Is the question I hear more than once a day, so I figured I better have a solid answer right?
Here’s a basic description of Litecoin:
“Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. Litecoin is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities. Mathematics secures the network and empowers individuals to control their own finances. Litecoin features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than the leading math-based currency. With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.”
But is it? Why don’t we find out. Keep reading…
Litecoin (LTC) is known as “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold”. For some this would be as simple as saying “well Gold is always more valuable than Silver, specially since there’s less of it, therefore Yay Bitcoin!”, as is the case with Bitcoins’ supply (21 million max. by the time the last coin is mined around 2140) versus that of Litecoin (84 million, roughly 4 times as much).
But Litecoin does have a few advantages over Bitcoin:
- It’s faster than Bitcoin: Block Times for Litecoin are on average 2.3 minutes versus 18 minutes for Bitcoin. Faster Block times equals faster transaction rates.
- Fees are much lower: In 2016, Bitcoin transfer fees averaged $0.32 versus Litecoin’s $0.038 average. As of this writing, BTC transactions are peaking at $32 PER transaction, while LTC remains at around $0.366 – that’s a huge advantage to LTC!
- Litecoin is now SegWit Ready: not only that, but it was also the guinea pig in testing SegWit, a technology (or block upgrade) aimed to help Bitcoin with it’s transaction struggles (hint: it hasn’t). You can learn more about Segregated Witness here.
- It’s cheaper than Bitcoin: and serves the exact same purpose, albeit a larger max supply of coins, but one Litecoin costs roughly 0.019485 Bitcoin.
- No forks, ever (probably): There’s basically no need to hard fork (split) Litecoin unless a major software change is really needed. We won’t be seeing Litecoin Cash or Litecoin God any time soon.
These main features put Litecoin as a better alternative to Bitcoin (altcoin anyone?) and until Lightning Network can come around and save the day for Bitcoin, I don’t see it being any “better” than it’s Silver sister.