What Is Litecoin?
Since 2011, there has been a cryptocurrency that has caught the attention of investors and consumers alike. The digital currency is Litecoin, and it has quite a following. Much like Bitcoin, with many referring to it as Bitcoin’s “little brother,” the cryptocurrency uses a blockchain that maintains a public ledger of each transaction that occurs with the digital currency.
Cryptocurrencies like Litecoin are a means to transfer funds between businesses or individuals without the need of another payment source such as a bank. The transactions are strictly confidential, which adds to the “attraction” of the currency. Litecoin is unique from the other cryptocurrencies in three ways: speed, ratings, and the number of coins.
Let’s start with the speed of Litecoin. While it is similar to Bitcoin as it is based on the same open source code as Bitcoin, there are differences. Litecoin’s creator, Charlie Lee, created the currency with a higher transaction speed than that of Bitcoin. In fact, the currency generates blocks right around four times faster than its “big brother,” Bitcoin. For users, its fast; but, there is more. The legitimacy of transactions is confirmed much faster and more transactions can be processed quicker over the same period of time.
As for its number of coins. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that there is a limited amount of coins. Many cryptocurrencies are designed like Bitcoin, which is considered to be a design to hold the value, as well as inflate the value, of the coins. Bitcoin has 21 million coins, and when the last coin is mined, there are no more coins to be released. Litecoin has a greater number of coins, maxing out atChar 84 million coins.
As for its ratings, Bitcoin stormed the virtual world and reached households worldwide with an intrigue and interest. The coin was on the minds, and the talk, of everyone from housewives to top investors. Litecoin, was introduced a few years after the introduction of Bitcoin, and today it is said to be the second most popular cryptocurrency.
Like Bitcoin, Litecoin needs to be mined. While the two are similar, Litecoin is different in its way of the hashing algorithm that is used to solve a block for coins to be released, and different in the amount of coins that are released when a block is solved. To solve a block, a complex mathematical problem must be solved. When a transaction is made, the transaction is included with other recent transactions and submitted within one of the protected blocks.
Mining is done through computers using GPU and/or CPU cycles for the miners to solve the mathematical problems. A great deal of power is necessary as data is passed within a block through the algorithm until a solution is discovered. When a solution is discovered, all transactions within the block are verified for legitimacy. Once a problem within a block is solved, the block releases a set amount of Litcoins that are distributed to all those that mined to solve the solution, with the top power hashers being allotted a higher amount of the share of coins. Generally, minters join pools, as there is a great deal of power needed to mine coins, so joining a pool combines power allowing the miners a stronger chance of solving a problem.
When mining with Litecoin a memory intensive algorithm called a scrypt is used. The work is verified using different algorithms which requires various hardware, so it is necessary that the miner have the proper program and specs to mine for Litecoin.
Mining is not for everyone; which leads many investors and consumers alike to buy Litecoin. Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that can be purchased with another cryptocurrency like Bitcoin through exchanges. In other words, you deal through the exchanges in a cryptocurrency to buy a cryptocurrency. Some exchanges like Coinbase also allow users to purchase cryptocurrency using real currency, including US dollars.
If the money is not real, where’s it stored? Cryptocurrencies, including Litecoin, is typically stored in a digital wallet. There are various types of wallets that are software based and stored on one’s computer or mobile device, and there are those that are physical hardware wallets. Paper wallets can also be stored, in which a private key is generated and printed out on a computer that is not connected to the web.
To receive or send Litecoins, a private key that is associated with the wallet is used. The keys are stored offline in a hardware wallet for added security.
The wallets are in the form of mobile or desktop software, and work with nearly every operating system and device. Litecoin also provides users with a Litecoin Core option, which is an application that downloads the entire blockchain from the peer to peer network, so that there is no third party involved.
Litecoin Block Explorer
Like other digital currencies, Litecoin transactions that occur within a blockchain are public and can be searched. Litecoin block explorer is used to search for an individual block, address balance, or transaction. However, there are other ways to search, as well, such as a Google search.