The Litecoin (LTC) price is currently $59.0545 in USD, with a circulating supply of 57.89M LTC. Its market capitalization (market cap) is $3.42B. $241.58M worth of LTC has been traded in the last 24 hours, with its price changing by +6.22% over this period.
Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin (BTC) that launched on October 13th, 2011. It was created by Charlie Lee, a Google employee at the time.
When comparing Litecoin to Bitcoin, there are three often-cited differences: decreased block times, Scrypt instead of the SHA-256 hashing algorithm, and a much larger (4x) maximum coin cap.
LTC’s block time is around 2.5 minutes, compared to BTC’s 10 minutes. This facilitates faster block confirmations, which arguably allows receivers to safely accept LTC faster than BTC.
LTC uses Scrypt for its hashing algorithm, while BTC uses SHA-256. The difference between the two is that Scrypt relies heavily on computer memory for mining computations, compared to SHA-256 which depends primarily on pure hashing power. The motivation behind using Scrypt was to discourage the creation of Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for Litecoin mining, thereby allowing average computers to mine the coin profitably. In recent years, however, ASICs have been created for Scrypt, thus killing mining profitability on normal computers.
The maximum supply of LTC that will ever be created is 84,000,000 compared to BTC’s 21,000,000. This change has little benefit, out of perhaps a psychological one, as BTC is divisible up to 8 digits.
While Litecoin does have potential advantages over Bitcoin, you could argue that they aren’t significant enough to shift adoption or to compete with upcoming cryptocurrencies. With that said, Litecoin has been a great test ground for new technologies. It was the first major coin to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit) and was also used for the first Lightning Network transaction.
Learn more in our guides
- What is Litecoin? | A Complete Beginner’s Guide
- Litecoin vs Bitcoin In-Depth Comparison
- How to Buy Litecoin | A Step-by-step Guide
Litecoin Price History
Like BTC, LTC was released without a pre-mine or any fundraising. Initially it had no value, before it began being traded on exchanges. Today, Litecoin is the number 7 largest cryptocurrency, with a $3.42B market cap. Today’s LTC price is $59.0545 and it has a 57.89M circulating supply.