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Litecoin / US Dollar Chart, LTC/USD ()
Litecoin is a cryptographic payment system created in October 2011 on the basis of the Bitcoin code. Litecoin became the second altcoin (after Namecoin) and the third cryptocurrency in history. In the crypto community, it is conventionally called ‘digital silver’ by analogy with Bitcoin, which is deemed ‘digital gold.’
Litecoin project history
The founder of the project is Charles Lee. He published the source code of the core on 7 October 2011 and launched the distributed network on 13 October. Firstly, his network was less decentralized and secure but even then it stood out due to its increased scalability and fast transactions with minimum fees.
Charlie Lee advocates the ideas of Satoshi Nakamoto and promotes cryptocurrencies since day one. He did not strive to outrank or replace Bitcoin. His goal was to provide an alternative to the first cryptocurrency. Before his crypto project, Mr Lee worked as a software engineer in Guidewire Software (2003–2007) and in Google (2007–2013). While developing Litecoin at full blast, he was employed as an engineering manager by the Coinbase crypto exchange (2013–2017).
The project is officially owned by the Litecoin Foundation, which was a nonprofit organisation at first. Then in April 2017, the Foundation was registered in Singapore as a public company limited by guarantee. Charlie Lee is the managing director. Besides him, the board of directors includes Xinxi Wang, Alan Austin, and Zing Yang.
In December 2017, Charlie Lee sold his coin supply to avoid a conflict of interest and any influence on the litecoin price with the existing digital cash.
Litecoin cryptocurrency features
The payment system operates on the similarly-named coins — litecoins (on exchanges they received the LTC ticker). A litecoin is divided into 100 million fractions named litoshi.
Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin: these systems have the same architecture and similar software code. Blockchains of both cryptocurrencies operate on the Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm. The difficulty of mining both coins is recalculated every 2016 blocks. The initial reward to miners was also the same — 50 coins per block.
However, Litecoin is not the Bitcoin’s branch because its blockchain did not separate from the parental one. Charlie Lee created it from scratch and borrowed only open source code and ideas. There were differences between cryptocurrencies from the start, and they multiplied over time:
|Financial and technical parameters||Litecoin||Bitcoin|
|Issuance limitation||84 million LTC||21 million BTC|
|The time required to create a block and get the first transaction validated||~2.5 minutes||~10 minutes|
|Average commission for a transaction (in May 2020)||0.000290 LTC
|Cryptographic hash function||Scrypt||SHA-256|
|The regular halving of reward||Every 840 thousand blocks||Every 210 thousand blocks|
|Current reward for a block||12.5 LTC
(from 5 August 2019)
(from 11 May 2020)
|Average block size (in May 2020)||0.03 МБ||1.29 МБ|
|Blockchain size (in May 2020)||25.30 ГБ||277.90 ГБ|
At first, litecoin addresses began with letter L or number 3. Since April 2017, after SegWit was activated, instead of the addresses with prefix 3, addresses with letter M came into use (they are now preferred). Some blockchain explorers or third-party wallets still support the old format with number 3. If the old address is not accepted somewhere, it can be converted to the new format via a P2SH converter.
The development team created the official wallet — Litecoin Core. This is full-fledged client software available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. There is simplified software — Electrum Litecoin, also for these three operating systems.
Litecoin price dynamics
Until the summer of 2012, early miners exchanged LTC coins only for BTC and less often for NMC, because there were no other cryptocurrencies. They had over-the-counter deals, and not through marketplaces but by personal agreement on forums. The first exchange rate was mentioned in April 2012: 1 LTC for 0.001 BTC. If you consider that BTC was already at 5.50 US dollars, then in terms of fiat, LTC was worth 0.000182 US dollars. In July 2012, LTC was listed on exchanges, where the first price was formed at 0.0325 US dollars.
LTC’s ups and downs in 2013–2018
A timeline of strong trends with a significant increase or decrease in the LTC price which led to highs and lows of the year:
- 2013. During a flat period on 23 October, a low was set at 1.70 USD. From 18 November to 5 December: 4.13 USD ⤴ 44.53 USD (a high). From 11 to 19 December: 36.29 USD ⤵ 13.43 USD.
- 2014. From 1 to 7 January: 24.35 USD ⤴ 29.24 USD (a high). From 12 January to 3 March: 27.05 USD ⤵ 12.78 USD. During a flat period on 29 December, a low was set at 2.69 USD.
- 2015. From 1 to 14 January: 2.70 USD ⤵ an all-time low of 1.16 USD. From 15 June to 9 July: 2.02 USD ⤴ 7.54 USD (a high).
- 2016. From 7 to 15 January: 3.60 USD ⤵ 3.00 USD (a low). From 23 April to 16 June: 3.33 USD ⤴ 5.66 USD (a high).
- 2017. During a flat period on 25 January, a low was set at 3.71 USD. From 24 November to 18 December: 77.97 ⤴ an all-time high of 358.34 USD. From 19 to 30 December: 350.25 USD ⤵ 218.96 USD.
