What Is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a cryptocurrency—an Internet currency that enables a person to conduct an almost-instant and almost-free financial transaction with another person, anywhere in the world.

Litecoin Wiki

Litecoin is an open source, worldwide payment network that does not have any central authorities. It is released under the MIT/X11 license and the creation and transfer of coins are facilitated by an open source cryptographic protocol. Because this fully decentralized network is secured by mathematical algorithms, it allows individuals to be in complete control of their finances. In fact, if you look at the Litecoin history, you can see how decentralization was Litecoin’s raison d’être.

Litecoin History: Who Invented Litecoin and Why Was It Created?

When Charlie Lee, an ex-Google employee first heard about Bitcoin, he thought of it as digital gold. And he thought it would be cool to create “digital silver;” something that is cheaper, more available, and faster in terms of transaction speeds. Just as you would keep gold in a safety deposit box, but use silver daily, you could store Bitcoin for its value, and use “digital silver” for daily purchases.

On October 7, 2011, Charlie released a decentralized software development model on GitHub, a hosting service used for computer code. He named the software Litecoin. A week later, the network went live and the so-called “digital silver” came to life.

How Litecoin Is Different

Before Charlie launched Litecoin, there were quite a few alternate currencies created by people who wanted to get rich quick. These people would mine a lot of coins themselves before releasing the cryptocurrency. They would then try to promote it and create value so that the coins that they mined themselves would be worth something.

But Charlie launched Litecoin without pre-mining any blocks and made it open to everyone, to make it as fair as possible. His strategy paid off, and today, with a market cap of just over $4.0 billion, Litecoin is sixth on the cryptocurrency rankings chart. In fact, if you Google “What is LTC?” you’ll be surprised by how many people are interested in the fast-rising cryptocurrency.

The Litecoin chart below gives a good idea of Litecoin’s early heydays, its mid-life slump, and its current rise up the cryptocurrency charts.

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