Litecoin is different from Bitcoin in the following ways, however none of them are particularly useful and on the contrary are only less worthy.

  • 84 million vs 21 millions: since Bitcoin is divisible upto atleast nine decimals and also micro BTC can be used for dealing with low amounts

  • Faster blocks, 2.5 minutes vs 10 minutes average: six confirmations of Bitcoin are not equivalent of six confirmations of Litecoin, so Litecoin payments are usually confirmed after many more confirmations. It also wastes mining power because in Litecoin, most of the time miners may start work with non-best blocks.

  • scrypt vs SHA-256: since scrypt can be relatively efficiently run on CPU/GPU, it means botnets can easily control a lot of hashing power. Also, scrypt is relatively less analyzed and used than SHA-256, so it may not be more secure than SHA-256.

Technically, Bitcoin does what Litecoin does in an equal or better way. Also, Bitcoin testnet can be used to experiment with new features.

Why do we need Litecoin that actually has monetary value (around USD2.7 per LTC now)? Is it just promoted by a group of people who missed the Bitcoin get-rich boat?

Bitcoin is a novel concept and early adopters rightly earn their rewards for the risk they have taken.

  • not sure why this question is down-voted
    – Medicine
    Jun 25, 2013 at 1:23
  • 2
    I didn't down vote you, but it was probably because your "question" is already biased
    – T9b
    Jun 25, 2013 at 14:51
  • 1
    @Medicine I didn't down vote you either, but this question has been asked before.
    – user3930
    Jun 26, 2013 at 12:57
  • 7
    Likely the question was downvoted because it's a "push question", that is, a question asked more to influence opinion than to seek information. The equivalent of "How would it affect your likelihood of voting for Jack Smith if you knew he fathered an illegitimate child with his daughter's 19 year old babysitter?" Jun 30, 2013 at 0:37
  • @DavidSchwartz lol
    – Medicine
    Jun 30, 2013 at 6:47

4 Answers 4


Well, Litecoin's main aim is to make mining easier for the common man.

The problem with pure SHA-256 mining is that it is not very hard to design hardware that can perform mining at an astonishing speed. We can see this with the currently very much ongoing rise of the ASIC mining industry.

Since scrypt is more complex when it comes to hardware - scrypt not only requires many processor cycles, but also requires intensive memory use - it is harder to design hardware specifically for scrypt mining.

The result of this is that Litecoin mining will be profitable for the average joe for a longer period of time than Bitcoin mining did, when it would be adopted just as fast. Since it does not, the arrival of dedicated scrypt mining hardware will be even more deferred, to the benefit of the miners.

Besides this, I have to agree with you that the other differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin are only minor. Total currency is really not that important since both are very divisible. And faster confirmations are not required either, most Bitcoin transactions are considered valid upon first notice, since it is hard to perform a double-spend attack. (Note that you should better require a transaction to have a fee included when you want to consider it confirmed upon first notice.) Also, after one confirmation, pretty much all transactions can be considered final.

  • 1
    How do you weigh the risks of botnets dominating this space? I bet the "real" avergae joe is most probably a victim of botnet takeover than actually literate enough to mine litecoins.
    – Medicine
    Jun 25, 2013 at 1:54
  • Hmm, good point. I have no idea how big a role botnets can play in this story, to be honest. Jun 25, 2013 at 8:25
  • you're right, a botnet could dominate litecoin. but at least that's a better use than they're usually put to. Nov 22, 2013 at 4:40

Because it will be easier to mine for the average joe.

There are other innovations also. If you didn't know the Litecoin network can handle more transactions than the Bitcoin network.

You don't know that much about Litecoin.

I don't see why Bitcoin should have a monopoly over the "alternate currency market".

You missed the point.

Botnets can still mine for Bitcoins or they can actually dominate Bitcoin mining. They could have dominated in the past. Just because some guys know how to put a few parts together and have some programming skills that doesn't mean their computers can't get infected with a well designed botnet.

If you didn't know most of the Bitcoins are in the hands of less than 1000 people. Those rich guys could manipulate the system.

This is why you need Litecoins and other alternative cryptocurrencies. It was clear that this could happen from the moment Bitcoin was designed. This would also go against what Bitcon was made for....a free market. This is why Bitcoin was open sourced.

Satoshi Nakamoto deserves money. If he would cash in his Bitcoins I wouldn't hold anything against him.


"The community of users determine a digital currency's value."

Litecoin made easy for the average Joe to mine. This combined with the second mover advantage has became a really powerful initial hype.
As Bitcoin mining stopped being profitable over time, a market need emerged for mining, since the hardware and knowledge was still there. Litecoin perfectly filled this gap.

Personally, I think mining is a need, not a goal, consumers does not benefit from it.


The community of users determine a vitrual currency's value. Many people are well aware of Bitcoin now... But they missed the boat. And its limited number will likely keep values high and a little less stable, resulting in the common man being less interested in the concept or its risk.

On the other hand, there's DOGECOIN. Highly popular, rapidly growing Just released three weeks ago, super cheap, easy to mine, and it has the potential to mine 100 BILLION coins compared to Bitcoin's 21 million. The number of people that can be involved in Dogecoin (who are aware of vitrual currencies and don't want to miss the boat again), now have another chance. DOGECOIN'S huge number of coins will mean it will be affordable for a long time - maybe forever - but it also means there are enough coins to supply all world users without having to deal with infinitely smaller percentages of one coin.

Since values are what a currency's community gives it - consider the fact that Dogecoin's community will be much greater numbers AND more world saturation. Now that's a community, and THAT will be sustaining value - more stable value - which will likely never get to the peak that Bitcoin did, but in my humble opinion, will more likely be the currency of choice for the long term (ultimately resulting in what could be a higher value than Bitcoin).

Lastly, it has something that no other currency has - a likeable "personality". Go see for yourself.

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