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.

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Alex Dean edited on 22 Nov, 2017
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Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrencycryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee in October 2011. Creation and transfer of coins is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. Litecoin is an open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license.

Litecoin is an open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license.

In many regards Litecoin is technically nearly identical to Bitcoin. Litecoin claims some technical improvements over Bitcoin and other such as the adoption of Segregated Witness, and the Lightning Network.


Reduced block time

In many regards Litecoin is technically nearly identical to Bitcoin, however Litecoin claims some technical improvements over Bitcoin. The block generation time of Litecoin is approximately 1/4 the block time of Bitcoin, reducing from 10 minutes to 2.5 minutes. The reduced block time allows Litecoin to process faster transactions and increase throughput while trading off the ratio between network propagation time to block creation time, which comes with a variety of security tradeoffs.

Hashing algorithm

Litecoin utilizes the scrypt hashing algorithm as opposed to Bitcoin's SHA256. Scrypt increased the difficulty of creating specialized Litecoin ASIC mining hardware, however they were still developed in 2014.


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 the Lightning Network as well as atomic swap technology.


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

Further reading


Alyssa Hertig

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


What is the Difference Between Litecoin and Bitcoin?

Jon Southerst

Alpha Technology Announces ASIC Miners for Litecoin are Coming Soon

Documentaries, videos and podcasts


Related Topics
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