The Complete History of Litecoin (LTC)

While many eyes are pointed towards the performance of Bitcoin, the crypto community sometimes forget about smaller cap coins, such as Litecoin. Recently, Litecoin hasn't been making it to the headlines, because it's not involved in scandals, disputes, it doesn't have recent forks, and it's creator doesn't have lunches with Warren Buffet. But Litecoin still has a strong community, and that's more important for the coin, which is considered a digital silver, as well as Bitcoin is a digital gold. Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies, and it still occupies the 7th place on Coinmarketcap list. It has a very long history of development, and we're going to explore it here.

Early days

Litecoin was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a Google employee. It was a Bitcoin fork, but with a few differences. Lee wanted to create a similar network, aimed at fast payments. That’s why the block generation time for Litecoin is four times faster. Instead of 10 minutes, it takes only 2.5 minutes per block. Litecoin network uses a different consensus mechanism, called “scrypt,” which isn’t so demanding in terms of resources. Also, as it was supposed to be a cheap cryptocurrency, the maximum supply cap was raised to 84 million coins.

The idea of Litecoin quickly became popular. Miners liked it because they could mine it on their personal computers and laptops. Being one of the first Bitcoin forks and actually proposing some changes to the original code, Litecoin seemed like an independent currency, not standing on the primary currency’s shoulders. After some initial phase of development, Charlie Lee left Google and dedicated himself to full-time Litecoin development. Besides Lee, some other developers joined the project, and the coin got its development team.

The sandbox for other cryptos

Being the creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee became a very respected figure in crypto community. And while Bitcoin was struggling with its legacy and torn by debates about future upgrades, the Litecoin team could implement all necessary changes.

Litecoin was the coin that was used to try the technology of atomic swap on September 20, with Decred and LTC being directly swapped for each other. Next, the developers completed the BTC-LTC transaction, which was also successful. Nowadays, we see a lot of atomic swaps performed between many different chains, but back those days, it was a novelty, and this technology was tested thanks to Litecoin.

Also, Litecoin supports the same technologies Bitcoin does. Due to its similar codebase, Litecoin was the first network to activate SegWit soft fork in 2017, which was later activated in the Bitcoin network as well.

Litecoin forks

Litecoin got many forks, some of them are popular, some of them aren’t. The coins forked from Litecoin are:

  1. DASH. A well-known coin on its own, and even while its code is very different now, initially, it was a Litecoin fork with some special private features. Eventually, it switched to Bitcoin code, but the first version was based on Litecoin.
  2. Einsteinium. The purpose of this coin was funding scientific researches, you can even find it on large crypto exchanges, but it’s not a breakthrough.
  3. Feathercoin. An even lighter and faster version of Litecoin. It had its pumps in 2017, but now it doesn’t show signs of life.
  4. Junkcoin. The first fork of Litecoin ever created primarily for mining purposes in 2013. It has a random reward for block. Sometimes a miner can get even 1,000 coins in one block; sometimes it’s only 1. This coin is dead by now.
  5. Monacoin. Another 2013 fork, crypto for peer-to-peer payments, is still alive these days, but not very popular.
  6. Litecoin Cash. A fork that was created after the success of Bitcoin Cash, but it hasn’t made it to the high ranks of the crypto market.
  7. Cloakcoin. A private coin from 2014, which was created on the wave of hype about the privacy of transactions. Basically, it’s Litecoin with special private features, but it’s not popular at all, occupying the 577th place on CMC.

The controversy around Litecoin

During 2017, the whole market was pumping like crazy, and Litecoin wasn’t an exception. LTC increased from around $30 to nearly $350 during those days. It might seem significant for Litecoin holders, but Charlie Lee made a controversial move by selling his stack of Litecoins on the peak. This caused a lot of hate from the crypto community because it made him look like he lost faith in his creation. Charlie himself explained it in such a way that he didn’t want to be financially involved in the ecosystem he worked on and that having no coins helps him not to be influenced in his decisions about which direction to go. Also, he warned everyone about the coming multi-year bear market, and years later, we see that he was right.

What’s next?

Getting rid of his coins allowed Charlie Lee to become truly independent, and he still participates in the Litecoin ecosystem. In 2018 the Litecoin Foundation acquired a 9.9% stake in German WEG Bank AG, and now they develop new Litecoin-based products thanks to this partnership. In May 2020, the Litecoin Foundation partnered with the legendary Atari to explore new ways to connect cryptocurrencies and gaming.

Also, there’s a new MimbleWimble upgrade to the network coming. It will improve scalability and privacy for Litecoin, and Lee says that these features will be a lot better than anything Monero or Z-Cash has to offer. It’s easier to implement anything and test new things on Litecoin because, according to Lee, “It takes forever to get anything implemented on Bitcoin because consensus is slow [...] With Litecoin if we want to do something we can move pretty fast on it.”. So the cryptocurrency will continue to live on and be updated regularly.

If you hold any Litecoins, now you can use them to make more money, similar to a bank deposit. You can deposit your LTC to the CoinLoan platform and earn interest on it. It’s a lot better than just holding it because that’s how you can grow your capital. That’s the most important thing on the market, isn’t it?