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Litecoin (LTC) price, chart, coin profile and news

Find the latest Litecoin (LTC) price, coin profile, news and history to get you started with Litecoin trading and investing.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is often said to be the digital silver to Bitcoin's digital gold. It was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a then Google employee. The intention behind Litecoin was to create a newer version of Bitcoin that would be faster and cheaper to use. In that sense, Litecoin is considered to be a classic cryptocurrency. Litecoin is virtually identical to Bitcoin except for a few details that will be covered later in this article. Like Bitcoin, the Litecoin blockchain has no capability of hosting smart contracts. Its capabilities are limited to processing transactions. Despite its limited feature set, the coin has established itself as a staple in many cryptocurrency investors' portfolios.

Within Finder's guide to Litecoin, we cover the history and features of Litecoin as well as what you need to know before investing.

Litecoin price chart

Recent developments with Litecoin

Brief history of Litecoin

Litecoin began on October 13, 2011, after Charlie Lee released the Litecoin software 6 days prior. Lee was an employee working at Google at the time that he built and released Litecoin. Published as open-source software, Litecoin quickly gained popularity in early cryptocurrency communities as a faster version of Bitcoin. There was some criticism of Litecoin because it was a near-exact clone of Bitcoin. The triviality of Litecoin's creation demonstrated to the wider public just how easily new cryptocurrencies could be created.

Litecoin saw steady growth throughout the years and became a top 5 cryptocurrency during the 2017 crypto bubble. Since Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin, any upgrade done to Bitcoin may also be applied to Litecoin. In 2017, Litecoin received the same SegWit upgrade that Bitcoin received. Similarly, Litecoin can be used as a "test network" of sorts for Bitcoin. In fact, the first transaction on the lightning network was done with Litecoin. This was to prove the concept and demonstrate a working example before putting actual BTC at risk with new software that could result in its loss.

Today, Litecoin can be bought on most cryptocurrency exchanges. It is considered to be as ubiquitous as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Everything you need to know about Litecoin

Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies in existence. This is significant because most cryptocurrencies as old as Litecoin no longer exist. This suggests that Litecoin has managed to gather a large enough community to sustain itself for years. Litecoin is a "pure cryptocurrency" in the sense that Litecoin has no other use or function other than Internet money. For this reason, the number of people trading and holding it is important for sustaining the project.

It is a good sign for Litecoin that most exchanges have added the ability to hold and trade it against other popular cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH and USDT. Without a critical mass of exchanges offering the ability to buy and trade LTC, it could have been another cryptocurrency that faded into obscurity.

Litecoin at a glance

Ticker symbolLTC
UseDigital Asset
Year released2011
OriginUnited States
Maximum supply84,000,000
Consensus algorithmProof of Work
Notable team membersCharlie Lee
Notable partnershipsAliant Payments Systems

How does Litecoin work?

Litecoin functions exactly like Bitcoin with a few exceptions:

Bitcoin Litecoin
Block time 10 minutes 2.5 minutes
Max supply 21,000,000 84,000,000
Mining algorithm SHA-256 Scrypt
Block size 1MB 1MB

Litecoin publishes 4 times as many blocks and has 4 times the supply cap of Bitcoin.

Scrypt mining

Litecoin has opted to use a different mining algorithm called scrypt. Charlie Lee decided to use scrypt over SHA-256 to supposedly make Litecoin mining fairer than Bitcoin mining. In 2011, it was becoming possible to use specialised hardware called ASICs ("Application Resistant Integrated Circuits") to gain a competitive edge over other Bitcoin miners. ASICs are computers that are designed and optimised for a single purpose. The most common type of ASIC is designed to mine BTC. People with ASICs made it infeasible and unprofitable to mine BTC from a CPU. Although using the scrypt algorithm did make Litecoin mining ASIC resistant for a number of years, scrypt ASICs were eventually designed, manufactured and launched on the market.

Litecoin block time

Litecoin produces blocks 4 times faster than Bitcoin, yet has the same block size of 1MB. It's because of these features that Litecoin can process more transactions per second than Bitcoin. Although Litecoin has the capability for a higher transaction throughput, Litecoin blocks are rarely ever full due to low network usage. All of these factors compound to make Litecoin extremely cheap and quick to transact.

Similar coins

Frequently asked questions

Does Litecoin have a future?

Most cryptocurrencies more than a decade old have failed and faded into obscurity. However, Litecoin is still around, suggesting that it has become ingrained in the cryptocurrency industry.

Is Litecoin or Ethereum better?

Litecoin and Ethereum are very different cryptocurrencies to the point where it doesn't make sense to compare the two. Litecoin is a simple cryptocurrency, and Ethereum is a smart contract platform. In terms of fees, Litecoin is always cheaper. In terms of features, Ethereum has many more than Litecoin.

What is the highest Litecoin has ever been?

The highest price LTC has ever reached was $410.26 USD on May 10, 2021.

What is the history of Litecoin?

Litecoin was built and launched in the later part of 2011, making it one of the earliest cryptocurrencies in existence. Since then, it has grown steadily to become a regular part of many people's portfolios. For more Litecoin history, visit the history section of this page.

Why is Litecoin so much cheaper than Bitcoin?

Litecoin is cheaper than Bitcoin for 2 main reasons. The first is that there are 4 times as many Litecoin as there are Bitcoin. The second is that Litecoin is younger and less widely established or used.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Written by

James Hendy

James Hendy is a writer for Finder. After developing a keen interest in traditional financial investing, James transitioned across to the cryptocurrency markets in 2018. Writing for cryptocurrency exchanges, he has documented some of the key blockchain technological advancements. James has a Masters of Science from the University of Leeds and when he isn't writing, you will either find him down at the beach, reading (coffee in hand) or at the nearest live music event. See full profile

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