Merchant Blog

What Is Litecoin, and How Is It Different Than Bitcoin?

January 9, 2018 4:19 pm Published by

Bitcoin processing gets a lot of press these days, but you’ve likely heard of Litecoin as well. If you’re not as familiar with it, read on to learn what Litecoin is, and how it differs from Bitcoin.

What is Litecoin?
Litecoin is one of the better-known cryptocurrencies. It was created in 2011 by former Google employee Charlie Lee, which makes it newer than Bitcoin, but more established than most other cryptocurrencies. By 2013 Litecoin was worth $1 billion, and as of December 2017, the total value of Litecoin was $18,000,000,000.

How is Litecoin Different Than Bitcoin?
Although they are both cryptocurrencies, Litecoin differs from Bitcoin in several ways. For starters, Litecoin requires less time to generate a block, it has a larger maximum coin limit (84 million compared to 21 million coins), and it uses a different hashing mechanism than Bitcoin.

Another difference occurs because Litecoin mining uses script in its algorithm. Mining computers require more memory for Litecoin than Bitcoin, so the cost of entry is higher. The creator hoped that this would make the Litecoin ecosystem fairer than Bitcoin.

Finally, fewer merchants currently accept Litecoin as a payment method, while Bitcoin has become an acceptable and fairly common form of payment for many e-commerce merchants and tech-savvy companies. Here are some large companies that accept Bitcoin payments.

One notable merchant that currently accepts Litecoin payments is Overstock. In August 2017, the online retail giant partnered with blockchain startup ShapeShift to accept more than 60 cryptocurrencies as payment at its online stores.

For all these differences, the two cryptocurrencies are still pretty similar. You can sell or buy Litecoin at a variety of exchanges, including Coinbase. You’ll need a Litecoin wallet to process transactions, and some wallet apps work with both Bitcoin and Litecoin.

If you’d like to be one of the first merchants in your industry to accept Bitcoin payments, click here to learn more and talk to us today about getting started!


What Is Litecoin, and How Is It Different Than Bitcoin?