LTC is the native cryptocurrency of Litecoin, an open-source
blockchain project whose code is copied from Bitcoin’s. Touted as the “silver to bitcoin’s gold
,” Litecoin was developed to have much faster transaction speeds than Bitcoin, as well as to be more scalable.
The blockchain was created by Charlie Lee, a software engineer who had worked at Google and crypto exchange Coinbase, and it was launched on the bitcointalk forum
in October 2011.
has a total capped supply of 84 million tokens. The project initially launched with 150 pre-mined tokens (tokens mined by Litecoin developers ahead of the token’s public launch.)
The project then established a reward of 50 litecoin per block at its inception, with the block reward halving occurring every 840,000 blocks thereafter. The last block
is expected to be mined in 2142.
LTC price history includes peaks intersected by long periods of sideways activity. In December 2017 and April/May 2021, Litecoin’s price broke above $250 and reached a peak of about $410 on both occasions before it fell sharply.
In May 2021, LTC price recorded its all-time high of $412.96, but it fell by over 50% in the following six months.
How does Litecoin work?
Litecoin users send and receive LTC on the blockchain by inputting the public-key information attached to each person’s digital wallet.
As noted, Litecoin uses code very similar to Bitcoin’s. But unlike Bitcoin’s proof-of-work consensus – where participants known as “miners” compete against each other using specialized computer equipment to be the first to discover new blocks – LTC incorporates the Scrypt proof-of-work algorithm, which makes it possible to mine the cryptocurrency with consumer-grade hardware.
Another characteristic that makes Litecoin different from Bitcoin is the time it takes to confirm blocks. It takes Bitcoin nine minutes on average to produce a block, while it takes Litecoin two and a half minutes to produce a block on its network.
Litecoin essentially serves as a “testnet” for improvements to be implemented on the Bitcoin blockchain. For example, Litecoin integrated the Lightning Network – a second-layer technology for Bitcoin to create micropayment channels for payments – ahead of Bitcoin.
Key events and management
At the end of 2017, Lee shocked the Litecoin community by selling all of his litecoin holdings. The sale came a few days after the digital asset hit a high of $375.29 at the time and amid accusations that Lee was manipulating the LTC market via his Twitter posts. In the end, he cited conflict of interest as the reason for the sale.
Litecoin was thrust into the spotlight in September 2021 when a fake press release was put out announcing a partnership between Litecoin and Walmart. As a result, LTC’s price rose 30%, but eased soon afterward when the alliance was revealed to be a hoax
Karnika Yashwant, founder and CEO of crypto marketing company KEY Difference Media; Arbi Khodagholian and his venture capital firm Block Ventures; and individual investor Zachary Snader are investors in Litecoin, according to
Mimblewimble – a privacy protocol that aims to make cryptocurrency transactions anonymous – is expected to hit
the Litecoin network by the end of 2021.
Litecoin too has had forks, or splits from the blockchain, such as Junkcoin (JKC), Monacoin (MONA), Litecoin Cash (LCC), CloakCoin (CLOAK) and Einsteinium (EMC2). Lee has made a point of calling out any fork of Litecoin as a scam
Lee remains the managing director of the Litecoin Foundation
, which promotes the Litecoin blockchain and funds its development.