The two first cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin and Litecoin; the former launched in 2009 and the latter not long after, in 2011.  At its introduction, Charlie Lee, a former Google developer, referred to Litecoin as the “light version of Bitcoin.”

Both coins have remained highly popular throughout the years, even as new cryptocurrencies grow and garner increased attention. Bitcoin, of course, remains at the top and is the largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

These two cryptocurrencies share many similarities, but they also have significant differences that have contributed to their very distinct places in the larger crypto market. This article compares Bitcoin and Litecoin to help readers understand how they differ and what the future may hold for these two currencies.

The Bitcoin and Litecoin Blockchains

Design And Aims

At the most basic level, Bitcoin and Litecoin are very similar. Both are decentralized cryptocurrencies designed to facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. They are intended to function as a medium of exchange and a store of value while eliminating the need for a guarantor, such as a central bank.

The similarities between the coins are reflected in their names, with Litecoin being referred to as the silver to Bitcoin’s “digital gold.” The open-source Litecoin network promotes itself as a “proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.” In short, Litecoin was created with the purpose of providing a simplified version of Bitcoin in terms of mining ease, faster transactions, and reduced transaction fees.


Bitcoin and Litecoin are two cryptocurrencies that use a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to add new blocks to the blockchain. However, the algorithms underlying this technique are considerably different, with Litecoin’s being less sophisticated and requiring a lower hash rate.

The algorithm used by Bitcoin is known as SHA-256, while Scrypt is used by Litecoin. In 2001, the United States National Security Agency developed SHA. Scrypt provides a less sophisticated but more memory-intensive mining procedure. As a result, the underlying workings of Bitcoin and Litecoin are quite similar, with identical governing principles. To mine blocks on the main chain, they both need a massive amount of computing power. Some argue that the advent of new protocols, such as proof-of-stake (PoS), has reduced the inefficiencies of this process.

Block Sizes

A Bitcoin block typically contains roughly 1,500 transactions. The original block size restriction for Bitcoin and Litecoin was 1MB. However, these constraints can be overcome by implementing off-chain or layer 2 solutions to boost scalability. Another cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash, is a hard fork that initially increased the block size limit on its chain to 8MB and then to 32MB.

Transactions Per Second

Litecoin has a maximum transaction throughput of 56 transactions per second, whereas Bitcoin has a maximum transaction capacity of only about seven transactions per second. Even though it looks like transactions happen instantly, it takes time for them to be properly confirmed and put on the blockchain. This procedure normally takes roughly nine or 10 minutes for Bitcoin.

Litecoin was created in part to enhance transaction speeds, with the block taking an average of two and a half minutes to be fully confirmed and added to the Litecoin network. Many people are unconcerned about the difference in speed, but some merchants want it so that they can be certain that a certain transaction has been processed and validated right away.

Fees For Transactions

Transaction fees are another area that Litecoin has worked to improve. Users of Litecoin should anticipate paying transaction fees of roughly $0.03 or $.04 on average. In comparison, the average transaction price for Bitcoin is $7.60. Fees are lower with Litecoin because the network reserves LTC from transaction fees to reward miners.

Litecoin Vs. Bitcoin Mining

Both Litecoin and Bitcoin are intended to offer a finite amount of money that cannot be surpassed. The limit for Bitcoin is 21 million BTC, whereas the limit for Litecoin is 84 million LTC. The supply limit will have been met after all the coins on the blockchain have been mined.

Due to difficult modifications used to maintain a steady rate of new block production, it is predicted that the very last Bitcoin won’t be mined until the year 2100. The supply cap for Litecoin is anticipated to be achieved at around the same time.

For every 210,000 blocks for Bitcoin and every 840,000 blocks for Litecoin, the rewards for mining blocks are intended to be cut in half. This deflationary tactic aims to maintain the coins’ value by making them scarce.

