Litecoin (LTC)

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Litecoin was the second digital currency introduced to the public, and it quickly gained the number two spot in the industry; as Bitcoin prices rise—and it becomes less accessible to some investors—Litecoin has picked up some of that slack. One of its standout features is the ease with which its data blocks can be mined, using the Scrypt method as opposed to the more space- and time-consuming SHA-256 mining protocol employed by other currencies. The current block reward for successful mining of data blocks is 50 Litecoins, which is larger than that of most other currencies, as well (this block reward is designed to be reduced over time, much like other currencies). Their data blocks are also larger, and contain more transaction information, than those of most of their competitors. Scrypt, in theory, also allows for much faster block data verification than SHA-256.

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Litecoin was publicly introduced on October 7, 2011 by Charles Lee, over two-and-a-half years after their only competitor at the time, Bitcoin. In the short period of time since it was released, the number of Litecoins in circulation has grown steadily to over 20 million. Since the trajectory has been consistently upward since its introduction, it can be reasonably assumed that Litecoin will continue to occupy a strong position in the top of the cryptocurrency industry.