Litecoin (LTC): The first altcoin – cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin – created as a result of the first successful Hard Fork of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Litecoin, or LTC, was created by Charlie Lee – a former Google employee – in 2011. His idea was to create a lighter version of Bitcoin, which is represented in the name of the cryptocurrency. While Bitcoin is the “gold” in the Cryptoverse, Litecoin is often referred to as “silver”. Litecoin transactions became popular for cheaper everyday purposes.

Litecoin was released on GitHub and went live on October 13, 2011, as a Hard Fork of Bitcoin Core client. Technically, LTC is an improved clone of Bitcoin. It’s capped at 84 million and has a mean block time of 2.5 minutes. The Litecoin block reward is halved every 840,000 blocks.

Both Bitcoin and Litecoin use Proof of Work consensus mechanism for mining. Bitcoin uses SHA 256 algorithm unlike LTC, which is built on Scrypt.

Litecoin introduced the Atomic Swaps – cross-chain exchange of coins without the need for a third party.

To “lighten” the network the LTC supports SegWit – Segregated Witness, which was successfully launched on the network in 2017. SegWit is a technology that helps alter the block size limit on a blockchain by removing signature data from the transaction. The “Segregated” part of the name comes from how the technology works, as it basically “separates” and then “witnesses the transaction” to ensure that it’s safe and secure.

The SegWit implementation gave the opportunities to develop the network and roll new applications, like the Lightning Network.