- 2018. From 1 to 6 January: 229.03 USD ⤴ 296.45 USD (a high). From 7 January to 5 February: 288.45 USD ⤵ 125.33 USD. From 6 November to 14 December: 55.95 USD ⤵ 23.46 USD (a low).
LTC price changes in 2019
On 13 January, while being in flat, LTC set a low of 30.33 USD, which it no longer approached in a year. Then for 2019, the Litecoin chart showed four notable trends:
- 📈 An uptrend from 7 February to 6 April: the price rose from 33.22 to 92.57 USD.
- 📈 An uptrend from 29 April to 22 June: the price rose from 67.96 to 141.90 USD, a high of the year.
- 📉 A downtrend from 23 June to 24 September: the price fell from 136.88 to 55.82 USD.
- 📉 A downtrend from 10 November to 17 December: the price fell from 63.84 to 37.08 USD.
The first uptrend happened because Charlie Lee made a promise to integrate MimbleWimble in 2019 and due to negotiations with the protocol developers. It had started before BTC went out of flat in April and gave a boost to altcoin prices, although LTC made a U-turn in the same month. In May and June, bulls started a rally on the market, and LTC participated there as well, which became the second uptrend.
The growth cannot last forever, so in late June it was replaced with correction, followed by a downtrend. An attempt to make a U-turn before halving in early August was unsuccessful. In late October, again thanks to the news about MimbleWimble, the price tried to recover for two weeks but could not consolidate and went down.
2020 litecoin prediction and prospects
In early January, analyst Tone Vays whipped up the tension with his prediction that Bitcoin will ‘kill’ Litecoin and even Ethereum in the course of 2020. However, the market showed the opposite situation: an altseason was obvious, and altcoins grew more than the main coin. The uptrend was the same for each coin — from 2 January to 14 February. During that period, litecoin went up from 39.82 to 82.99 US dollars, its increase was 108.41%. In stark contrast, bitcoin showed only 47.62% of increase.
Then a common downtrend happened, followed by the market crash due to a crisis. That period was also synchronously similar — from 15 February to 12 March, because altcoins followed bitcoin. Thus, litecoin went down from 76.51 to 30.93 US dollars (59.57% of decrease), which is currently the year’s bottom.
The crisis also does not last forever, so the market began to recover as early as 19 March. However, this process was difficult for litecoin: in a month, by 19 April, its price changed from 39.07 to 42.63 US dollars (only by 9.11%). Then litecoin went flat, and bitcoin continued its recovery. As a result, in two post-crisis months (19 March — 19 May), the ‘silver’ coin went up by 15.59%, and the ‘gold’ one by 56.86%. It looks like the prediction of Tone Vays is coming true, even though it is vague.
For comparison, here are the accurate LTC price predictions for 2020 from agencies regularly doing technical analysis:
|Analysts||August 2020||October 2020||December 2020|
|Digital Coin Price||$61.75||$54.16||$55.76|
|Long Forecast (EFA)||$38.57||$32.80||$34.30|
The official roadmap is temporarily unavailable. In 2016–2017, the team published it on a separate website but then abandoned it, and now there is some kind of empty blog. So, we will create a simple map of past and announced upcoming significant events.
- 25 August 2015: the first halving — reduction of reward for a block from 50 to 25 LTC.
- 2 January 2016: the creation of LoafWallet, a mobile wallet for iOS (based on the Bread Wallet code).
- 26 April 2017: a protocol update — Segregated Witness soft fork aimed to improve scalability and raise the block size limit up to 4 MB.
- 10 May 2017: final activation of Segregated Witness and the first SegWit transaction for 0.05 LTC.
- 5 November 2018: sale launch for LTC coin from the litecoin.com commercial website with the support of the Simplex provider.
- 25 January 2019: slight rebranding of the project by changing a logo and vision.
- 5 August 2019: the second halving — reduction of reward for a block from 25 to 12.5 LTC.
- 23 October 2019: two proposals for improving the Litecoin protocol (LIP-0002 and LIP-0003) by integrating MimbleWimble to ensure the privacy of LTC transactions.
- 30 October 2019: rebranding of the LoafWallet mobile wallet and update under the Litewallet brand.
- 4 May 2020: launch of a testnet with integrated protocol MimbleWimble.
- Summer 2020: MimbleWimble extension will be available in the mainnet. Litecoin will be considered an optional anonymous cryptocurrency.
Litecoin Foundation achievements
Like the stages on the roadmap, these events also affected the litecoin exchange rate to the US dollar:
- 10 July 2018: the acquisition of 9.9% of stocks in WEG Bank AG from its owner, TokenPay Swiss AG.
- 14–15 September 2018: Litecoin Summit 2018 in San Francisco, CA.
- 29–30 December 2018: sponsoring the UFC 232 title fight — Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson, which took place in Inglewood, CA.
- 7–11 February 2019: sponsoring the annual Mammoth Film Festival in Mammoth Lakes, CA.
- 19 October 2019: sponsoring the San Diego International Film Festival in San Diego, CA.
- 28–29 October 2019: Litecoin Summit 2019 in Las Vegas as a part of the Vegas Blockchain Week.