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What is Litecoin?
According to the Litecoin website, “Litecoin is a peer-to-peer online currency that allows instant payments at virtually zero cost to everyone in the world.” If you are familiar with the digital currency Bitcoin, the above definition may sound similar: this is because Litecoin is based on the open-source code base Bitcoin, but with some technological differences. Litecoin was never intended to replace Bitcoin, but supplemented it like silver and gold.
The great thing about open source projects like Bitcoin is that anyone in the world can access the source code base and enable the new features they want. The value assigned to each digital currency is determined by the community of users who decide to store and use it. Although Bitcoin is currently the largest digital currency by market capitalization, this doe not mean that there is no place for other digital currencies to coexist or serve a specific area of use or community.
Litecoin founder Charlie Lee wanted to change the rules of Bitcoin so that they become more profitable for users. In particular, Charlie wanted to reduce the amount of time needed to confirm a new transaction, as well as change the algorithm for mining bitcoins so that everyone can participate. Bitcoin transaction confirmation time is 10 minutes, while Litecoin is only 2.5 minutes. Litecoin can handle more transactions with faster transaction confirmation times.
The future of Litecoin
One of the important aspects of Litecoin is that its creator, Charlie Lee, is widely known and actively involved in the cryptocurrency community. An anonymous Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, who has since disappeared, cannot provide guidance on the technical use of Bitcoin. Having a founder is very important when it comes to helping others understand and rally the views of Litecoin.
Charlie is currently pushing the community to support adding an update for Litecoin called Segregated Witness (SegWit), which he and others believe will lay the foundation for future innovations. SegWit is a change in transaction format that requires less storage space. This update will scale Litecoin. The advantages of a decentralized currency are that the creator cannot simply implement something on his own. Nevertheless, there are advantages to having a leader to lead technological progress inthe community, especially at a time when it becomes clear that changes need to be made or there are serious disagreements.