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.
Sia is a decentralized cloud storage platform similar in concept to Dropbox and other centralized storage provider where instead of renting storage space from a centralized entity, clients rent storage space from other peers. The only difference is Sia uses blockchain to facilitate transactions Nodes provide storage to clients using the Sia blockchain as contracts. Before storing the data, the data is encrypted into many pieces and uploaded to different hosts. Siacoin is created by David Vorick and Luke Champine of Nebulous Inc. As the traditional storage platforms are higher in cost, more expensive and data is not well protected. Siacoin promises to offer secured storage transactions with smart contracts which is more affordable and reliable. Moreover, it is completely open source which means many individuals have contributed to Siacoin’s software hence there will be an active community building innovative applications on top if the Sia API. In 2018, Siacoin aims to introduce file sharing and be the go-to cloud storage platform for companies. Their goal is divided into 3 time frames which are short-term, medium-term and long-term development. Short-term development focuses on file sharing between Sia users. This allows Sia users to share files in the platform without having to take it off the cloud while increasing network utilization. Medium-term development’s goal is to enhance partnerships. This means reaching out to large companies like Netflix and Dropbox to hopefully be able to be their storage and distribution framework. Lastly, long-term development aims to expand its horizon to share files with non-Sia users and support mobile wallets.