Litecoin is an open-source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was created by Charlie Lee as a fork of Bitcoin’s codebase. LTC, the digital asset, is the native currency of the Litecoin network. LTC is commonly referred to as “the silver to bitcoin’s gold”. It often serves as a testnet for Bitcoin, implementing upgrades before they are deployed with Bitcoin. Litecoin uses Scrypt, a memory intensive proof of work consensus algorithm which enables mining with consumer-grade hardware such as GPUs. Scrypt was chosen due to its memory-intensive features that limit the use of AISIC miners.
Litecoin was developed in October 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google and Coinbase engineer. Charlie Lee wanted to make Litecoin a better medium of exchange so he created a blockchain that was nearly identical to Bitcoin’s with the key differences being quicker block times (reduced from 10 minutes to 2.5 minutes) and a higher supply (increased from 21 million to 84 million). The block time was drastically reduced so that merchants could accept litecoin without having to wait too long for the transaction to receive enough confirmations from the network.
The supply was increased to prevent the digital currency from becoming too scarce and unaffordable. The development of the Litecoin protocol and digital asset are performed by Litecoin Core and are funded by the Litecoin Foundation. Litecoin Core and the Litecoin Foundation are separate entities that work closely together to move the project forward.