Litecoin vs Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) are two respected cryptocurrencies that arose as competitors to Bitcoin (BTC). Litecoin came along two years after Bitcoin in 2011, and it’s been one of the top cryptos ever since. Litecoin also uses a proof of work mechanism to verify transactions, but its approach is a little different from Bitcoin’s and it’s notably faster at verifying them.

Bitcoin was a pioneer, but it doesn’t scale well. Bitcoin Cash was created in order to address the problems it has coping with large numbers of transactions. Bitcoin Cash can fit more transactions on each block, offering greater capacity and lower network fees, because transactions do not face much competition to be included in new blocks.

We are going to compare Bitcoin Cash vs Litecoin by assessing their hash rates (an expression of total network mining capacity), transaction fees, and their historical price movements.

Bitcoin Cash vs Litecoin: Speed

Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin both take around 10 minutes to verify a block, as you can see for yourself here. Neither of these cryptocurrencies exactly cover themselves in glory. Taking 10 minutes to add a new transaction to a new block is bad in today’s world, where we expect payments to be instantaneous, and it gets worse.

A fully confirmed transaction on the BCH network will take from 20 minutes to one hour. It varies according to the number of new blocks that the merchant needs to get confirmed at any one time. 

If you hear someone say that Bitcoin Cash is faster than Bitcoin, then what they’re usually talking about are zero-confirmation transactions. These are the type that don’t need to be confirmed by the network to be considered valid. 

The BCH team suggests that merchants should accept such transactions in order to clear payments in 5–10 seconds. In contrast, the Litecoin network can manage a new block every 2–3 minutes.

The speed of a transaction comes down to how many confirmations a merchant needs. For instance, Kraken needs 12 confirmations before Litecoin deposits will appear in a user’s account, resulting in a deposit time of about 30 minutes.

Some merchants will accept just 1–2 confirmations on the Litecoin network, which means a clearing time of 3–6 minutes. Merchants need 6 confirmations on average, which translates to 15–20-minute transactions when using Litecoin.

So, it looks like whether you are using Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin you’ll be twiddling your thumbs for at least half an hour before you receive a fully confirmed transaction. You can see why Bitcoin Cash’s zero confirmation transactions seem so appealing, but they do leave a lot to be desired in terms of security, because additional confirmations are needed to stop double spend attacks happening.

Litecoin vs Bitcoin: Transaction Fees

Litecoin’s network costs have been getting consistently cheaper over the last six months. At the time of writing, the Litecoin fee is less than $0.01.

Bitcoin Cash’s fees have remained steady over the same period, thanks to Bitcoin Cash’s large block size. Its transaction fees only rose above $0.01 a handful of times in the last year.

The differences between them are negligible and both currencies could be said to offer very cheap transaction fees.

Litecoin vs Bitcoin Cash: Hashrates

The next thing we’ll consider as we look at Bitcoin Cash vs Litecoin is hashrate. This is a measure of the total amount of “mining power” that miners or the individuals who validate transactions offer to a particular network.

The higher the hash rate the more secure the network is. The tthinking here is that more users committing more money and technical expertise to set up and deploy more mining equipment means that it’s harder for any single person or group to control the network by acquiring 51% of the hashrate total. 

Litecoin’s hashrate has been dropping over the last year, from 430 TH/S in June 2019, to around 230 TH/S a second by June of 2020. This is an indication that fewer miners are on hand to secure the network and that this could make it more vulnerable to a “51% attack”. In contrast, the Bitcoin Cash hashrate has remained fairly steady.

A standout feature of Bitcoin Cash is that miners can also secure the network. If mining becomes super profitable it’s likely there will be a fast spike in the hash rate. 

Litecoin vs Bitcoin Cash: Controversy

Both the Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin projects have attracted their fair share of controversy.

Litecoin’s founder, Charlie Lee sold all of his Litecoins in 2017, near to their highest market value.

It may have been amazingly well judged and fantastically lucrative for him, but for those in the Litecoin community it seemed like he was demonstrating a tremendous loss of faith in his own product.

Bitcoin Cash’s project leader is Roger Ver, who seems to be a constant magnet for controversy. He’s thought of as a divisive figure in the crypto community and he does not pull any punches when expressing his opinions.

Ver is not averse to promoting his own coin. If you visit and try to buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash is your default option, which seems a little underhand and may trick the uninitiated into making a purchase that they didn’t intend. Also, some people in the crypto community feel that Roger Ver diluted the value when he forked Bitcoin, and that it might be more valuable now if he hadn’t.

In Roger Ver’s favor is his unrelenting advocacy for the adoption of cryptocurrencies. He is dogeared in his attempts to enthuse influential people and large retailers about alternative currencies. It could be argued that any loss in value that his forking of Bitcoin may have caused has been more than made up for by his tireless dedication to promoting it.

Litecoin vs Bitcoin Cash Conclusion

Litecoin vs Bitcoin Cash is a hard competition to call because these two cryptos have a lot in common. They’re both quicker than Bitcoin, but Bitcoin Cash charges less per transaction, has a higher hashrate, superior price action, and with Roger Ver as its aggressive promoter, so Bitcoin Cash looks like the superior currency to the unbiased observer. That said, at the end of the day the one you invest in is up to you, and your criteria may be entirely different.