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.
The Stellar network is an open source, distributed, and community owned network used to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value. Stellar aims to help facilitate cross-asset transfer of value at a fraction of a penny while aiming to be an open financial system that gives people of all income levels access to low-cost financial services. Stellar can handle exchanges between fiat-based currencies and between cryptocurrencies. Stellar.org, the organization that supports Stellar, is centralized like XRP and meant to handle cross platform transactions and micro transactions like XRP. However, unlike Ripple, Stellar.org is non-profit and their platform itself is open source and decentralized. Stellar was founded by Jed McCaleb in 2014. Jed McCaleb is also the founder of Mt. Gox and co-founder of Ripple, launched the network system Stellar with former lawyer Joyce Kim. Stellar is also a payment technology that aims to connect financial institutions and drastically reduce the cost and time required for cross-border transfers. In fact, both payment networks used the same protocol initially. Distributed Exchange Through the use of its intermediary currency Lumens (XLM), a user can send any currency that they own to anyone else in a different currency. For instance, if Joe wanted to send USD to Mary using her EUR, an offer is submitted to the distributed exchange selling USD for EUR. This submitted offer forms is known as an order book. The network will use the order book to find the best exchange rate for the transaction in-order to minimize the fee paid by a user. This multi-currency transaction is possible because of 'Anchors'. Anchors are trusted entities that hold people’s deposits and can issue credit. In essence, Anchors serves as the bridge between different currencies and the Stellar network. Lumens (XLM) Lumens are the native asset (digital currency) that exist on the Stellar network that helps to facilitate multi-currency transactions and prevent spams. For multi-currency transactions, XLM is the digital intermediary that allows for such a transaction to occur at a low cost. In-order to prevent DoS attacks (aka spams) that would inevitably occur on the Stellar network, a small fee of 0.00001 XLM is associated with every transaction that occurs on the network. This fee is small enough so it does not significantly affect the cost of transaction, but large enough so it dissuades bad actors from spamming the network. The collected fee is then redistributed and added to an inflation pool. This inflation pool releases Lumens at a rate of 1% each year.