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What are the differences between the Bitcoin and Litecoin algorithms and protocol?

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Litecoin is exactly like Bitcoin, but:

  • The hashing algorithm is CPU-friendly, meaning that having powerful GPU doesn't let you mine fast.
  • The difficulty of the blocks is set so they would be mined about every 2,5 minutes, instead of 10.

Other differences are cosmetic, like aiming to generate more Litecoins than there will be Bitcoins, using different port, etc.

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    What is the advantage of the "faster" blocks? Is the generally accepted confirmation interval now 24 blocks (or still only six)? – Thilo Nov 3 '11 at 11:46
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    If you just care for faster blocks, you should check out answer to this question: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/1557/… . Apparently Geist Gelt tries to keep their block generation at about 1 block per 15 seconds. – ThePiachu Nov 3 '11 at 12:36
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    ThePiachu Good link with lots of interesting references. @Thilo You are correct: if you want to have the same level of security you need to wait for 24 blocks. What matters here is time (1 hour) and not the number of blocks. This question may also interest you. – nmat Nov 3 '11 at 13:00
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    @theUnhandledException To minimize probability of successful double-spend by an agent with <50% of the hashrate for an unlimited amount of time, what matters it the number of blocks, not the amount of time. – Meni Rosenfeld Nov 3 '11 at 14:17
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    As far as I understand litecoin is less about denying GPU mining over CPU, but making stuff like ASICs not really viable. A by product of that is that GPUs don't have much advantage over CPUs. – placeybordeaux Feb 24 '13 at 18:32

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