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April 25, 2022

What is Litecoin and what makes it special?

Welcome to the cryptohunt jam where we spend one minute a day to explain crypto. In plain english.

Today, let’s talk about Litecoin, one of the earliest altcoins.

Litecoin was developed in 2011 by a Google Engineer. At the time, Bitcoin was the only established blockchain and just started getting recognition among insiders. But already, some people saw its disadvantages in scaling to real-world usage and started thinking about alternatives.

Litecoin is one of those first altcoins. The developer, Charlie Lee, took Bitcoin’s open source code and modified it to make Litecoin more usable for every-day transactions.

While it still uses the same fundamental working principles, Litecoin has a few advantages over Bitcoin: It is much faster and the fees are so low, that it can be used for small transactions. It also made Litecoin less vulnerable to hacking attacks.

And indeed, when Litecoin launched, it quickly became very popular but never actually ended up taking over Bitcoin despite its improvements upon it. But it still sits in the top 25 cryptocurrencies and has remarkably wide adoption: It is one of the very few coins actually used in the real world: Thousands or merchants accept it and even Paypal lets users pay with it – making it the only other coin besides Bitcoin and Ethereum to have that honor.

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