Charlie Lee is recognized as both the founder and creator of Litecoin. He was a graduate of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before becoming a computer scientist, with invaluable experience of working at one of the biggest software brands in the world: Google. He created Litecoin in 2011, probably with no idea how big it would become down the line.
He also joined Coinbase in 2013, taking over as the crypto exchange’s Director of Engineering. In this role, Lee set his own work on Litecoin’s development to one side. He has since said that he felt his primary goal had to be helping people discover and hold Bitcoins.
Lee eventually left Coinbase towards the end of 2017, and turned his attention back to Litecoin on a full-time basis. He has since become managing director of the Litecoin Foundation — a non-profit organization supporting Litecoin.
A Deeper Look at Litecoin History
We talked about Litecoin history briefly above, but now let’s delve deeper. As one of the earlier cryptocurrencies on the market, Litecoin has been referred to as the “silver” to the “gold” that is Bitcoin. That’s no small compliment, considering the sheer popularity of Bitcoin the world over.
Litecoin (also known as LTC) is a fork of Bitcoin’s codebase, but is different in a few ways. One of the biggest contrasts between the two virtual currencies is that Litecoin’s block times are a mere two and a half minutes, making transactions in LTC is quicker.
Another difference is that Litecoin’s protocol leverages an alternative consensus mechanism known as “scrypt”, instead of the “SHA-256” proof of work Bitcoin’s miners use. At the time of writing, more than 66m LTC are in circulation, edging nearer and nearer to the cap of 84m.
Since its 2011 release, LTC has been recognized as a key digital asset: its market capitalization even hit the $1bn mark just two years after it was released. LTC was also placed as the second- and third-highest cryptocurrency market valuation for quite a while.
Today, Litecoin’s market capitalization sits within the top 10 of more than 1,500 recorded cryptocurrencies. Its market valuation has exceeded $8bn, and its price at the time of writing is more than $50.
LTC started to utilize the Segregated Witness protocol in the first half of 2017, joining in on the upgrade process Bitcoin underwent earlier that year. Litecoin undertook its first Lightning Network transaction, too, from Zurich in Germany to San Francisco, California.
Charlie Lee also came back to the development team following his brief spell at Coinbase, and Litecoin has an impressive roadmap designed to drive its ongoing success.
Key Reasons Why Crypto Investors Choose LTC
Here are a few major reasons why investors in cryptocurrency choose to use Litecoin:
- Fast transactions: Litecoin is known for its quick transactions, due to the two and a half minute block time (compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minute block time).
- Mining distribution: Litecoin’s fans prefer its method of distribution for the scrypt mining, recognizing this model as a fairer alternative to others.
- Litecoin’s liquidity and scarcity: Many more LTC coins are available compared to BTC, and 84m LTC will have been created by the time the cap is reached. This adds digital scarcity to the LTC tokens and increases the market liquidity at the same time.
- More experimentation: Litecoin’s developers have implemented Segregated Witness and completed Lightning Transactions ahead of Bitcoin’s team. Litecoin’s users also feel the developers are more prepared to run tests and trials on new code, which may lead to amazing innovations.
We hope this concise guide to Litecoin history answered your questions about Litecoin’s fascinating creation. If you want to learn more, you can find a wealth of other pieces on this cryptocurrency across our site.