As many cryptocurrency users and investors know, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to revolutionize the world of finance and make digital, decentralized transactions a reality. However, it didn’t remain the only digital asset for long. Shortly after its inception, several altcoins were being released, with the most notable of the immediate releases being Litecoin, which is still relevant today. For those who are curious how Litecoin came to be and how it has managed to maintain its position as an important cryptocurrency, take a look at this brief history of Litecoin.
The Origins of Litecoin
Shortly after the release of Bitcoin and the development of several altcoins in response to Bitcoin, a former Google employee named Charlie Lee took notice in the growing interest in and use of cryptocurrencies and began developing his own project known as Fairbrix. His first project failed as a result of a bug in the software. Lee returned to the project with a different idea. This time, he implemented part of the Bitcoin source code into the software to get rid of the bug that was found in Fairbrix. The result was Litecoin, which Lee released in October 2011. The product was a close match to Bitcoin with a couple of notable differences that gave it an advantage, which will be covered in the next section.
The Rise of Litecoin
For the majority of Litecoin’s life, it has been a relatively subtle player in the cryptocurrency industry. (The exception was in late 2013, when we saw a big price jump corresponding with the implementation of several upgrades that improved the Litecoin software as a whole.) Aptly nicknamed Bitcoin’s silver by users, Litecoin used to live in Bitcoin’s shadow and remained a close second to the giant during the first years of its existence. If you take a look at the Litecoin price now, you may notice that it has surpassed that jump and made a huge leap towards the end of 2017.
Several reasons account for this sudden shift in Litecoin’s success. The first shift that occurred was in the industry as a whole as well as the realization that Litecoin was a sound investment. Some of the reasons investors took such a liking to the coin was because of the speed of its transactions, the ability to be mined on a simple computer rather than requiring expensive mining rigs, the greater amount of coins that were to be produced in comparison to other cryptocurrencies, and the flexibility and eagerness of the Litecoin team in terms of changing the code and experimenting with Litecoin to make improvements.
The second major shift that helped Litecoin rise above the other altcoins was its adoption of Segregated Witness in 2017, which established the Lightning Network in the Litecoin software. The adoption of this technology had a massive effect on the transaction speeds of Litecoin. This boost in transaction speeds along with the already low transaction fees further improved Litecoin’s visibility and attractiveness to investors and boosted Litecoin’s price from around $3 or $4 to an impressive $300.
Where It Stands Now
Litecoin is currently seventh in terms of market capitalizations and is priced at around $53 at the time of writing. Charlie Lee, who took a break from the project, plans on coming back to the Litecoin project and has lots of changes in store for Litecoin. For now, Litecoin should continue to be a major player in the cryptocurrency industry and will remain so as long as they continue to grow and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of cryptocurrency users and investors.