LITECOIN: For quite some time Bitcoin reigned alone in the cryptocurrency world after its launch in 2009, and though a revolutionary creation, there were some in the industry that saw a few problems with it while others weren’t comfortable being under an absolute monopoly in this brave new world.
A little after two years of the release of Bitcoin, came online. With the aim of solving some of the perceived problems that Bitcoin inherently has. On October 7 2011, former Google engineer Charlie Lee announced the release of Litecoin an alternative to Bitcoin which comes with a few tricks of its own to stand it apart from the long shadow of its big cousin.
What is Litecoin?
This is a decentralized virtual currency that was made on the same blockchain technology that Bitcoin is made from. It offers its users the ability to send money from peer-to-peer in an extremely fast, and semi-private way without the need of any traditional financial vehicles like Banks.
What Makes Litecoin Different from Bitcoin?
Litecoin from it concept was designed to have stark differences to Bitcoin, and it is also made to make transactions more efficient than what Bitcoin offered. Some of the major differences between the cryptocurrencies include;
- Coin Cap: One of the first differences to notice between the two cryptocurrencies is their total number of possible coins. Although Bitcoin and Litecoin all recognize the importance of having a limited supply in driving up value, each has taken quite a different turn in the number of coins that will eventually be available on the network. Bitcoin is the first to come into the industry came with a limit of 21 million coins to be ever created on its blockchain. When Litecoin came online it offered its users a larger possibility of getting the coin as it pegs its coin limit to 84 million coins.
- Speed of Transaction: One of the biggest points of criticism that Bitcoin perennially suffers from is the fact that it can be very cumbersome to deal with. Transactions are just not fast enough to go through and anyone making micropayments with little fees attached to them will have to wait a bit longer to have their transactions cleared. Litecoin has been designed to be at least four times faster in generating new blocks than Bitcoin. While it takes Bitcoin up to 10 minutes to generate a fresh block, Litecoin only takes 2 and a half minutes to create one. And as such, it is just faster to have your transaction verified and added to the blockchain using Litecoin than it is with Bitcoin
- Costs of Transaction: Another thing that Litecoin was conceived to solve among the problems that plague Bitcoin, is the apparently high fees Bitcoin miners continue to charge to verify transactions on the Blockchain. It has been often noted that it is sometimes uneconomical to send micropayments through Bitcoin as the fees charged are often times higher than the actual amount being sent. Bitcoin allows its miners to set their transaction fees for verifying payments which means if you need swift processing you have to increase the fees you are willing to pay. Litecoin, on the other hand, came with extremely cheap transaction fees which are often close to Zero. This makes it ideal for everyday transactions as well as sending small payments without fear of huge fees.
How to Get Litecoin?
There are two major ways of acquiring Litecoin. One is by creating your own mining rig getting into the mining end of it. Or you could simply buy from a Litecoin seller near you. Among the easiest ways of getting or buying Litecoin is through reputable exchanges that deal with it.
Exchanges work in different regions of the world with different modes of purchase. Some accept credit card payment while others strictly accept instant bank transfers to their accounts. Also, other variations could be the maximum amount of Litecoin you are allowed to buy in your first few transactions. Noting these subtle differences between the various exchanges, there are certain general steps that you could follow for every exchange in order to buy your first Litecoin
- Navigate to the site of your chosen exchange, and look for the sign-up page. As no exchange will sell you any Litecoin as a “guest buyer”
- Using the exchanged linked above will give you a bonus on your first deposit.
- Fill in the necessary personal details including your names, date of birth and email address to conclude the
- Open your mailbox and verify that you indeed signed up with it using the link provided in the confirmation mail.
- Go back to the site, and look for your account settings page on your dashboard.
- Check for payment means and choose the one that suits your best.
- Some sites will demand you upload a government-issued photo ID for verification of your means of payment. Make sure you have one at hand.
- Add your payment details, in case of Credit Card use the relevant address and other info with which the card was registered.
- Finish verification, and once you are notified by your exchange that your profile has been approved you can go ahead and make your first Litecoin Purchase.
Keeping Your Litecoin Safe
Whenever you are making a Litecoin purchase from an exchange make sure you have your own offline Litecoin wallet ready that you will use to immediately transfer your purchase once the deal is done. It is always advisable to keep your Litecoin holdings away from your exchange wallet as previous experiences have shown that even the biggest exchanges can suddenly become bankrupt and go down with their user’s money.
You can either use a software wallet from a reputable wallet site like Electrum which you can install and save you Litecoin holding on your PC. Or if your Litecoin holdings are considerable you preferably should buy a highly secured hardware wallet to keep your Litecoin safe and away from sophisticated cybercriminals.
Future of Litecoin
Litecoin is among the very few altcoins that have a solid base as far being used as an alternative means of making payments is concerned. Since its creation, Litecoin has always downplayed its potential to upend Bitcoin as the go-to digital currency, but recent events have shown that such a future should not be entirely discounted. Bitcoin in the recent years has become too expensive and too slow for transactions. This puts Litecoin in the prime position to overrun the market where vendors and businesses are looking for an alternative to the ever scarce and not-so business-friendly bitcoin. With close to zero transaction fees, Litecoin’s future looks very bright indeed as it has a market worth tens of billions of dollars that is ripe for the picking.
Litecoin Price Prediction
The rate of adoption is increasing rapidly and has a die hard following. Litecoin is expected to reach over $1000 USD in 2018 alone. So forget the moon, Litecoin is going to the next galaxy and beyond.