What is Litecoin?
Litecoin (LTC) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Inspired by and technically nearly identical to Bitcoin (BTC),
Litecoin creation and transfer is based on an open source protocol and is not managed by any central authority. Litecoin is intended by its developers to improve upon Bitcoin, offering several key differences.
As of November 2013, Litecoin had received extended coverage by mainstream media with agencies such as the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and The New York Times citing it as an alternative (or possibly even successor) to Bitcoin.
What is the Difference Between Litecoin and Bitcoin?
The main difference is that litecoin can confirm transactions must faster than bitcoin. Litecoin can handle a higher volume of transactions thanks to its faster block generation.
Transaction speed (or faster block time) and confirmation speed are often touted as moot points by many involved in bitcoin, as most merchants would allow zero-confirmation transactions for most purchases.
It is necessary to bear in mind that a transaction is instant, it is just confirmed by the network as it propagates.
As of February 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.
Bitcoin is the top crypto-currency or virtual currency in the industry because it was the first to market and the game changer on crypto-currency. This so called, "First-ism" or something that breaks out in a market before anyone else, typically has the leading position. Bitcoin has set that standard and to date is still the reigning champion.
However, Litecoin has been touted as being the second most successful virtual currency to date. Although there are slight nuances to how they approach the algorithm Bitcoin is based on, the value of Litecoin has has had the same volatility in price fluctuations as Bitcoin.