Over the past several years, public interest in cryptocurrencies has increased dramatically. The main focus of this interest has been Bitcoin, which, following the release of its first public client in 2009, has become the dominant name in cryptocurrency. In recent years, however, many other cryptocurrencies have entered the scene. Among these, one name which has garnered increasing interest is Litecoin. Since its launch in October 2011, Litecoin has grown to a market capitalization of roughly $75 million. Indeed, Litecoin’s own developers have long stated that their intention is to create the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold”. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between these two leading cryptocurrencies.
On the surface, Bitcoin and Litecoin share a lot in common. At the most basic level, they are of course both cryptocurrencies. Whereas state currencies such as the U.S. dollar or the yen rely on political and legal mechanisms for value and legitimacy, cryptocurrencies rely only on the cryptographic integrity of the network itself. Yet Bitcoin and Litecoin also differ in important respects. In what follows, we will address four of their most important differences, progressing from the most straightforward differences to the more complex. (Read more