitcoin and Litecoin both have their perks and their downfalls. While most will flock to Bitcoin simply because it’s familiar, a little research and knowledge will show that Litecoin is just as worthy of an alternative, if not more so. While its value may not be even remotely as high as Bitcoin, it’s winning out over other Altcoins and it could still prove to skyrocket in the future. Add in a mixture of faster processing speeds and much lower transaction fees, and Litecoin is proving itself a worthy competitor against the market monster that is Bitcoin.
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