Litecoin: Advantages, Mining, and the Future

I’m an avid Quora user. When I have some time to kill and feel like being helpful, I often use the site to answer some of the many questions people ask. As Litecoin popularity has been growing since its price took off to the $45-50 range, so have questions about it on Quora been increasing. In this article, I’m going to be answering some of the most common questions about Litecoin that have been appearing on Quora.

What are some of the advantages that Litecoin has over Bitcoin?

This is a very logical starting point when talking about Litecoin. Many have made the comparison of Litecoin being the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, including its creator Charlie Lee, but what does that mean to someone looking to invest in crypto assets?

Most new coins, assets, and platforms we see launching almost every day are often much more than just a currency. Typically they are platforms or apps that do something besides just act as a store of value. Ethereum has its smart contracts, Golem has its cloud computing, and Streamr has its data streams. So what does Litecoin do? Nothing. It’s just a store of value, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own purpose.

On the technical side of things, the most obvious advantages to Litecoin are its lower transaction costs and its faster transaction times compared to Bitcoin. First, let’s talk about the cost. Every time you want to send Bitcoin, you need to pay the network a fee to process your payment. I’m going to use the Exodus wallet as my example today, and I want to compare sending $10 with Bitcoin and with Litecoin. When I try to use Bitcoin, Exodus tells me the network fee will be $6.48. When I do the same with Litecoin, the fee is $0.22. Just for comparison’s sake, a $10 Ethereum transaction would be $0.14.

Lastly, with its faster block time, Litecoin transactions often complete in under a minute, and never more than an hour. Bitcoin transactions can take hours to complete and are seldom less than half an hour.

litecoin and future

What is the future of Litecoin?

This is a tough question mostly because the entire crypto asset space is so new. This is just my opinion, but I suspect that Litecoin will be used mostly as a way to move money around quickly and cheaply, and as a relatively safe and low volatility store of value. Litecoin has a lot of support, and so I firmly believe it’s here to stay.

But can we expect to see the 50-100% price swings in a single day that speculators love? I personally don’t think so, and for more cautious investors, this is a good thing. Swings will happen, but I don’t believe that Litecoin will be defined by its swings. Instead, it will be defined by its relative stability and usefulness.

Is it worth it to mine Litecoin?

Questions about mining come up daily, and for almost every major and minor crypto asset, even ones that can’t be mined like Ripple and Stellar Lumens.

When Litecoin first came out, it claimed to be ASIC resistant. That was true for quite a long time, but once interest grew in the coin and Scrypt in general, the cryptography behind Litecoin really took off and an ASIC was inevitable. Now that ASICs are the standard for Litecoin mining, CPU and GPU mining are no longer profitable.

Many ASICs, especially those for Scrypt based assets, are currently suffering from a severe shortage of supply. Earlier this year, a Bitmain L3+ would have cost you around $1200 USD. Now they are completely sold out in almost all areas, and prices are edging ever closer to $5000 dollars per unit.

At this point, the only way a person could mine Litecoin profitably is either by purchasing an appropriate ASIC at a fair price, which is very difficult to do, or to try your luck at cloud mining.

Is Litecoin finished growing?

This is another common question that is usually coming from speculators that want to buy low and sell high. There is again no definite answer for this, but as the entire crypto space is growing by the day, and Litecoin has seen a high level of use and adoption, it’s safe to say that the answer is no, Litecoin is not finished yet. If you are looking for a long term crypto investment, not a short term day trade, then Litecoin is absolutely worth your consideration.

Will Litecoin reach $100?

It’s entirely possible. However, there would need to be a reason for an asset to double in value. One of those reasons may very well be atomic swaps and the Lightning Network which is being spearheaded by the creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee.

Atomic swaps will theoretically allow for a decentralized, exchangeless process to swap one crypto asset for another, and Litecoin is up first for the feature. With the Lightning Network, it may be possible in the future for someone who only owns Bitcoin to do an atomic swap into Litecoin for the sole purpose of making a purchase and avoiding the high Bitcoin transaction fees. This kind of use case could easily increase the demand, and thus increase the price of Litecoin over time.

Another possibility could be the eventual mass adoption of crypto assets by the general public, and people’s preference for large, round numbers. What I mean by this, is in the future, the general public may feel more comfortable investing in a currency where they can purchase whole units affordably. It makes sense that people feel better owning whole units of something instead of a number hidden behind a decimal and an oppressive looking number of zeros. In short, owning 10 LTC may psychologically feel better than owning just 0.11554 BTC (at today’s prices).

Are you disappointed with Litecoin?

Let me pose a hypothetical question.

Let’s say you invested $100 in Asset A and $100 in Asset B. You end up with 0.1 of asset A and 25 of asset B.

Six months later, your Asset A investment is worth $410 and your asset B investment is worth $1100. Would you be disappointed in asset A, asset B, or neither?

In this example, asset A is Bitcoin, and asset B is Litecoin. If you were to put in $100 in each in February of this year. With each currency, you would have made a substantial profit, but you would have made more with Litecoin. When looking at these numbers, it’s easy to say that the average investor should not be disappointed with their Litecoin returns.

However, if you take a look at /r/litecoin on reddit, you will see a number of meme images expressing disappointment that when Bitcoin took off from $1800 at it’s dip to over $4000, Litecoin didn’t go up with it. This kind of sentiment is understandable, but if you look at overall performance for this year, Litecoin is by far the winner between the two. It should also be noted that during said Bitcoin dip to $1800, Litecoin did not suffer from much of any dip at all.

Should I buy Litecoin in 2017 and beyond?

Yes, I think you should. I know I’m going to. Litecoin has proven itself to be robust and reliable, and those are qualities any crypto asset should strive for.

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