Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. Litecoin is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities. Mathematics secures the network and empowers individuals to control their own finances. Litecoin features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than the leading math-based currency. With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin. ETH/USD
The Litecoin blockchain is capable of handling higher transaction volume than its counterpart - Bitcoin. Due to more frequent block generation, the network supports more transactions without a need to modify the software in the future. As a result, merchants get faster confirmation times, while still having ability to wait for more confirmations when selling bigger ticket items.
Miners are currently awarded with 50 new litecoins per block, an amount which gets halved roughly every 4 years (every 840,000 blocks). The Litecoin network is therefore scheduled to produce 84 million litecoins, which is 4 times as many currency units as Bitcoin.
Wallet encryption allows you to secure your wallet, so that you can view transactions and your account balance, but are required to enter your password before spending litecoins. This provides protection from wallet-stealing viruses and trojans as well as a sanity check before sending payments.
Litecoin is an open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license which gives you the power to run, modify, and copy the software and to distribute, at your option, modified copies of the software. The software is released in a transparent process that allows for independent verification of binaries and their corresponding source code.
A peer-to-peer network similar to Bitcoin's handles Litecoin's transactions, balances and issuance through scrypt, the proof-of-work scheme (Litecoins are issued when a small enough hash value is found, at which point a block is created, the process of finding these hashes and creating blocks is called mining). The issuing rate forms a geometric series, and the rate halves every 840,000 blocks, roughly every four years, reaching a final total of 84 million LTC.
Payments in the Litecoin network are made to addresses, which are Base58-encoded hashes of users' public keys. They are strings of 35 numbers and letters which always begin with the letter L.
Litecoin transactions are recorded in the Litecoin blockchain (a ledger held by most clients). A new block is added to the blockchain roughly every 2.5 minutes (whenever a small enough hash value is found for the proof-of-work scheme). A transaction is usually considered complete after six blocks, or 15 minutes, though for smaller transactions, fewer than six blocks may be needed for adequate security.
As of May 2015 there are many exchanges that deal with Litecoin. Although some exchanges allow only trading between litecoins and bitcoins, many exchanges provide trading between litecoins and US dollars .
Block generation is faster in Litecoin. In Litecoin a new block is generated four times as fast as in Bitcoin. The faster block generation decreases the efficacy of a double spending attack, but also increases orphaned blocks which decreases the predictability of mining.
Litecoin uses Scrypt rather than SHA 256. The difference here is that Scrypt uses more memory than the SHA 256 algorithm used in mining Bitcoins, meaning that Litecoin mining was more accessible for a longer period of time. Although Litecoin has now come to the point where it is not possible for the individual user to successfully mine, individuals can still pool their resources to mine together collectively.