A peer-to-peer electronic cash
Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has spun off several offshoots, or hard forks. Bitcoin Cash is one of these. Litecoin, created in 2011, is another. Litecoin’s network uses a completely different algorithm than Bitcoin, one that is more accessible to users who are interested in joining the network as miners (those whose computers or servers do the work of validating transactions and creating new coins). Litecoin’s block times—the amount of time it takes to confirm transactions and validate new coins—are four times faster than Bitcoin’s, and the potential supply of coins is four times larger.
Because of its speedy transaction time, Litecoin can be attractive to merchants, who can quickly receive payment confirmations for their products and services. Litecoin was designed to be more scalable to a large number of users than Bitcoin, although Bitcoin is currently a much more pervasive product. In many other ways, they are quite similar: Developers on the project have called Litecoin the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.