Although many find it hard to accept, Bitcoin is currently the top cryptocurrency in the world. Maybe it’s because it was the first to be created, maybe because of the high market capitalization, but one thing is true, even for the most ignorant man in the world when it comes to cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is a familiar name.
Now some folks for whatever reason wish the situation were different, like it shouldn’t be Bitcoin taking the lead. They wish one of the Altcoins would top the cryptocurrency industry and this is not completely impossible because newer cryptocurrencies have improved their underlying technology to make them easier and cheaper to use so they may be preferred at some point over Bitcoin.
However with Bitcoin’s popularity and acceptance, an Altcoin that may stand the chance of taking the lead from it in the future will likely be one that has almost everything that Bitcoin has and more to offer. That cryptocurrency is Litecoin (LTC).
Brief Background on Litecoin (LTC)
Looking at how Litecoin came into being, you will find that it was created as a “second chance” for those who could not invest in Bitcoin or use it for anything. Of course a new technology has to be taken with a pinch of salt but by the time Bitcoin exploded, the spectators wished they had a piece of the experience.
Charlie Lee the creator of Litecoin then decided to give those left behind a taste of something similar to Bitcoin but with further improvement. I’m sure he studied bitcoin underlying technology to see where he could improve on Litecoin. Two years after the creation of Bitcoin, Litecoin was born in 2011. It had everything Bitcoin has and even more.
Why would Litecoin take the lead?
As I mentioned earlier, Lee wanted to give the world another shot at Bitcoin with a cherry on top. The network therefore has a few features that users may prefer, which may eventually bring the cryptocurrency higher up than Bitcoin.
The first of those features is reduced transaction time. No one wants to spend so much time sending money for goods or hanging on for long expecting payment. The Bitcoin network takes 10 minutes to complete a transaction (mine a block). This could take longer depending on how much you pay in fees. Lee decided to reduce the “waiting time” to 2.5 minutes. That is a 75% reduction in transaction time. No wonder the cryptocurrency is becoming a favorite for transactions. The reduced transaction time is as a result of the Scrypt Algorithm that the network uses instead of SHA-256 used by the Bitcoin network.
Secondly, as a result of the shorter confirmation time, Litecoin transactions are much cheaper than Bitcoin transactions. Although transaction fees change depending on network traffic and other factors but according to Bitinfocharts.com, the average Bitcoin transaction fees as at 22 October was 0.428 USD while Litecoin is 0.0424 USD. That is 10x cheaper than Bitcoin transactions.
Another advantage that Litecoin may use to overtake bitcoin is ease of mining. Bitcoin miners use specialized computers known as Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for mining, which consume a lot of electricity to function. Litecoin miners however use normal CPUs and GPUs to mine blocks. The reward for miners on the Litecoin network is also higher than the Bitcoin network.
More miners may be encouraged to join the Litecoin (LTC) network while the opposite may be true for Bitcoin. Litecoin therefore may continue to thrive while Bitcoin’s future may be jeopardized if the cost of mining and transactions continues to surge.