Litecoin (LTC) is one of the major cryptocurrency alternatives to bitcoin, sometimes called an altcoin. It is not to be confused with Litecoin Cash (LCC), a cryptocurrency which, despite borrowing Litecoin's name and promising returns for existing Litecoin holders on its website, is not affiliated with Litecoin.
Litecoin was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former employee of both Google and Coinbase. Litecoin was designed to run on a Scrypt-based mining system, in an effort to prevent miners with expensive, high-end equipment from gaining a significant advantage over other miners. This was to prevent a hardware "arms race" similar to the one happening among bitcoin miners.
In July 2018, the Litecoin Foundation announced that it had acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Germany's WEG Bank AG in exchange for helping the bank develop cryptocurrency payment methods for its customers. This payment method is also being developed with TokenPay, a blockchain developer. When news of the deal broke, Litecoin's price briefly spiked above $81.
In December 2018, the Litecoin Foundation announced that it had entered into a partnership with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), making LTC its first-ever crypto sponsorship.
Litecoin Cash (LCC)
In February 2018, the crypto company Litecoin Cash (LCC) was announced as a fork, or offshoot token, of Litecoin. Charlie Lee has firmly stated that this alleged fork is not genuine and that Litecoin is not affiliated with Litecoin Cash in any way. He also issued a warning to investors that they could potentially "lose everything" by investing in LCC, implying that it is likely a scam.
In February 2018, Lee predicted that Litecoin would overtake Bitcoin Cash in terms of price and market cap by the end of the year, in a phenomenon that he called "The Flappening." His prediction came true in December.
In February 2018, the Litecoin Foundation announced that it was working with cryptoasset development company Beam to potentially integrate MimbleWimble, a privacy, scalability, and security-augmenting software protocol, into the Litecoin protocol. After the news broke, LTC's price climbed 10 percent.
LTC surges 330%
In April 2019, Forbes reported that since the beginning of that year, Litecoin had experienced a gain of over 200%. By doing so, it had outperformed bitcoin, Ether, XRP, and Bitcoin Cash. By the middle of May, the price of LTC broke $100. Litecoin continued this upward trend into June, in which its price surpassed $135 per coin, a 330 percent increase since the start of the year, marking a 13-month high. One Twitter user quipped that LTC was doing so well, "Craig Wright will soon be claiming he's Charlie Lee."
The Miami Dolphins
In July 2019, the Miami Dolphins announced that it had teamed up with the Litecoin Foundation to accept payments in LTC. According to the Miami Dolphins Vice President & Chief Information Officer Kim Rometo, this partnership allows home game attendees of Miami Dolphins NFL games to purchase its 50/50 Raffle - half the proceeds of which go to charity - with LTC (or BTC). “The Miami Dolphins are always looking for ways to enhance the fan experience, and this partnership with Litecoin provides the ability for guests to enjoy our 50/50 raffle while donating to a great cause,” Rometo said in the press release. The partnership was planned to "kick off" on September 5, 2019.
On August 5, 2019, Litecoin halved its rewards as scheduled when the Litecoin blockchain reached the trigger block height of 1,680,000. The price rose briefly after the halving. Although the halving was forecasted, it was expected to have a significant disruptive effect on the economics of Litecoin mining in the short run.