Litecoin Guide: What is LTC?

Litecoin is the digital silver to Bitcoin’s digital gold. It was launched as a blockchain alternative to bitcoin. Since then, the cryptocurrency has grown in value, but not at the same rate. Charlie Lee, the developer of Litecoin, created his virtual currency with several improvements in mind. In many ways, Litecoin is an improved version of bitcoin, though still considered the Pepsi to bitcoin’s Coke.

Litecoin Overview

First, Litecoin also a member of a group of cryptocurrencies called altcoins. The name is bestowed upon other cryptocurrencies not named Bitcoin. There are over 2,500 different altcoins available on the open market and that number is always changing. These exist for a variety of reasons. Many of them promise to complete transactions faster, cheaper, and on a larger scale than Bitcoin.

Not only is Litecoin one of those projects, it’s the first viable project to ever challenge Bitcoin on transaction costs and speed. That’s why it’s one of the first virtual currencies that crypto enthusiasts and online gamblers should learn about. Relative to other alternatives to Bitcoin, the history of Litecoin is rich and plentiful. Its blockchain also scales more efficiently than Bitcoin, because Litecoin miners have four times as many Litecoins to mine from its blockchain. That’s why anybody serious about using cryptocurrencies to gamble online needs to put a little digital silver in their wallet.

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The History of Litecoin

Former Google engineer Charlie Lee invented the crypto in 2011. It was one of the first attempts by anybody to create a cryptocurrency that improved on Bitcoin. Given the cryptocurrency industry itself was still so new back then, it makes sense that much of the coding structure that makes up Litecoin actually comes from Bitcoin.

In that way, Litecoin is more derivative than later cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Dash, and EOS. That’s why Litecoin is called the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. Also, the reason Charlie Lee called it ‘Lite’ is because he simplified the coding. That’s why transactions on the Litecoin network are cheaper and faster than those on the Bitcoin network.

What Does Litecoin Do Better?

Litecoin’s original mission was to make payments instant, with no cost to the user. Several projects promise to do that these days, but use several different implementation strategies to make it happen. Way back in 2011, Litecoin’s mission statement was ambitious.

The project got off to a rough start from a technical standpoint. By 2013, though, the Litecoin project was worth over $1 billion. Developers fell in love with the project because the ‘lite’ coding structure made it easier to implement upgrades to the network. Users loved it because they could mine coins without having to build expensive mining rigs. That made mining coins easier for startups and more profitable for everyone.

Also, miners could also buy a larger number of coins simply, because the coin supply is huge. Charlie Lee’s idea proved successful. Today, it still ranks as the fifth most valuable cryptocurrency in the world with a total market capitalization of over $4.1 billion. Litecoin is traded on all the major cryptocurrency exchanges, while all the bitcoin wallets support the use of Litecoin.

More on Litecoin and Blockchain Scalability

As mentioned, Litecoin exists to process transactions faster and more cost-effectively than Bitcoin. In May of 2017, the Litecoin blockchain adopted an upgrade referred to as Segregated Witness right alongside Bitcoin. The upgrade empowers users with the ability to swap cryptocurrencies for one another without the need for a crypto exchange. The process is referred to as an atomic swap. Charlie Lee himself completed the first swap in September 2017. The working upgrade is partly what’s keeping Litecoin among the most valuable digital currencies today. At the time, the adoption of Segregated Witness along with the hype of Bitcoin mania sent Litecoin’s price from less than $10 to over $300. Today, it is worth less than $100, as all cryptocurrencies have come crashing back down to earth.

Still, the innovation continues among all cryptocurrencies in the race to create the most scalable blockchain. While many innovators challenge Bitcoin’s codebase with their ideas, maximalists continue to take the best cryptocurrency ideas and implement those features on the Bitcoin network. That’s why many purists believe no cryptocurrency will ever be worth more than Bitcoin.

The Lightning Network Explained

The implementation of the lightning network is perhaps the best example of Bitcoin keeping up with the Joneses. The lightning network is a second layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain that makes atomic swaps easier. It allows nodes on the network to come together and create smart contracts (a key feature offered by Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies).

Litecoin contributes to all of this as part of this second layer. Since the coding is so similar, Litecoin can do smart contracts, too. It’s a simple concept; take the best parts of Litecoin and connect it to Bitcoin. The block is faster and cheaper, so transactions are faster and cheaper. In this way, blockchains work together to scale transactions.

Gambling with Litecoin

While many altcoins can be used to gamble on table games and sports, sportsbooks only accept a small number of them. Fortunately, two of the top traditional sportsbook brands most players recognize accept Litecoin. They are and and do accept cryptocurrencies, but only Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are listed as options.

For players who really believe in Litecoin’s upside, but don’t want to use BetOnline or Intertops for whatever reason, non-traditional crypto-specific gambling sites will do the trick. There are too many options to count, but below are some of the top names in the crypto betting industry.

The sportsbooks and casinos listed above are just a snapshot of a plethora of options on the crypto gambling scene.

Is it Better to Gamble with Bitcoin or Litecoin?

The answer to this question comes down to both the sites a player uses and personal preference. Players who want to bet at Bodog or 5Dimes can’t use Litecoin, so nothing to decide there. However, players who want a faster deposit and quicker withdrawals should use Litecoin. It can save a few minutes of confirmation time over Bitcoin.

The only other reason players should choose Litecoin is if they think it will appreciate in value at a faster clip than Bitcoin in the future. As of right now, Bitcoin is still the king of cryptocurrency. But Bitcoin also went from nearly $19,000 a unit to $4,000 a unit, so those who don’t want massive fluctuations should try Litecoin.

Whatever you decide, we hope you enjoyed this guide to Litecoin. Happy wagering!

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