What is Litecoin?
One of the oldest alternative cryptocurrencies (alt or altcoin) in use, Litecoin started life as a “clone” of Bitcoin in October 2011, when it forked off the main Bitcoin Core client. It has very much come into its own since then, with its creator Charlie Lee still heavily involved in its continued development more than five years later.
Because of its roots, Litecoin bears a lot of technological similarities with Bitcoin in that it is a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency, it is not managed by central organisations and utilises the blockchain technology. It does differ on several accounts, however. Its chief differences to Bitcoin lie in its shorter block generation time (four times quicker at 2.5 minutes per block), a different hashing algorithm (SCRYPT, instead of SHA-256) and about 4 times as many coins as a production cap.
Litecoin’s healthy development has ensured continued technological advancements throughout the years, although this is at least partially owing to its relatively low userbase and small development team. This has translated to fewer obstacles in reaching consensus on upgrade proposals and adoptions, leading to successful implementations of technologies that its counterparts have had difficulty in achieveing.
Recent scaling advancements include the adoption of Segregated Witness in May 2017 and the Lightning Network, which effectively allowed its network to process an even greater number of transactions within the same time span. In contrast, Bitcoin today continues to struggle with consensus on the same technologies, with powerful factions (developers and miners, for example) at ideological odds with each other on how to scale the network.
Litecoin, along with Bitcoin and Dogecoin, became ubiquitous on faucet sites, helping ensure that it was widely distributed and used. Its longevity was ensured and online gambling has always been receptive to Litecoin even when it was hovering around $3 in price in 2016 after its last 100% rise in value three years earlier. But after its boom in 2017, where it sits today at above $40, Litecoin has become increasingly popular with online casinos seeking to attract more gamblers. Of late, there have even been attempts at Litecoin-only casinos, one of which is featured in this article.
Many believe Litecoin (LTC) still has a lot of potential and its current price represents good value. What is sure for now is that Bitcoins small brother is still one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in use. Certainly for gambling, anyway!
What’s unique about Litecoin?
Litecoin was the first of the major cryptocurrencies (or at least, in the top five) to adopt and successfully implement Segregated Witness (SegWit). Basically, this involved the splitting of transactions, segregating the unlocking signature (“witness” data) and re-attaching it at the end as a separate portion. In essence, creating a leaner way of storing data so that more data can be stored in the same amount of space, allowing more transactions in a block. A month later, it also completed the first-ever Lightning Network transaction, transferring a single litoshi (LTC’s equivalent of the satoshi) across the world in under one second.
Although announced as being the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold”, Litecoin was created specifically to improve or complement Bitcoin and has been used as a “testing ground” for technologies proposed for Bitcoin, as with the recent SegWit deployment.
How does Litecoin compare to other cryptocurrencies?
Litecoin’s innovative introduction:
Widespread use of SCRYPT in its proof-of-work algorithm.
The use of SCRYPT originally so that miners could mine both Bitcoin and Litecoin, as well as to address the edge that miners using video cards and ASICs over CPU miners. This was because SCRYPT is more memory intensive than Bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm, making it significantly more expensive to build GPUs and ASICs for SCRYPT.
It is important to note that the SCRYPT algorithm was used for the first time by a cryptocurrency called Tenebrix (now defunct). Fairbrix was next to adopt it, but its creator abandoned it when he launched Litecoin. Since then, hundreds of other alts have chosen to use SCRYPT, and it is safe to say that LTC’s success with it was largely responsible for this.
LTC’s quick transaction times are unlikely to be affected if rates were to quadruple or more, as its capacity remains far under used at the moment.
|1. Ease of use||8.5||7||9||8||6|
1. Ease of use
If you know how to perform a Bitcoin transaction, use a wallet with private keys and determine your own transaction fee, then you should have little problems using LTC. LTC has no surprises under its hood for the user especially since at its current price, you won’t be too concerned with using very small units as 1 cent is current 0.00025 LTC or 25,000 litoshi. Litecoin block explorers have also caught up with the sophistication of Bitcoin, so there’s a lot of detail that can be found on modern explorers such as those on litecoin.net and blockcypher.com.
Litecoin’s development is one of the most active in terms of altcoins, with its creator Charlie Lee taking a visible lead. It most recently released its most current stable client v0.14.2, for the first time being on par with the Bitcoin core client in terms of versions.
It was most famous this year for its successful implementation of SegWit and Lightning Network, and continues to provide security to the Dogecoin network (through merge-mining), so there is a lot of fuel left in the LTC tank for future experiments.
The Litecoin Foundation is also very transparent, always publishing current financial statements, helping recruit LTC’s first full time developer in June 2017, hinting that even more aggressive developments are in store.
