Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is an open source software project to build a cryptocurrency, introduced on October 7, 2011, by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee.
Litecoin is a direct fork of Bitcoin. Its main differences are:
- Decreased block generation time (2.5 minutes),
- Increased maximum number of coins (84m Litecoins),
- Different hashing algorithm (Scrypt, instead of SHA-256),
- Slightly modified client GUI.
Like Bitcoin, the Litecoin network utilizes peer-to-peer technology for decentralized operation, meaning that the system collectively manages transactions and issues new coins without any 'central' authority.
In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top-5 (by market capitalization) cryptocurrencies to adopt Segregated Witness.