You may not be as familiar with Litecoin as you are Bitcoin, but that's okay. Litecoin is a very strong cryptocurrency in its own right. In recent months it has maintained a steady position in the top five cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, and there is no reason to believe it will not maintain its status going forward.
The question for you, as an online gambler who prefers cryptocurrency transactions, is whether or not Litecoin is a good choice for you. We understand that Bitcoin prices may be out of reach for people who want to own primary denominations. At almost USD $4,000 per coin, Bitcoin may not be within your budget. On the other hand, Litecoin is a lot more affordable at $53 per coin.
We are not recommending you invest in any particular cryptocurrency. Rather, our goal here is just to help you get to know Litecoin a little bit better. If you are looking at various cryptocurrencies that you can use to play slots online, you need to know as much as you can about each one. We mention Litecoin here because it is among the top five or six cryptos that online gambling sites are known to accept.
We invite you to read this post to learn more about Litecoin. By the time you finish, you should have enough information to make an intelligent decision as to whether Litecoin is right for you or not. If it's not, there are other cryptos you can use to gamble online.
Let us start with some of the fundamental aspects of Litecoin. It is represented on cryptocurrency exchanges as LTC. Similarly, Bitcoin is represented as BTC while Bitcoin Cash is BCH. It is important to know these symbols so that you know what you are looking at when buying and selling.
As of the time of this writing, Litecoin's market capitalization stood at $3.2 billion. For the record, market capitalization is defined within financial sectors as the value of a publicly traded company. Although platforms like Litecoin are not necessarily companies, they are publicly traded in the sense that all coin owners and miners have a stake in them. So just like with stocks and shares, a higher market capitalization for cryptocurrency means the total value of the platform is higher as well.
Moving on to volume, it is an indicator of the number of coins changing hands every day. Litecoin's 24-hour volume at the time of this writing was equivalent to $1.9 billion. Its circulating supply - the number of coins currently in circulation - stood at 60.7 million.
While the actual price of LTC does not even begin to approach BTC, its fundamentals are sound. Litecoin enjoys solid market capitalization and enough volume to show interest among traders.
What it means to you
Litecoin's fundamentals are of most interest to investors and coin traders. What do they mean to you as an online gambler? For starters, Litecoin's sound fundamentals are a strong indicator that you do not have to worry about the bottom falling out overnight. Even within the general volatility of the cryptocurrency market, Litecoin is in very little danger of total collapse.
Second, solid fundamentals give merchants the confidence they need to accept LTC payments. They do not have to worry about the bottom falling out either. That's good because one of the things that merchants are typically concerned about is volatility. They do not want to lose significant value within their own companies by being stuck with coins that lose all their value in a quick trading session.
We figured you might want to know about the history of Litecoin before you decide whether or not to buy in. Fair enough. We start with the basic premise that Litecoin began as a clone of Bitcoin. Founder Charlie Lee is a former Google employee and Coinbase engineering director.
Lee's original vision for Litecoin was to make it a lighter version of Bitcoin. The primary motivator behind his decision to create it was a desire to speed up transaction times through decreased block generation time. When he released Litecoin in 2011, the difference was stark. Block generation time for Bitcoin back then was roughly 10 minutes. Lee's Litecoin cut it to 2.5 minutes.
To get there, Lee forked the Bitcoin core to create a new blockchain ledger that started with new coins, new miners, and new owners. This is in stark contrast to Bitcoin Cash, which was also a Bitcoin fork but used the same distributed ledger. Everyone who was part of Bitcoin before the Bitcoin Cash fork was also included in the fork.
So what is different about the way, Litecoin operates? In addition to decreased block generation time, Lee incorporated a different hashing algorithm for purposes of proof-of-work. His algorithm is a memory-hard algorithm as well, meaning mining requires more computing power as a result.
This modification is a double-edged sword. The more robust mining requirements make it more difficult for people to get into mining. The positive side of that point is that it prevents Litecoin from being taken over by smaller miners who seek to dominate coin ownership by creating mining pools.
One last fundamental difference with Litecoin is the total number of coins available. Where Bitcoin was created with 21 million total coins, Litecoin offers 84 million coins. A larger base of coins theoretically prevents Litecoin from maxing out as quickly as some of its competitors. It also makes it harder for one or two entities to dominate once all coins have been distributed.
Litecoin's proof-of-work algorithm
Let us talk a little bit more about the proof of work concept so that you better understand why Litecoin's algorithms are better for the community. Proof-of-work is essentially a complicated cryptographic puzzle a computer must solve in order to verify a transaction. It has been implemented within cryptocurrency as a means of both security and decentralization.
How does it work? Imagine 10 different computers on the Litecoin network. Each of these computers, also known as nodes, is powered by software designed to process transactions and build Litecoin's ever-growing blockchain ledger. Processing transactions requires solving a complicated puzzle with only one correct answer. All of the nodes on the network must come up with that answer before a transaction can be verified and finalized.
This is one of the ways security is maintained. Requiring all nodes to come up with the right answer makes it very difficult for someone to tamper with the ledger as doing so would generate a different answer to the puzzle.
Litecoin's proof-of-work algorithm comes into play here by making the puzzle more complicated to solve. Remember that the first miner to solve the puzzle is rewarded with a coin. This causes the miners to compete with one another which, in the end, makes for better mining.
Since Litecoin's algorithm is more complicated and needs more computing power, it takes a lot more effort to mine a single coin. This prevents miners from processing transactions so quickly that they are amassing large numbers of coins for themselves. The end result is that successful mining is actually distributed across a larger pool of nodes instead of being concentrated under one or two mining pools.
Preventing cryptocurrency centralization
A fundamental principle of cryptocurrency is decentralization. In other words, cryptocurrencies remain outside the general purview of governments and central banks. But centralization is not limited just to those two entities. A cryptocurrency can actually be centralized by the miners who power it.
This is a very real risk for Bitcoin and a few other cryptos. Because of the proof-of-work algorithm they use, it is relatively easy for small miners to combine their resources to create a mining pool. If that mining pool ever manages to achieve a 51% hash rate, meaning they are winning the competition to successfully mine coins more than half the time, they could essentially take over the ledger and control it from that point forward.
Preventing centralization is another benefit of Litecoin's more difficult and resource-hungry proof-of-work algorithm. Making it more difficult to mine coins makes pooling more difficult. When pooling is more difficult, achieving a 51% hash rate is exponentially more difficult as well.
Wrapping it up
There is a lot more we could tell you about Litecoin in terms of its operational details. However, what we have given you here should be enough to help you make an intelligent decision about this up-and-coming cryptocurrency. Whether or not you think it is right for you really depends on what you are after.
If you're looking for an affordable crypto that lets you play slots online at a price you can afford, Litecoin may be the better option. Most of the casinos that accept Bitcoin deposits also accept Litecoin as well. You are not losing anything there. And at a price of just over $50 per coin, Litecoin is certainly more affordable than Bitcoin.
If you're looking to invest in cryptocurrency along with using coins to gamble online, Bitcoin might be the better option. Bitcoin is more a store of value than a monetary system these days, and its value as an investment influences the price of just about every other coin on the market. Bitcoin is the one that investors really pay attention to.