Litecoin has doubled today and has nearly quadrupled from last week. Litcoin is up over 100 times this year.
An influx of new money from both retail investors and institutional entities means that these alternative cryptocurrencies, or “altcoins”, are under new scrutiny as traders look to diversify away from bitcoin. One of the most prominent among them is Litecoin, in terms of mass appeal, market capitalization and potential for adoption.
Made in the image of bitcoin in its early days, Litecoin was one of the first to take its predecessor’s formula and tweak it. The first change relates to Litecoin’s blockchain, which uses the Scrypt protocol instead of SHA256. While this matters little to traders, miners who use hardware to run bitcoin’s network cannot switch over to Litecoin. This keeps bigger mining conglomerates away from Litecoin because they cannot easily optimize their profits by swapping to another coin, contributing to a more decentralized experience. Litecoin also has bigger blocks, and more coins in circulation, making it more affordable and swift when transacting.
As soon as Segregated Witness was released as a proposed blockchain upgrade to allow speedier off-chain transactions, Litecoin threw its full weight behind the proposal and was the first to integrate it. SegWit will allow Litecoin and others who adopt it to use the Lightning Network, which is nearing completion, empowering participants to exchange cryptocurrencies at virtually no cost.
Developers are quickly making headway on the Lightning Network, and it has recently passed almost all the quality assurance tests required to be released to the public. In a recent dry run, an alpha version was used to purchase coffee in Starbucks with no fees: a result hard to obtain with any other payment solution.
The ease of transacting with Litecoin makes eCommerce one of the most suitable environments for adoption, and stores like BTCTrip, Bitify, AllThingsLuxury, and Bitcoin.shop (as well as others) have joined in. Even popular retail ecommerce giant Overstock.com is accepting Litecoin as a form of payment. People can easily pay for gifts, vacations, household appliances, and even precious metals and gems with their Litecoin. While retail adoption is encouraging, cryptocurrency, merchants, exchanges, wallets and other infrastructure are also integrating Litecoin in growing numbers.