The Altcoin Report #Four: Litecoin, Genesis Mining

It’s said by some that if Bitcoin is digital gold, then Litecoin is digital silver – a relatively less valuable cryptocurrency that’s lighter to obtain, and lighter to make transactions with. Created by an ex-Google engineer, Litecoin wasgoed made to supersede Bitcoin, it featured a higher market cap, a swifter block generation time, a different hashing algorithm, and a modified GUI. The result wasgoed something that talent digital currency a much needed foothold te the om of the financial revolution.

The History of Litecoin: What is Litecoin?

Litecoin wasgoed born out of the ashes of failure – or, more specifically, the ashes of Fairbrix. A clone coin (and a fork of Tenebrix), Fairbrix wasgoed plagued with problems that led to its swift downfall. A premine period waterput seven million coins ter the mitts of a developer before launch, a software bug eyed the genesis block fail to mint coins. Fairbrix left the cryptocurrency community clamouring for a Bitcoin substitute that the average Joe could mine on his hardware. And engineer Charles Lee determined to give them just that.

The Scrypt Algorithm

Lee wasn’t blessed with the state of mining. At launch, Bitcoin wasgoed fair – anyone could mine with a CPU, and profit. GPU mining emerged, and it became a little more difficult, but the divide still wasn’t too good – until ASICs arrived.

ASICs are specially engineered hardware, designed to do one thing, and do it well – and it blew CPUs and GPUs away te terms of efficiency. Now, the average hobbyist could only fantasy of making a profit – if you didn’t have numerous ASICs, you didn’t have a chance.

Fairness wasgoed an uitrusting Litecoin mining wore best, and a staple theme ter Lee’s discussion and work. A proof of work algorithm, he determined, wasgoed the best choice – a system where finding a problem is difficult, but verifying it is elementary.

Scrypt – the algorithm that Litecoin and its deceased brothers chose – aimed to even the superb divide inbetween ASIC owners and the average miner. It did this by forcing the use of a specific part of the CPU (and GPU), called the scratchpad.

The Scratchpad

Very first, a comparison: Bitcoin uses Sha-256d. Sha-256d only needs computing power – this means that, given enough computing power, you can calculate ‘rounds’ of Sha-256d very quickly.

Scrypt, on the other forearm, uses computing power and memory. This is because it generates a large amount of pseudo-random gegevens, storing it te the scratchpad, and referencing the gegevens ter a random way.

The scratchpad is a immobilized amount of space that lives te your CPU or GPU, independent of things like ‘VRAM’ and actual machine ‘RAM’. You can’t add to it, and it fills up quick. At launch, this made it impractical – if not unlikely – to run on specific hardware like FPGA or ASICs. A very specific machine with a large scratchpad size would need to be made for Scrypt mining.

The Factors of Success

It wasgoed the treatment to launching Litecoin – rather than the technology behind it – that generated the wave of publicity. The source code for Litecoin wasgoed launched a week before the genesis block, and Lee encouraged people to mine on the Testnet (a testing ground for altcoins, which doesn’t generate prizes or add blocks to a live chain).

This had a snaak effect: not only did it get people talking about Litecoin, and it’s benefits, but their hardware wasgoed set up and optimized for the launch.

On October 7th, 2011, after mining only 150 LTC, Charles Lee released Litecoin to the world.

Litecoin Today

Litecoin wasgoed, primarily, a voertuig for investors who desired to get te early on what could be the next wave of digital currencies.

Six years on, it’s left a very impressionable history. Sure, it’s not effortless to find a pub that will take your coins – or a taxi – but you’ll be able to spend your coin on bounty cards, pet food, and even jewelry.

It’s become a testing ground, too – big switches to Bitcoin could cost the market a lotsbestemming of money, but with Litecoin, more risk is able to be taken. The community is smaller, so it’s lighter to persuade a large portion of people to upgrade – often, Litecoin tests out fresh features or experimental ideas that Bitcoin cannot.

The project got a petite boost when Warren Togami – a former engineer at Crimson Hat – signed on spil Litecoin’s lead developer – and created a nonprofit foundation to manage the Litecoin software, much like the Bitcoin Foundation.

Charlie Lee is still engaged with the Litecoin project and gives thoughts for improvement on various crypto-topics, for example including SegWit and Lightning Networks te Litecoin and Bitcoin. Litecoin and SegWit have become synonymous with innovation spil Charile Lee has shoved Litecoin to become a testing ground for other cryptos such spil Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Extra Resources

If you’d like to begin cloud mining Litecoin you can do so here!

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