Litecoin Vs. Bitcoin: Which Is Better?

by Andrew McGuinness     Jun 05, 2018

If you are new to the world of cryptocurrency, you are probably unaware of just how many digital currencies have become available in the last decade. Hint: it’s a lot. Many have had their ups, many more have had their downs, and quite a few have died miserably between the origination of cryptocurrencies and now.

Even if you are new to digital currencies, however, by this time you must have at least heard of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the most well-known coin and has remained the most valuable for the last decade. However, Litecoin is beginning to near the status of Bitcoin, finally giving it a run for its money.

1. Amount of coins available

Although Bitcoin is the highest valued digital currency for the time being, it has lowered substantially in value from it’s all-time high in winter of 2013. Because Litecoins are able to house about 84 million coins, while Bitcoin can go no higher than 21 million, Litecoin is at somewhat of an advantage. The reason for this is that more quantity leads to a cheaper price per coin.

While those buying into Bitcoin are usually left having to settle for only a fraction of a full coin, the sheer amount of Litecoins available allows for the purchase of whole units. It becomes confusing to calculate the value of a fraction of a coin, but this is not much of a downside or problem today considering the number of Bitcoin wallets available, like Electrum or Multibit, that allow you to view your digital currency in terms of fiat currencies such as the dollar, the euro, or the pound.

2. Processing period

The processing time of cryptocurrency transactions is, without a doubt, quick. As a matter of fact, currency is instantaneously sent because it is through purely digital means. When considering online banking and other methods of money transfer that use fiat or official currencies, and comparing these to the transfer processes of digital currencies, all digital methods are considered fast beyond belief.

However, if we are to get technical and dig into details, while Bitcoin takes about 9 minutes to complete a transaction that has gone through network participants, Litecoin takes a mere 2 and a half minutes. This difference in time may appear to be useless when considering the sometimes 7 day period normal banks take for an international transaction. However, businesses and merchants in particular are bound to find this speed attractive. Time is money, after all.

3. Algorithms

These two coins employ different algorithms as well. While Bitcoin employs the SHA-256 algorithm, which puts processing power above all else, Litecoin uses Scrypt. Scrypt is known for preferring high speed random access memory over the processing power that the SHA-256 algorithm favors.

Another key difference that the use of two distinct algorithms makes is that the Scrypt algorithm, unlike the SHA-256 algorithm, may be used successfully on a personal computer that is not nearly as powerful as the common mining computer.

What this means is that the possibility of mining Litecoins is expanded to reach those of us who would not be able to afford a high-powered mining device. This basically opens the possibility of mining up to the public, among which includes many people that would be very willing to give it a try once becoming familiar with the profits they may eventually gain from the mining process.

To be completely honest, if you are building a cryptocurrency portfolio, it would be advisable to invest both in the Litecoin and Bitcoin. Although the Litecoin still hasn’t reached the high regard that Bitcoin has steadily held over the past decade, it is filled with promising potential.

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