Amidst the raging Bitcoin scaling debates, it’s certainly an interesting time to be a Litecoin holder.
While Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash duke it out like never before, Litecoin offers numerous advantages that could make the current fifth cryptocurrency by market cap attractive – both acutely and potentially long-term – for BTC and BCH users.
Let’s walk you through some of the nuances of Litecoin’s present position in the crypto space.
Litecoin’s advantage over Bitcoin Cash? Development
The crucial difference is that Litecoin the Litecoin devs can implement nearly any update on LTC that the Bitcoin Core devs create for BTC because the two chains are so closely related.
Bitcoin Cash does not enjoy this same dynamic. Because BCH has raised its block size to 8MB and hasn’t implemented SegWit like BTC, the BCH developers must create their own developments from start to finish.
This gives the Litecoin team the advantage of being able to enjoy Bitcoin Core development breakthroughs.
Consider, for example, that Bitcoin Core’s Adam Back and Greg Maxwell have been working on the “Confidential Transactions” (CT) privacy tool for Bitcoin for years. Litecoin will be able to release the update in just days once CT is live, giving LTC users the ability to send private transactions that aren’t publicly broadcast.
To this end, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee said the newfound fungibility from CT will make LTC more cash-like than ever.
I'm excited to see progress on Confidential Transactions. Fungibility is the only feature of good money that Bitcoin/Litecoin is missing.
I look forward to adding this to Litecoin when it is ready. ? And this can be done with a soft fork. Stay tuned!
— Charlie Lee [LTC] (@SatoshiLite) November 14, 2017
Litecoin beats Bitcoin on speed and fees, too
Part of the reason that Bitcoin Cash touched its all-time high just under $2,500 USD on Sunday, November 17, was because Bitcoin’s then-acutely clogged network lead to exorbitant transaction fees and confirmation times.
As the clogging has subdued, the balance has shifted back in BTC’s favor; even still, though, Litecoin’s transactions are virtually fee-less and occur x4 faster than Bitcoin’s transactions at present.
That’s because LTC handles blocks every 2.5 minutes while Bitcoin does the same every 10 minutes.
If congestion continues to spiral out of control in the future as the Bitcoin scaling debates continue to wage, Litecoin could increasingly be seen as a crypto “safe haven” for investors – offering all the benefits of Bitcoin while operating faster and more efficiently.
Perhaps the darkhorse that Bitcoin needs to worry about isn’t Bitcoin Cash, then, but Litecoin.
Lightning Network now possible between LTC and BTC
In breaking news that was just publicized on Thursday, November 16, researchers are now declaring Bitcoin’s and Litecoin’s second-layer, off-chain scaling solution “Lightning Network” can now facilitate transactions between BTC and LTC and vice versa.
This is a major development that could make blockchain-agnosticism the way of the future.
In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Charlie Lee said this new feature is much-improved over previous renditions:
Previous atomic swaps that I have done were on-chain, and had the on-chain limitations of slow [transactions] and high transaction fees. Off-chain atomic swaps are significantly better. They are instant, [have] low fees, and better protect one’s privacy.
— Charlie Lee [LTC] (@SatoshiLite) November 16, 2017
Litecoin’s been flirting with $70
As other parts of the crypto community are inflamed and literally at war, Litecoin is stabilizing and performing better than ever.
Increased investor confidence, then, seems to be helping LTC flirt with $70 after floating around the $60 range for days.
And if the scaling debates worsen, LTC may continue to become an attractive alternative for crypto investors looking to make a bet on a darkhorse that could end up giving BTC and BCH a run for their money over the long-term.
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