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6 Full Logo S-2.png
Official Litecoin logo
Plural Litecoins
Symbol Ł
Ticker symbol LTC
Precision 10−8
 ​11000 millilitecoin, mŁ
 ​11000000 microlitecoins, photons, μŁ
Original author(s) Charlie Lee
Initial release 0.1.0 / 7 October 2011; 7 years ago (2011-10-07)
Latest release 0.16.0[1] / 31 May 2018; 4 months ago (2018-05-31)
Code repository
Development status Active
Forked from Bitcoin
Written in C++
Operating system Windows, OS X, Linux, Android
Developer(s) Litecoin Core Development Team
Source model Open source
License MIT License
Timestamping scheme Proof-of-work
Hash function scrypt
Block reward 25 LTC (approximately till 2019), halved approximately every four years
Block time 2.5 minutes
Block explorer
Circulating supply 58,414,406 LTC (23 September 2018)[2]
Supply limit 84,000,000 LTC[3]
Market cap US$6.9 billion (9 March 2018)[3]

Litecoin (LTC or Ł[4]) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license.[5] Creation and transfer of coins is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority.[5][6] Litecoin was an early bitcoin spinoff or altcoin, starting in October 2011.[7] In technical details, litecoin is nearly identical to Bitcoin.


Litecoin was released via an open-source client on GitHub on October 7, 2011 by Charlie Lee, a Google employee and former Engineering Director at Coinbase.[7][8][9] The Litecoin network went live on October 13, 2011.[10] It was a fork of the Bitcoin Core client, differing primarily by having a decreased block generation time (2.5 minutes), increased maximum number of coins, different hashing algorithm (scrypt, instead of SHA-256), and a slightly modified GUI.[11]

During the month of November 2013, the aggregate value of Litecoin experienced massive growth which included a 100% leap within 24 hours.[12]

Litecoin reached a $1 billion market capitalization in November 2013.[13]

In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top 5 (by market cap) cryptocurrencies to adopt Segregated Witness.[14] Later in May of the same year, the first Lightning Network transaction was completed through Litecoin, transferring 0.00000001 LTC from Zürich to San Francisco in under one second.[15]

Differences from Bitcoin

Litecoin is different in some ways from Bitcoin.

  • The Litecoin Network aims to process a block every 2.5 minutes, rather than Bitcoin's 10 minutes. The developers claim that this allows Litecoin to have faster transaction confirmation.[5][16]
  • Litecoin uses scrypt in its proof-of-work algorithm, a sequential memory-hard function requiring asymptotically more memory than an algorithm which is not memory-hard.[17]

Due to Litecoin's use of the scrypt algorithm, FPGA and ASIC devices made for mining Litecoin are more complicated to create and more expensive to produce than they are for Bitcoin, which uses SHA-256.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "Litecoin v0.16.0". Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  2. ^ "Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations: Litecoin - CoinMarketCap". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  3. ^ a b "Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations: Litecoin - CoinMarketCap". Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  4. ^ "Litecoin charts". Archived from the original on 2014-01-18. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  5. ^ a b c "". Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  6. ^ Satoshi, Nakamoto. "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" (PDF). Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Ex-Googler Gives the World a Better Bitcoin". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  8. ^ "Litecoin vs. Ethereum". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  9. ^ "Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has sold all of his LTC". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  10. ^ "When should Litecoin be launched?". Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  11. ^ "Block hashing algorithm".
  12. ^ Charlton, Alistair (2013-11-28). "Litecoin value leaps 100% in a day as market cap passes $1bn". International Business Times, UK Edition. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
  13. ^ Cohen, Reuven (2013-11-28). "Crypto-currency bubble continues: Litecoin surpasses billion dollar market capitalization". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  14. ^ Blockstream [@Blockstream] (10 May 2017). "Blockstream's Christian Decker @Snyke completes first Lightning network payment on Litecoin. See. Blog post soon!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Russell, Rusty. "Lightning on Litecoin". Blockstream. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  16. ^ Steadman, Ian (2013-05-11). "Wary of Bitcoin? A guide to some other cryptocurrencies". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  17. ^ Percival, Colin. "Stronger key derivation via sequential memory-hard functions" (PDF). Self-published. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
  18. ^ Coventry, Alex (2012-04-25). "Nooshare: A decentralized ledger of shared computational resources" (PDF). Self-published. 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.

External links