3. Adoption and popular support
While it was arguably more popular in its early years, Litecoin suffered a slump in use and adoption from 2015 and 2016. But this all changed very quickly in 2017 when a boom in alts, coupled with LTC’s SegWit adoption, saw its price rise more than 10 times. This attracted a host of new investors and has reinvigorated interest in the crypto community. Mining hashpower increased noticeably, as did the creation of new wallets and websites now supporting LTC.
Judging from the tweets of its founder, Charlie Lee, Litecoin remains ideologically linked to Bitcoin, with recent support shown for the legacy chain during the 1 August hardfork. Success with Bitcoin should continue to give positive spillover to Litecoin.
How does Litecoin compare in terms of gambling use?
If you’re the kind to want to deposit and withdraw many times, you’ll love the speed of LTC transactions. Compared to BTC, confirmations with LTC benefit two-fold at current situations with the network. Firstly, blocks are mined 4 times quicker, with roughly 2.5 minutes in between. Secondly, the network is extremely light and blocks are far from being filled with transactions. Given current capacity and SegWit, traffic could theoretically explode and you’d still get the same speed.
Spam attacks are virtually non-existent and the LTC network just gets stronger and more robust.
Miners still get a substantial reward for finding blocks so that has helped keep fees low. Litecoin fees are among the lowest among the heavyweights of crypto, with close to zero fees still possible. If you’re using your own wallet, you’d still be able to get confirmed in the next block with a 1,000 litoshi fee (that’s about 1/25th of a cent).
Litecoin may have been touted as the “Bitcoin washer”, as it was one of the earliest cryptos easily traded for Bitcoin but technologically, it has no advantages or disadvantages over Bitcoin in terms of anonymity. Much like Bitcoin, once you dissect its public transparency and immutability features, you’ll realise there’s not much hidden about your transactions other than identity.
OK I’m interested! How do I start?
But it’s good to practise safety and privacy when it comes to cryptocurrency, so you should try to installa wallet with your own private keys. One of the easiest lightweight wallets you can use is Electrum-LTC, which works exactly like the easy peasy Electrum Bitcoin wallet, which uses a seed passphrase to secure your coins.
We also suggest Exodus and Jaxx for a graphic interface that’s simple and intuitive, allows you to keep multiple cryptos including LTC, and keeps you in control of your private key.
If you don’t trust anyone except Litecoin, you can opt for the Litecoin Core. You’ll be downloading the entire blockchain with this full node implementation but it fully verifies all data and is the most private.
Where do I get Litecoin from?
Easily one of the oldest and most used alt, LTC is still sold on many exchanges and markets. It’s also still relatively affordable to mine, at least for a middle-class earner. But to buy your first LTC, try:
- Coinbase.com Credit and debit card, bank transfer
- Paxful.com Credit, debit card from most of EU, Skrill
- Poloniex.com USDT (tether) or BTC
- OKCoin.cn BTC, China bank deposits
- Bittrex.io BTC, ETH
Show me 5 gambling sites that accept Litecoin today!
Litecoin is what we call one of the “Big 4” of gambling sites, along with BTC, DOGE and ETH. Here are five sites that you can deposit and gamble LTC at, in no real order.
We kick the list of with a Litecoin only site! OddEvenBets is a new gambling site with a really simple game of Odd or Even with a 1% house edge. Choose an outcome from 0-9 (yes, zero is technically an even number) and win the amount you bet. Your winnings are automatically returned to your address after 1 confirmation. Minimum bets are 0.01 and max bets are 0.1 LTC. It’s a new site and plans to introduce more with growth, but it’s a great place to start testing the speed and efficiency of LTC.
FortuneJack’s mainstay are a traditional crypto Dice game, as well as a suite of casino-style games such as roulette and even Live Dealer table games. Complete with a chat function to interact with other players, you can even take advantage of a Welcome Bonus up to 130% Deposit. Each month, you can also claim a 100% Deposit Bonus. If you want to test the games before depositing, you can claim a small LTC bonus from a faucet.
Recently upgraded, Anonymous Casino’s is a very attractive online gambling portal with all the trappings of a typical casino: slots, table games and even poker. If you tire of Live Dealers, they’ve got a decent sportsbook on show as well. With anonymous play, there’s every chance this could be the next big thing. Only BTC and LTC accepted.
For a site that’s kept as simple and bare as it started out three years ago, 999dice continues to attract new players to its famous 0.1% house edge dice game. With nothing but a dice game and a chat box in your browser window, there’s little to distract you from betting LTC. Faucets and rain will give you free LTC (and four other cryptos) if you want to try it out.
The BetOnline brand is most famous for its sportsbook and features the very best of American sports events. They offer plenty of bets for Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeders Cup. But you’re free to try out their regular casino and Poker with $5,000 in New Player Freerolls. One of the oldest referral programme online, it also offers $100 per qualified referral.