Are Bitcoin and Litecoin Same?

By Kapil Gauhar

On the surface, both Bitcoin and Litecoin have a lot in common.

Where state currencies like USD or JPY rely on political and legal mechanisms for value and legitimacy, digital currencies rely on the cryptographic integrity of the network itself.

Yet, Bitcoin and Litecoin differ in various aspects.

Market Cap

As of late 2018, Bitcoin’s market capitalization sits at roughly $109 billion. Whether this figure strikes you as high or low depends largely on historical perspective.

When we consider that Bitcoin’s market capitalization is barely $42,000 in July 2010, its current figure seems staggering, though not as much when compared to its high market cap of $59,939,396,635 currently.

While Bitcoin remains the most value player in the crypto space, others like Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin are catching up.

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Total Coins

One of the main difference between the both is the total number of coins that each of them can produce.

The Bitcoin network can never exceed 21 million coins, whereas Litecoin can accommodate up to 84 million coins.

Transaction Processing Speed

Though technically transaction take place instantaneously on both the networks, yet time is required for those transactions to be confirmed by other network participants.

As per the data from Blockchain.info, Bitcoin network’s long-term average transaction confirmation time is just over 10 minutes per transaction, however, this may vary widely when traffic is high.

The equivalent figure for Litecoin is roughly 2.5 minutes.

In principle, this difference in confirmation time could make Litecoin even more attractive for the merchants.

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Different Algorithms

By now, the most fundamental technical difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin are the varied cryptographic algorithms which they use.

Bitcoin makes use of of the longstanding SHA-256 algorithm. On the other hand, Litecoin makes use of a comparatively new algorithm known as Scrypt.

The primary practical significance of these different algorithm is their impact on the process of mining new coins.

In both Bitcoin as well as Litecoin, the process of confirming transactions needs substantial computing power.

Some members of the network allocate their computing resources toward confirming the transactions of other users.

In exchange for doing so, these miners are given block rewards by earning units of the currency which they have mined.

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The Bottom Line

While Bitcoin and Litecoin may be the gold and silver of the cryptocurrency space today, history has shown that the status quo in this rising sector can change in even a couple of months.

It stays to be seen whether the digital forms of money with which we have got comfortable will hold their stature in the months and years to come.

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Kapil Gauhar

Kapil Gauhar is the founder of Blogger’s Gyan. He is a Passionate Blogger, a Big Thinker and a Creative Writer. His passion for doing friendship with words and letting people know about the wonders of the Digital World is what motivates him to take writing as a career.

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