Litecoin: before and after the Bitcoin boom

I think Satoshi is great, and Bitcoin is awesome. I didn’t fix Bitcoin. I just made small changes that made [Litecoin] a little bit better. – Charlie Lee, the Litecoin founder.

While the whole world is interestedly observing everything going on around Bitcoin, other “secondary” alternatives start leaving their shadows. You have probably happened to hear about Litecoin as “electronic silver” in respect of “gold” (Bitcoin), but many users are forced to seriously consider prospects of litecoins by the speculative fever throwing most mainstream buyers by the board (the record cost is >$1,000). If an unparalleled demand for BTC makes someone pay attention to this cryptocurrency only now, others have taken care long before to keep litecoins among others in their wallets for “daily expenses”…

As of today it’s not quite clear concerning the consequences of this incredible madness with BTC transactions on exchanges. Hence comes the question: what will the three most popular cryptocurrencies look like (so far they are Bitcoin-Litecoin-Peercoin) once the peak is over? Lee looks into the present and the future of litecoins optimistically:

It’s more abundant, and more lightweight…

Indeed, if Bitcoin’s life span expires approximately in 2040 (until the number of mined “coins” reaches 21 million), “electronic silver” must last at least 4 times longer (the limiting amount of issued coins is 84 millions). Despite conceptual similarities with its forerunner, LTC has a series of specific features, thanks to which it not only equals to the previous one but also seems more appealing in the outlook:

    to carry out transactions in the system, the Scrypt function is used, and its limiting factor is memory, not processing efficiency; blocks are generated within some 2.5 minutes, therefore, transactions are confirmed faster; a little more than two years are left before LTC emission is cut down; emission of BTC was cut down almost a year ago; LTC mining is more effective when CPU is applied (BTC requires addressing to the graphical processor GPU). In that way, a Litecoin miner built into your website will be repaid quicker; once every 840,000 blocks are generated, the reward for mining is decreased by 2 times, and so forth.

I could have keep adding points to this list but for one moment, which will predetermine the BTC position on the cybercurrency market in many aspects. On the Internet, the coming release of ASIC devices is actively discussed. They say, these tools will supplant conventional video card miners. Of course, all these issues are under question, but some manufacturers (for instance, this one) try to ensure us that they still exist:

So far ASICs are a topic to be considered during leisure time, rather than a reality, but let’s try to imagine them in an everyday use. A word goes (and I share this opinion to some extent) that owners of these chips will be able to mine BTC much faster forcing out “weaker” competitors. Excitement of the mainstream audience will gradually come down, and everyone will plunge into discovering an easier to mine and “fresher” currency. Well, everything is possible…

I have no doubts that Litecoin, as a young and promising replacement, will be rather okay. Bitcoin will be a lot for the minority while “light” coins will start to grow in a progressive way. As a result, an increasing demand will contribute to an increasing price (in the light of recent events, we can observe it even now. On Friday 1 LTC would cost $47. Today the growth speed together with flurry faded a little bit). To all, it will be more difficult to generate LTC because of many competitors, and cost price for this currency will hit a pocket of a potential buyer.

Nevertheless, Lee is reluctant to knock Bitcoin down by making a predictable forecast for the future of this currency:

It’s still in an inflationary stage. Once that stops, in 2040, that’s when things get interesting…

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