Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by a programmer called Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is world’s first cryptocurrency. The code of Bitcoin is open source, which means it can be modified by anyone and freely used for other projects.
Since the launch of Bitcoin, numerous cryptocurrencies have been released with slight modifications in Bitcoin’s code, however, none has been able to dethrone Bitcoin from the top spot. One that comes the closest is Litecoin.
Litecoin was launched in 2011 with the objective of being the “silver” to Bitcoin’s ‘gold’. At the time of writing, Litecoin has the most noteworthy market value amongst other cryptocurrencies, only lagging behind the Bitcoin.
In this article, we put light on the essential differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Major Differences Between Bitcoin and Litecoin:
- The coin limit of bitcoin is 21 million while the Litecoin’s limit is 84 million.
- The block reward of Bitcoin is halved every 210,000 blocks. On the other hand, Litecoin reward is halved every 840,000 blocks.
- Initial reward: 50 BTC in Bitcoin, 50 LTC in Litecoin.
- Mean block time: 10 minutes in Bitcoin, 2.5 minutes in Litecoin.
- Difficulty target: 2016 blocks in Bitcoin, 2016 blocks in Litecoin.
- Algorithm used: SHA-256 in Bitcoin, “Scrypt” in Litecoin.
- Block explorer: “blockchain.info” for Bitcoin while “block-explorer.com” for Litecoin.
- Creator: Satoshi Nakatomo (Bitcoin), and Charles Lee of Litecoin.
- Bitcoin was created on January, 3rd, 2009 while the creation date of Litecoin is October 7th, 2011.
- Market cap: $10,467,596,650.78 (Bitcoin) and $540,274,528.26 for Litecoin.
Mining Differences Between The Two Currencies:
Just like Bitcoin, Litecoin is also a cryptocurrency generated through a process called mining. However, mining for both the currencies is done in a different way. The major mining differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin are as follows:
- A Litecoin block takes 2.5 minutes to generate while the same block in Bitcoin takes up to 10 minutes.
- The algorithm used in Bitcoin is SHA-256, which helps accelerate calculations in parallel processing. Due to this characteristic, the race in ASIC technology has become extremely intense, which also results in the increased bitcoin difficulty levels. On the other hand, Litecoin uses the “Scrypt” algorithm. The calculations in this algorithm are much more serialized as compared to the calculations in SHA-256.
- At the time of writing, the total hashing rate of Litecoin is just 95,642Terra Hashes per second, while the Bitcoin hashing is around 20,000 Mega Hashes per second.
Differences in Transaction:
The major difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin is the transaction time.
- Bitcoin transaction confirmations are relatively slow, while Litecoin has the ability to handle a higher volume of transactions, thanks to its higher volume of blocks.
- A downside of having a higher volume of blocks is that it increases the size of Litecoin’s Blockchain, which results in more orphaned blocks.
- Faster Litecoin transactions mean reduced risk of double spending.
- For two Litecoin confirmations, you will only need to sit tight for 5 minutes, while in Bitcoin, you are supposed to wait for 20 minutes for a similar number of confirmations.
A large number of people involved in Bitcoin often tout transaction and confirmation speed as moot points as the confirmations given by most merchants are zero for most purchases.
One thing to remember here is that all transactions are instant, it is just the network that takes the time to confirm it as it propagates.