Will Litecoin Be The Next Bitcoin In 2018?

Investing, Opinion | May 18, 2018 By:

Bitcoin’s rapid rise in popularity has sparked interest in cryptocurrencies from financial institutions and the general public. Despite the media often portraying bitcoin as being nearly synonymous with the entire cryptocurrency market, the market is much bigger than just bitcoin. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence, and while the majority of them will not likely survive and won’t reach high valuations, there are several viable alternatives to bitcoin. One of the cryptocurrencies that has enjoyed aggressive growth and increased attention recently is Litecoin – a digital currency that is similar to bitcoin but possesses several key differences.

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin’s creator is well-known, unlike the anonymous creator of bitcoin. Litecoin was created by former Google employee Charlie Lee in 2011 and was based off the main code structure of bitcoin. It’s built upon blockchain, which is the underlying transparent technology that powers most cryptocurrencies and which functions as a ledger that is open for scrutiny to all parties involved in transactions.

It’s also a decentralized form of online currency that can be used to purchase services and goods. There are no fees to receive payments and no chargebacks with Litecoin, just as with bitcoin. Litecoin was the first “altcoin” that was a derivative of bitcoin, and it is attracting significant interest from investors and business entities that see its potential for running transactions and performing record keeping.

Key Differences and Similarities Between Bitcoin and Litecoin

Litecoin performs transactions faster than bitcoin, with block confirmation timings taking only 2.5 minutes, which is four times faster than bitcoin’s 10 minutes. The speed of these transactions is attractive for financial institutions that are looking at Litecoin as the preferred cryptocurrency payment coin. There’s more “utility” for Litecoin, while bitcoin is often seen as a counterpart to gold in terms of becoming a steady store of value for long-term investing.

Bitcoin is still the largest cryptocurrency in circulation, with a market capitalization of around $145 billion, which dwarfs the current Litecoin market cap of $7.9 billion. There’s certainly more familiarity with the Bitcoin name outside of cryptocurrency circles, and bitcoin does attract a lot of investment from first-time cryptocurrency traders.

Similar to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there’s a set maximum limit of Litecoin that will ever be available. Only 21 million bitcoins will ever be mined, while there are exactly four times as many (84 million) Litecoins that will be mined in the coming years. For either currency, there is still room for lower-priced transactions because each can be broken down into multiple decimal units. Investors in both cryptocurrencies never have to worry about inflation of the coin supply due to the finite supply of coins.