Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee. It was created based on the Bitcoin protocol but differs in terms of the hashing algorithm used. Litecoin uses the memory intensive Scrypt proof of work mining algorithm. Scrypt allows consumer-grade hardware such as GPU to mine those coins. Why Litecoin? Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that has evolved from Bitcoin after its own popularity in the industry, this alternative, or ‘altcoin’ has emerged to allow investors to diversify their digital currency package, according to Investopedia. Litecoin is one of the most prominent altcoins and was created by former Google employee and Director of Engineering at Coinbase, Charlie Lee. Litecoin was the first to alter Bitcoin and the most significant difference is that it takes 2.5 minutes for Litecoin to generate a block, or transaction, in comparison to Bitcoin's 10 minutes. ‘While this matters little to traders, miners who use hardware to run Bitcoin's network cannot switch over to Litecoin. This keeps bigger mining conglomerates away from Litecoin because they cannot easily optimize their profits by swapping to another coin, contributing to a more decentralized experience. Litecoin also has bigger blocks, and more coins in circulation, making it more affordable and swift when transacting,’ Investopedia explained. As explained above, Litecoin can transact a lot faster than Bitcoin, but there are also a number of other characteristics that investors need to know before trading. Litecoin can handle higher volumes of transactions because of the capability of transacting faster and if Bitcoin attempted to transact on the scale of its altcoin, a code update would be needed. However, Litecoin’s blocks would be larger, but with more ‘orphaned blocks'. The faster block time of litecoin reduces the risk of double spending attacks - this is theoretical in the case of both networks having the same hashing power. Litecoin Technical Details: The transaction confirmation time taken for Litecoin is about 2.5 minutes on average (as compared to Bitcoin's 10 minutes). The Litecoin network is scheduled to cap at 84 million currency units. Litecoin has inspired many other popular alternative currencies (eg. Dogecoin) because of its Scrypt hashing algorithm in order to prevent ASIC miners from mining those coins. However it is said that by the end of this year, Scrypt ASIC will enter the mass market.
Nxt uses the blockchain to create an entire ecosystem of decentralized features, all of which require the Nxt currency. Instead of modifying the original Bitcoin source code, as many altcoins have done, Nxt developers wrote their own code in Java from scratch. While Nxt is a public blockchain, licenses for private blockchains based on its software are also available for purchase. The developers refer to Nxt as Blockchain 2.0, providing numerous applications beyond simply keeping a public ledger of transactions. Jelurida BV took over the originally anonymously developed Nxt and now own the IP rights. Kristina Kalcheva, co-founder and legal expert of Jelurida, focuses on how to “explore the different open source licensing models and their enforceability in practice.” Currently, the main developer is an anonymous Star Trek fan, going by the name Jean-Luc Picard. While there is still the active development of Nxt, the parent company Jelurida is also working on a Nxt 2.0, known as Ardor, designed specifically to deal with scalability. Ardor will use the same blockchain technology as Nxt, combined with the idea of ‘child chains.’ According to Travin Keith, Nxt foundation Web and Marketing manager, Ardor allows for a “manageable blockchain size, which solves the problem of scalability by separating transactions and data that do not affect security from those that do, and moving all of those that don’t affect security onto child chains.” The core infrastructure of Nxt is complex. This adds risks as compared to the more lean bitcoin, but makes it easier for external services to be built on top of the blockchain. A peer-peer exchange allowing decentralized trading of shares, crypto assets. Since the blockchain is an unalterable public ledger of transactions, the Asset Exchange provides a trading record for items other than Nxt. To do this, Nxt allows the designation or ''coloring'' of a particular coin, which builds a bridge from the virtual crypto-currency world to the physical world. The ''colored coin'' can represent property, stocks/bonds, commodities, or even concepts. Arbitrary Messages enable the sending of encrypted or plain text, which can also function to send and store up to 1000 bytes of data permanently, or 42 kilobytes of data for a limited amount of time. As a result, it can be used to build file-sharing services, decentralized applications, and higher-level Nxt services. Nxt had no mining phase, all initial units were released to 73 people through a one-time fundraiser via bitcoins, after the announcement of the NXT project in the bitcointalk-forums by BCnext. Combine this with a PoS approach, and you have a situation where the big guys run the table. At one point, the Nxt community had a very public spat with Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik. Garzik took issue with the Nxt marketing approach, its anonymous developers, and their responses to constructive criticism. Nxt responded to some of these claims, of course, but it remains one of the more controversial moments in its history. Another key problem the Nxt network ran into (like so many others) was blockchain bloat. Nodes get weighed down by the onerous task of having to store every transaction on the Nxt blockchain. This was one reason (among others) why Ardor/Ignis came into existence.'