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Litecoin And The Upcoming Halving
Litecoin's halvings have typically been bullish events - but there's a catch.
Known in the crypto community as the silver to bitcoin's "digital gold", Litecoin is one of the oldest and best-known cryptocurrencies. Just like Bitcoin, Litecoin has a four-year halving cycle—and the next one will happen within just a few weeks.
What Is Litecoin?
Litecoin was launched in October 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer. Lee's aim was to create a cryptocurrency that improved on Bitcoin in various ways. Since Litecoin was based on Bitcoin's code, it shares many similarities with Bitcoin, but also incorporates some key differences.
One of the main differences is the hashing algorithm used for Litecoin mining. While Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm, Litecoin uses Scrypt. Scrypt is a "memory-hard" algorithm that was intended to make mining Litecoin more accessible to individual miners and discourage the use of specialized mining hardware known as ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits). While this was the case for some time, ASICs have now been developed for Litecoin.
Another notable difference is the transaction confirmation time. Litecoin's block generation time is around 2.5 minutes, vs Bitcoin's 10-minute block time, meaning transactions are processed more quickly. Litecoin has a total supply of 84 million LTC, four times Bitcoin's 21 million BTC. Higher network capacity means that Litecoin is cheaper to use than Bitcoin. Transaction fees are typically only a few cents, while Bitcoin transactions can cost several dollars. Litecoin also has a reputation for implementing new features, such as SegWit and private transactions, more quickly than Bitcoin.
As one of the earliest cryptos, Litecoin has gained a large and loyal community, and significant traction as a form of payment, especially for smaller amounts of money thanks to its relative efficiency.
The Litecoin Halving
Just like Bitcoin, Litecoin's block emissions follow a four-year halving schedule. Litecoin's third halving will take place around August 2, 2023. Block rewards will be reduced to 6.25 LTC from their current amount of 12.5 LTC.
Halvings are typically considered to be bullish events by crypto traders, since they reduce the amount of new coins mined into existence and decrease selling pressure from miners. Halving dates are keenly anticipated by community members, and price often sees significant developments leading up to halvings, and immediately afterwards.
However, as with any such events, traders often "Buy the rumor, sell the news". Crypto analyst Ben Cowen has a warning:
If there's a (digital) silver lining to this, it's that Litecoin's cycle highs don't coincide with its halvings. Instead, they follow the highs of the bitcoin market cycle, which have historically occurred roughly halfway through Litecoin's halving cycle. However, there have only been three data points so far—not enough to suggest a clear pattern.
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