Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency forked from Bitcoin by creator Charlie Lee. A key difference from Bitcoin is the decreased block generation time.

Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee in October 2011. The Creation and transfer of coins is through an open source cryptographic protocol, and is not managed by any central authority. Litecoin is an open source software project under the MIT/X11 license.

Reduced block time

In many regards Litecoin is technically nearly identical to Bitcoin, however, Litecoin claims some technical advantages over Bitcoin. For example, the block generation time of Litecoin is approximately 1/4 the block generation time of Bitcoin; making it four times faster. The reduced block time allows Litecoin to process faster transactions and increase throughput. The cost of speed improvements is a trade off between network propagation time to block creation time, which creates a variety of security tradeoffs.

Hashing algorithm

Litecoin utilizes the scrypt hashing algorithm instead of Bitcoin's SHA256. Scrypt was made in 2014, and increases the difficulty of creating specialized Litecoin ASIC mining hardware.


Litecoin was an early adopter of the Segregated Witness update, adding it on May 10, 2017. Litecoin is also an early tester and developer of technologies such as the Lightning Network and atomic swap.


Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies in existence, and a variety of decentralized projects have forked from the open source Litecoin codebase to create their own cryptocurrencies. Examples of cryptocurrencies forking from Litecoin directly, or originating from Litecoin forks, include Feathercoin, Dogecoin, Dash, Gulden, Reddcoin.


November 17, 2017
First BTC-LTC Lightning Network swap completed on testnet

The first off-chain atomic swaps utilizing the lightning network are performed.

April 3, 2017
Litecoin Foundation is incorporated

The Litecoin foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Singapore.

October 13, 2011
Litecoin mainnet launched

The Litecoin mainnet was launched on Thursday Oct 13, 2011, 03:00 GMT as a alternative currency fork from the Bitcoin blockchain.

October 7, 2011
Litecoin source code released

Litecoin is announced on bitcointalk as an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin, described by its creator Charlie Lee as "silver to Bitcoin's gold".



Charlie Lee

Further reading


Alpha Technology Announces ASIC Miners for Litecoin are Coming Soon

Jon Southerst

Litecoin Has Now Deployed Segregated Witness

Aaron van Wirdum

Litecoin's SegWit Activation: Why it Matters and What's Next

Alyssa Hertig

Seasonality and Interconnectivity Within Cryptocurrencies - An Analysis on the Basis of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Namecoin

Martin Haferkorn, Manuel Quintana Diaz

Academic paper

Thai Perception on Litecoin Value

Toby Gibbs, Suwaree Yordchim

Academic paper

What is the Difference Between Litecoin and Bitcoin?


Documentaries, videos and podcasts


Litecoin on CNBC with Charlie Lee

Jul 31, 2017




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