From Wikicryptos

6 Full Logo S-2.png
Official Litecoin logo
11000lites,[1] millilitecoin, mŁ
11000000microlitecoins, photons, μŁ
Original author(s)Charlie Lee
Initial release0.1.0 / 7 October 2011; 10 years ago (2011-10-07)
Latest release0.18.1[2] / 11 June 2020; 2 years ago (2020-06-11)
Development statusActive
Project fork ofBitcoin
Written inC++
Operating systemWindows, OS X, Linux, Android
Developer(s)Litecoin Core Development Team
Source modelOpen source
LicenseMIT License
WebsiteNo URL found. Please specify a URL here or add one to Wikidata.
Timestamping schemeProof-of-work
Hash functionscrypt
Block reward12.5 LTC (approximately till August 2023), halved approximately every four years
Block time2.5 minutes
Circulating supply66,752,615 LTC (20 August 2021)
Supply limit84,000,000 LTC
Exchange rateUS$126 (January 2022)
Market capUS$8.7 billion (January 2022)

Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open-source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Litecoin was an early bitcoin spinoff or altcoin, starting in October 2011.[3] In technical details, Litecoin is nearly identical to Bitcoin.


By 2011, Bitcoin mining was largely performed by GPUs. This raised concern in some users that mining now had a high barrier to entry, and that CPU resources were becoming obsolete and worthless for mining. Using code from Bitcoin, a new alternative currency was created called Tenebrix (TBX). Tenebrix replaced the SHA-256 rounds in Bitcoin's mining algorithm with the scrypt function,[4] which had been specifically designed in 2009 to be expensive to accelerate with FPGA or ASIC chips.[5] This would allow Tenebrix to have been "GPU-resistant", and utilize the available CPU resources from bitcoin miners. Tenebrix itself was a successor project to an earlier cryptocurrency which replaced Bitcoin's issuance schedule with a constant block reward (thus creating an unlimited money supply).[4] However, the developers included a clause in the code that would allow them to claim 7.7 million TBX for themselves at no cost, which was criticized by users.[6] To address this, Charlie Lee, a Google employee who would later become engineering director at Coinbase,[7] created an alternative version of Tenebrix called Fairbrix (FBX).[3] Litecoin inherits the scrypt mining algorithm from Fairbrix, but returns to the limited money supply of Bitcoin, with other changes.

Lee released Litecoin via an open-source client on GitHub on October 7, 2011. The Litecoin network went live on October 13, 2011.

It was a source code 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.

During the month of November 2013, the aggregate value of Litecoin experienced massive growth which included a 100% leap within 24 hours.[8][better source needed]

In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top 5 (by market cap) cryptocurrencies to adopt Segregated Witness. 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.

In 2020, PayPal added the ability for users to purchase a derivative of Litecoin along with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash which could not be withdrawn or spent as part of its Crypto feature.[9][10]

In September 2021, a fake press release was published on GlobeNewswire announcing a partnership between Litecoin and Walmart. This caused the price of Litecoin to increase by around 30%, before the press release was revealed as a hoax.[11] In February 2022, Litecoin has reached a marketcap of $8.7 Billion.

Differences from Bitcoin[edit]

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. This allows Litecoin to confirm transactions four times faster than Bitcoin.[12]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • Litecoin has a maximum circulating supply of 84,000,000 LTC, which is four times larger than Bitcoin's maximum circulating supply of 21,000,000 BTC.[13][lower-alpha 1]

| timestamping = Proof-of-work (partial hash inversion) | issuance_schedule = Decentralized (block reward)
Initially ₿50 per block, halved every 210,000 blocks[15]

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.[16]

When it comes to Litecoin as a method of payment, in early days there was correlation to Bitcoin in terms of extended payment patterns. Although one might assume that payment patterns of Litecoin would converge to Bitcoin, it has been found that there is little correlation of the payment patterns of Litecoin vs Bitcoin today, and these patterns continue to diverge over time.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. The supply will approach, but never reach, ₿21 million. Issuance will permanently halt c. 2140 at ₿20,999,999.9769.[14]: ch. 8 


  1. renaming of mLTC/µLTC to lites/photons
  2. "Litecoin v0.18.1". 11 June 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-05-28. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Ex-Googler Gives the World a Better Bitcoin". WIRED. Archived from the original on 2018-07-09. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lee, David, ed. (May 5, 2015). Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Elsevier Science. ISBN 9780128023518.
  5. "scrypt page on the Tarsnap website". Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  6. Deng, Robert H. Handbook of Blockchain, Digital Finance, and Inclusion, Volume 1: Cryptocurrency, FinTech, InsurTech, and Regulation. United Kingdom: Elsevier Science. ISBN 9780128104422.
  7. "Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has sold all of his LTC". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2021-02-21. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  8. Charlton, Alistair (2013-11-28). "Litecoin value leaps 100% in a day as market cap passes $1bn". International Business Times, UK Edition. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
  9. BBC (2020) "PayPal allows Bitcoin and crypto spending", October 21.
  10. Crypto with PayPal is here,
  11. "Walmart denies tieup with litecoin, fake statement rattles cryptocurrency". Reuters. 2021-09-13. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  12. Steadman, Ian (2013-05-11). "Wary of Bitcoin? A guide to some other cryptocurrencies". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  13. Nakamoto; et al. (1 April 2016). "Bitcoin source code - amount constraints". GitHub. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018.
  14. Antonopoulos, Andreas M. (April 2014). Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Crypto-Currencies. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-1-4493-7404-4.
  15. "Statement of Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director Financial Crimes Enforcement Network United States Department of the Treasury Before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee on Economic Policy" (PDF). Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. 19 November 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  16. Coventry, Alex (2012-04-25). "Nooshare: A decentralized ledger of shared computational resources" (PDF). Self-published. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-04-20. 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.
  17. Haferkorn, Martin; Quintana Diaz, Josué Manuel (2015). Lugmayr, Artur (ed.). "Seasonality and Interconnectivity Within Cryptocurrencies - An Analysis on the Basis of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Namecoin". Enterprise Applications and Services in the Finance Industry. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing. Cham: Springer International Publishing. 217: 106–120. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-28151-3_8. ISBN 978-3-319-28151-3. S2CID 33878873.

External links[edit]

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