Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a peer-to-peer digital currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. Litecoin is an open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. It also forms a global payment network through the creation and transfer of coins based on an open source cryptographic protocol that is fully decentralized without any central authorities.
Litecoin is often compared to other mainstream digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is largely similar to Bitcoin and is technically identical. The total number of Litecoin is about 84 million, which is more than Bitcoin’s 21 million. The transaction confirmation time of Litecoin is also much shorter. Transactions generally take only around 2 and a half minutes, while Bitcoin transactions take 10 minutes. Thus, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin. Additionally, the price of Litecoin is relatively stable, currently priced at $31.39.
In 2017, the price of Litecoin soared. At the beginning of 2017, Litecoin’s price was only $4.50, and by the end of the year, it achieved a return of around 8000%. The huge growth of Litecoin last year made the cryptocurrency one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies globally (in terms of market capitalization). Thus, many analysts were very optimistic about the prospects of Litecoin. Walletinvestor.com, a website that performs technical analysis on cryptocurrencies, forecasted that Litecoin prices for the next 1 year and the next 5 years would be $414 and $1175 respectively. However, just like Bitcoin, the price of Litecoin has been falling gradually in 2018.
The future price of Litecoin may be affected by halving. Litecoin was halved for the first time on August 26, 2015. Currently, each mine is awarded 25 Litecoins and it is expected to be halved again to 12.5 in August 2019. Most of analysts predict that the halving will cause the price of Litecoin to rise. At the same time, the halving of Litecoin in next year will also have an impact on Litecoin miners. Halving might reduce mining output by 50%, as miners may close their Litecoin Mining machine, due to reduced profitability from mining. Once this happens, the total network computing power of the Litecoin will decline. If the net computing power of the whole network drops enough, the price will also rise due to the decrease in supply.
Finally, the future trend of Litecoin prices usually fluctuates based on the trend of Bitcoin prices. In general, if Bitcoin prices rise or fall sharply, then the price of Litecoin will likely follow suit. Moreover, Litecoin founder, Charlie Lee, has previously said that Bitcoin is the safest cryptocurrency and it will naturally cost more to trade. Thus, while Litecoin will have a lower transaction cost than Bitcoin, Bitcoin will largely be used for storage of value and Litecoin will be used more for payments. Therefore, this would lay the foundation for the stability of Litecoin for the future.