Litecoin was launched in 2011 by former Google and Coinbase engineer Charles Lee (also known as Charlie Lee), who described it as a “lite version of Bitcoin.” It is one of the first altcoins based on Bitcoin’s original open-source code, albeit with several modifications.
Litecoin (LTC) was designed to be faster and more efficient than Bitcoin (BTC). For instance, block creation on the Bitcoin network takes 10 minutes, whereas a block on the Litecoin blockchain only takes about 2.5 minutes. Similarly, Litecoin can process around 56 transactions per second (TPS) compared to around 5 TPS on Bitcoin.
Although Litecoin gained considerable traction in its early days, it has continued to underperform against Bitcoin and is often criticized for being little more than a Bitcoin clone. However, given its faster transaction times, lower fees and decent liquidity on exchanges, Litecoin is often used to move value across crypto platforms.
According to our LTC live price chart, Litecoin price in USD terms hovered around $5 until March 2017, except for the brief rally in late 2013, when the price of LTC surpassed $40. In 2017, however, the altcoin saw a price surge of more than 2,000% between March and September, going from around $4 to nearly $90 before dropping again.
LTC price took off again near the end of 2017, trading around $365 on Dec. 18 to post a new all-time high with a year-to-date gain of over 8,000%. This bullish price action could not continue, however, and LTC price quickly fell to around $100 in February 2018.
Barring a few brief rallies, the price of LTC continued to decline throughout 2018, trading below $25 by December that year. Despite LTC price recovering to $140 by June 2019, it couldn't go much higher and traded below $30 again in March 2020.
Amid a wider crypto market rally in May 2021, LTC price climbed to a new high, surging past $410, only to decline by over 50% in the following 6 months. By Dec. 31, 2021, the price of Litecoin stood around $145, but the price decline continued through Q1 2022, with LTC frequently testing the $100 level.
Like Bitcoin, Litecoin uses the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to secure its network. PoW requires miners to solve complex computational problems using powerful hardware. The miner who solves the mathematical problem first is responsible for validating network transactions and organizing them in a block to obtain the block reward. The continued series of such blocks creates the blockchain with immutable records.
However, Litecoin uses the ‘Scrypt’ algorithm, which requires high-speed random access memory (RAM), unlike Bitcoin, whose mining requires more processing power. This means that people can, theoretically, mine Litecoin on their personal computers and do not need to spend on specialized mining equipment. Lee developed the Scrypt algorithm to make it difficult to launch attacks on Litecoin, making the cryptocurrency more secure.
The total supply of Litecoin is capped at 84 million, compared to 21 million for Bitcoin. Because of Litecoin’s similarity to Bitcoin, it has served as a functional test network for updates that could also be deployed on the Bitcoin network. These updates include Segregated Witness or SegWit, which was adopted by Litecoin in 2017, and the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 technology aimed at improving scalability.
Litecoin’s adoption of SegWit in May 2017, marked a landmark achievement. It pushed LTC price to above $30 from around $5 a year ago. The same year saw LTC price setting a major high above $360 followed by Litecoin founder selling his entire holding, citing conflict of interest.
In July 2019, Litecoin became the official cryptocurrency of the Miami Dolphins, the National Football League team. The partnership came into effect in September 2019, allowing fans to purchase tickets with Litecoin.
Lee pledged to continue funding the Litecoin Foundation in August 2019, even as concerns were brewing around the nonprofit's financial sustainability. After Litecoin’s halving on Aug. 5, 2019, which reduced mining rewards to 12.5 LTC from 25 LTC, mining power on the Litecoin network dropped by 28%.
In a bid to recover its position amid waning interest in Litecoin, Lee announced a shift in focus towards privacy in late 2020. He said that the token is looking to adopt several privacy-enhancing features, which are being tested before deployment.
On October 20, 2021, PayPal confirmed its buy, hold, and sell feature for cryptocurrencies, with Litecoin as one of the supported tokens. The announcement led to LTC price surging by over 10% in the following 24 hours.
Can you mine or stake LTC?
Since Litecoin uses the PoW consensus mechanism, you can only mine Litecoin (and not stake it). However, unlike Bitcoin, it does not require specialized mining equipment — you can mine Litecoin using home computers, although large-scale miners dominate the market.
What are the differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin?
Although Lee touted the token as the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold,” there are several differences between the two cryptocurrencies, including transaction processing capability, block generation time, the maximum token supply and transaction fees, among others.
What can you do with LTC?
Litecoin can be used to pay network fees, make and receive payments across the globe, or used as a bridge currency to avoid high fees on networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
How to buy LTC and trade it?
You can easily use fiat currencies to buy LTC on centralized exchanges like MEXC and eToro. You can also buy Litecoin using other tokens like BTC on exchanges like HitBTC.
|Litecoin Price||$67.9688 USD|
|Market Cap||$4,777,927,941 USD|
|24h Volume||$240,754,368 USD|
|Circulating Supply||70,295,856.28 LTC|
|Max Supply||84,000,000 LTC|
|Yesterday's Market Cap||$4,838,787,000 USD|
|Yesterday's Open / Close||$71.4516 USD / $68.8449 USD|
|Yesterday's High / Low||$71.4516 USD / $66.2783 USD|
-0.04% ($2.606716 USD)
|Yesterday's Volume||$4,982,797,125,471.81 USD|
|Pools Hashrate||507.01 TH/s|
|Network Hashrate||511.77 TH/s|