Litecoin is one of the first generation cryptocurrencies; it was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer. It’s based on the Bitcoin protocol, but with several key differences designed to address some of of Bitcoin limitations.
One of the main differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin is the algorithm that is used for mining. Litecoin uses a different algorithm thats’s called Scrypt, rather than the SHA-256 encryption that’s used in Bitcoin. Scrypt is designed to be more memory-intensive than the SHA-256 algorithm. This makes Litecoin more resistant to centralization.
Another difference between the two cryptocurrencies is the total number of coins that will be mined. The Bitcoin protocol has a hard limit of 21 million coins whereas Litecoin has a limit of 84 million coins.
Litecoin also has a faster block generation time than Bitcoin, which results in faster transaction confirmations. A block in Litecoin can be mined in 2.5 minutes, whereas a block in Bitcoin takes 10 minutes to mine.
The main initiative of Litecoin is to be an alternative of Bitcoin. It is considered as silver as BTC is gold, thanks to its faster transaction times, lower fees and increased efficiency.
As stated earlier, the total supply of Litecoin is capped at 84 million LTC. As of 2021, there are currently around 66 million LTC in circulation.
The rate at which new Litecoin is created is determined by the block reward, which is currently 12.5 LTC per block. The block reward is halved approximately every four years, meaning that the rate at which new Litecoin is created will decrease over time (as the difficulty increases).
It is estimated that all Litecoin will be mined around the year 2040, however, it’s difficult to predict exactly when the last Litecoin will be mined; the rate at which blocks are mined can always change depending on factors like network difficulty and the overall level of mining activity.
It's also possible that, before 2040, some new developments or consensus changes could be enacted onto the protocol and it could change the total supply- however unlikely.
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