As was previously established, both Litecoin and Bitcoin miners work inside a PoW-based system. However, because of Litecoin’s streamlined algorithm, less computer power is required. Without the need for specialist equipment, Litecoin makes it simpler for miners to join the network, allowing even individuals with a personal computer to mine effortlessly.

Litecoin (LTC) vs Bitcoin (BTC)

Purpose and CreationCreated in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer, Litecoin was inspired by Bitcoin and designed to be a lighter and faster version of Bitcoin. It also serves as a peer-to-peer digital currency for everyday transactions. Created in 2009 by an unknown person or group using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin was the first-ever cryptocurrency and aims to serve as a decentralized digital currency and store of value.
Algorithm and MiningUses the Scrypt algorithm, which is memory-intensive and initially allowed Litecoin to be mined using consumer-grade CPUs. This was done to make Litecoin more accessible and decentralized.It uses the SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm 256-bit) cryptographic algorithm for mining and transaction validation, which requires more computational power. 
Transaction Speed and ConfirmationThe Litecoin blockchain has a shorter block time of approximately 2.5 minutes, which allows for faster transaction confirmations and higher transaction throughput.The Bitcoin blockchain has a block time of approximately 10 minutes, which means it takes about 10 minutes for a new block of transactions to be added to the blockchain. The transaction confirmation time can be relatively slow during periods of high network activity.
Total SupplyLitecoin has a maximum supply of 84 million coins, four times more than Bitcoin. This larger supply allows for a greater number of transactions and potentially reduces the individual unit’s scarcity. Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million coins, which makes it deflationary in nature. The limited supply is seen as a key feature contributing to its potential store of value characteristics.
Market Cap and PopularityWhile Litecoin is a well-established cryptocurrency, it has a smaller market capitalization compared to Bitcoin and is not as widely recognized or accepted.As the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has the highest market capitalization and is widely recognized and accepted as a form of payment and investment.


Litecoin and Bitcoin are both prominent cryptocurrencies with significant similarities as well as distinct differences. While both use decentralized blockchain technology and operate on a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, their key variations lie in the mining algorithm, transaction speed, supply limit, and community focus.

Litecoin, often considered the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” was created as a faster and more efficient alternative to Bitcoin. Its Scrypt mining algorithm allows for quicker block generation, resulting in faster transaction times and lower fees. However, Bitcoin’s wider adoption and longer track record have solidified its position as the leading digital asset and store of value.


Q. Is Litecoin a fork of Bitcoin?
A. No, Litecoin is not a fork of Bitcoin. It is an independent cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee in 2011. While Litecoin shares similarities with Bitcoin in terms of its technology and structure, it has its own blockchain and operates as a separate digital currency.

Q. Which cryptocurrency is more valuable, Bitcoin or Litecoin?
A. As of my last update in September 2021, Bitcoin is more valuable and has a significantly higher market capitalization compared to Litecoin. Bitcoin’s status as the first and most widely recognized cryptocurrency has solidified its position as the leading digital asset in the market.

Q. What is the difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin mining?
A. Bitcoin and Litecoin mining both involve solving complex mathematical puzzles to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain. However, they use different mining algorithms: Bitcoin uses SHA-256, and Litecoin uses Scrypt. Scrypt is designed to be more memory-intensive, making Litecoin mining more accessible to individual miners using consumer-grade hardware.

Q. Which cryptocurrency is more widely accepted for payments?
A. As of my last update, both Bitcoin and Litecoin are widely accepted for payments by various merchants and businesses globally. However, Bitcoin’s wider adoption and recognition as the first cryptocurrency have led to its broader acceptance and integration into more payment systems compared to Litecoin.

Q. Can I use Litecoin to buy Bitcoin, or vice versa?
A. Yes, you can use Litecoin to buy Bitcoin or vice versa on cryptocurrency exchanges that support both cryptocurrencies. You would need to deposit your Litecoin or Bitcoin into the exchange, and then you can trade them against each other or other cryptocurrencies available on the platform.