Welcome to the Litecoin Coin Profile – where we share our viewpoint on Bitcoin’s little bro. New to crypto? Access our Blockchain 101 material before you dive in!
If you would like to learn more about our scoring methodologies please click here.
Blockchain Use Case (1.3)
Litecoin is a hard-forked version of Bitcoin and both share a lot of similarities. LTC aims to eliminate the need for a trusted third party to facilitate and approve transactions. By doing this fees related to transactions would become negligible and transactions could clear at faster speeds.
Think of LTC as a version of Bitcoin based on cleaner computer code. The LTC network generates blocks every two and a half minutes as opposed to every ten minutes. This means that the Litecoin network can process a higher volume of transactions in the same amount of time.
Litecoin also uses a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin. The hashing algorithm used by LTC is more memory intensive. Different computers must be used to approve transactions on the Litecoin blockchain network..
Development and Management (1.6)
Litecoin is an open sourced project much like Bitcoin is. It functions like a democracy. Any individual or organization can develop a protocol to be used. However, it’s up to the community as a whole to accept it or reject it.
The protocol development is spearheaded by a development team headed by the founder, Charlie Lee. He received a Masters Degree in computer science from MIT and started work at Google shortly after. Charlie’s first exposure to the cryptocurrency industry was through a coin called Fairbrix. He was a part of an effort to revive the cryptocurrency but ultimately the attempt ended in failure. He moved on to develop LTC and the network was launched in 2011.
He is well respected in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, having also been a part of the team at Coinbase up until mid 2017. The LTC community has a sense of direction because a main development team headed by Charlie exists.
Partnerships and Other Influences
Litecoin works closely with the Bitcoin development team and community to understand scaling challenges and risks. This makes sense because the networks function in a very similar way. This partnership will become pivotal when the Lightning Network and atomic swaps hit the scene.
Litecoin has a good working relationship with Coinbase also. Coinbase is the largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Charlie Lee, having worked at the Coinbase for several years, has developed a close relationship with high level management at the exchange.
The Litecoin Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to increase the popularity of Litecoin by teaching the general public about the advantages of using virtual currencies like Litecoin. The Litecoin Foundation accepts donations which helps to fund Litecoin development. A good portion of the LTC core development team hold high profile positions within the organization.
Competition and Risks (1.6)
The following are LTC’s main competitors:
These should be considered when determining the project’s strengths:
- A community that works together in unison to address issues is a major advantage. It allows Litecoin to be adaptable and respond to external threats.
- Litecoin is also a very well known brand within the cryptocurrency market. This could be a difference maker as more individuals and organizations look to invest.
- Litecon is one of the few cryptocurrencies that can be purchased with government backed fiat currency like the US dollar. Newcomers to the market might be more willing to keep their money in Litecoin because it is relatively easy to deposit and withdraw their money using Litecoin.
- Litecoin can process more transactions than some of its larger competitors like Bitcoin. This could make Litecoin a more attractive option for potential partners that rely on fast transaction speeds.
Risk can hint at a project’s chances of ending in failure:
- Litecoin’s long term success could be directly related to the Bitcoin’s success. Litecoin has made efforts to position itself as a stand alone cryptocurrency but must do more to establish itself as a major player and competitor to Bitcoin.
- The release of the Lightning Network is a key point of question. If the Lightning Network is a failure Litecoin will need to develop new strategies.
- Litecoin could potentially lose its position as the most relevant alternative to Bitcoin. Newer and newer cryptocurrencies with more advanced technology will flood the market aiming to achieve the same goal as Litecoin.
Network and User Trends (1.8)
Trends seen in network activity can help us understand if the project is gaining or losing momentum. To get a better understanding of what each trend may signal please click here.
The amount of transactions that the network has processed has increased by 2,964% over the past year. This past month alone transactions processed has increased by 348%.
This is extremely healthy growth and it signals that more users are jumping on board. Transaction speeds continue to increase on other networks and this presents an opportunity.
The average transaction fee on the network as of January 2018 was 25 cents. The transaction fee has increased by 1,050%. This means that transaction fees increased by close to a third when compared to the amount of transactions processed over the past year. This is an indicator of a healthy network.
Hashrate increased by 5,250% this year. Taking a look at the chart below we can see that there was a huge spike in December 2017. This could signal that miners are bullish on LTC moving forward. It could also be the result of technological advancements.
The mining distribution of the network is partly centralized. This indicates that the network may not be as secure as a network that has a highly competitive approval distribution like Bitcoin does.
The amount of active users has increased by 2,225% in this past year. This is a very good sign. It signals that LTC is becoming widely used. Litecoin has out performed their major competitors in this category by a wide margin.
Financial Considerations (1.9)
Litecoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrenices in the world and it still has a lot of room for growth. The adaptability of the community plays a key part in this. When updates to network protocol are necessary LTC can move forward with little roadblocks. The community trusts the direction in which the development team are leading them. Early Segregated Witness adoption is a good example of this.
It’s key to remember that Litecoin functions similarly to its parent, Bitcoin. In this way it’s hard not to feel that Litecoin’s future is dependent on the continued health and growth of BTC. Faster transaction times make Litecoin a more attractive option for vendors and that can’t be overlooked.
All in all it’s difficult not to consider LTC the more versatile of the two. But it’s important to realize that Litecoin is competing against the entire cryptocurrency market, not just Bitcoin. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of cryptos that are looking to become the cryptocurrency of the future.
The network trends signal that LTC is growing rapidly. If the Lightning Network is a success and atomic swaps become a reality then Litecoin will increase in value. Potentially LTCcould be worth ¼ of a Bitcoin because the supply is roughly four times larger.
Litecoin has strong growth potential and should be looked at seriously by all investors in the market.
Overall Score: 8.2