What is a cryptocurrency?

Circuit BoardCrypto or digital currencies are not issued or controlled by any central authority like agovernment or bank.

As of May 2021, Bitcoin is the most valuable cryptocurrency currently on the market. While other currencies are attempting to outrank Bitcoin, Litecoin (LTC) is one non-Bitcoin crypto that has managed to stand up to the competition. LTC currently trails behind Bitcoin as the 6th-largest digital currency by market investment.

Note: Nothing in this article is financial advice! You should always consult a financial advisor before investing. This comparison was based on content from Investopedia and BitDegree, if you would like to view more detailed information about cryptocurrency key terms and how to invest.

Origins

Bitcoin (BTC)

Created in 2009

Bitcoin was the first-ever cryptocurrency and for many years it wasn’t very known. It is just like any other real currency. You can use it to buy, sell and trade for goods, services, investments, and more.

The total number of Bitcoin that will ever exist is limited to 21 million. Even though there is already over 16 million Bitcoin, it’s going to be a long time until the count of Bitcoin reaches 21 million!

Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by a person or persons who developed Bitcoin, authored the bitcoin white paper, the first blockchain database, and created and deployed Bitcoin's original program.

Litecoin (LTC)

Created in 2011

Launched by former Google engineer Charlie Lee, as a "lite version of Bitcoin" created in reaction to Bitcoin. Litecoin’s own developers have long stated that their intention is to create the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold.”

Litecoin can accommodate up to 84 million coins.

Litecoin on small colourful rocksPhoto by Executium on Unsplash

Quiz

Should you base all your investing decisions on this one Byte?

Yes

No

Compare Values Over Time

Bitcoin (BTC)

April 2021, CNBC estimates Bitcoin makes up 50% of investments in the Digital Currency Market and is considered the Gold standard of a rapidly growing industry.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoins speed and cheapness make it ideal for smaller, everyday transactions. Unlike bitcoin which is more similar to investing in gold.

Quiz

What was the value of Litecoin in March 2021?

Close to $180

$500

The same as Bitcoin

Below $100

Compare The Technology

They both use similar blockchain technology where transactions are verified by computers (called mining) that can be owned by anyone and protects it from counterfeiting.

The most fundamental technical difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin is the different cryptographic algorithms.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is very limited in this sense as it can only process an average of 7 transactions per second.

If it is going to be used as a global payment system, it must improve its performance as more people use the currency.

  • Bitcoin is limited by transaction processing time, an issue that has caused division within the bitcoin mining and developing communities.

  • Bitcoin blocks are limited to 1 MB

  • Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin was founded with the goal of prioritizing transaction speed, helping it grow and gain popularity.

Litecoin networks have a 2.5 minute average transaction confirmation time (the time it takes for a block to be verified and added to the blockchain) vs 9 minutes for Bitcoin.

  • The average blocks size are 18 kb, 1% of the minimum

  • Litecoin makes use of a comparatively newer and simpler algorithm known as Scrypt.

Quiz

Scrypt and SHA-256 are example of?

Cryptography Algorithms

Cryptocurrencies

NFTs

Hackers

Ways To Get These Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most popular places to buy both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are Coinbase or Simplex.

Important note: Always do further, independent research, and always consult a financial investor before investing. Also, keep in mind that it's crucial to keep your cryptocurrencies in secure digital wallets, such as Ledger Nano STrezor Model T, and Coinbase.

Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are mined in the same way, every time a computer is used to verify a transaction, trade, or sale; they are rewarded with "tokens" another word for cryptocurrencies.

Mining Bitcoin Cash makes much less profit than mining Bitcoin with the same equipment because Bitcoin is more valuable.

Both Bitcoin and Litecoin are divisible into nearly infinitesimal amounts. In fact:

The minimum quantity of transferable Bitcoin is one hundred millionth of a bitcoin (0.00000001 bitcoins) known colloquially as one “satoshi.”

Bitcoin on a usd 100 dollar billPhoto by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Can You Convert Litecoin to Bitcoin?

You can convert Litecoins to Bitcoins, and vice versa—similar to the way you can exchange traditional currencies, like changing dollars into pounds, or yen into euros.

To do so, you need to have an account with a cryptocurrency trading or exchange platform or trading app. The amount you'll receive in the conversion depends on the current prices for each currency.

Environmental Impact

All cryptocurrencies generate huge volumes of carbon emissions.

Some of this energy is from renewable sources but mining is often done in the least expensive ways to increase profits.

Windmills

Bitcoin (BTC)

  • A single transaction of bitcoin, for example, has the same carbon footprint as 680,000 Visa transactions or bingeing YouTube for 51,210 hours.

  • As the most popular cryptocurrency, most crypto research has been done about Bitcoin.

Litecoin (LTC)

  • Litecoin uses a simpler transaction process with smaller blocks (files) which leads to less processing power than Bitcoin for the same task.

  • Less research has been done on the Scrypy cryptography algorithm but people are slowly becoming more aware of its environmental impact.

Quiz

Do you think the resources used are worth it?

Maybe

Yes

No

What Are The Challenges?

Bitcoin (BTC)

  • Bitcoin is olderslower, and costs a lot more per transaction.

  • It is likely that as the sector grows, Bitcoin will continue to lose its dominance over these other coins.

  • The core development team of Bitcoin appears to be divided as a group and lacking clear leadership compared to other crypto teams, like Ethereum.

  • If the Bitcoin developer community doesn’t agree to an update to the Bitcoin code to fix its problems, Bitcoin might lose in the war with other blockchains.

Litecoin (LTC)

  • Litecoin is less popular and does not have as much investor confidence as Bitcoin.

Extremely volatile - Bitcoin and Litecoin prices can drop very quickly and reach very low prices.

Security - it is impossible to reverse transactions and your Bitcoin / Litecoin cannot be recovered if it is stolen.

Illegal Activity - all Cryptocurrencies can be used in the black market and for illegal activities because there is anonymity.

Quiz

Which of these have been used for illegal activities?

Bitcoin

Litecoin

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This comparison was based on content from Investopedia and BitDegree .

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This Byte has been authored by

KD

Kassie Dwarika

Director of Content Programs | Debate Coach