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.
Ripple is the catchall name for the cryptocurrency platform, the transactional protocol for which is actually XRP, in the same fashion as Ethereum is the name for the platform that facilitates trades in Ether. Like other cryptocurrencies, Ripple is built atop the idea of a distributed ledger network which requires various parties to participate in validating transactions, rather than any singular centralized authority. That facilitates transactions all over the world, and transfer fees are far cheaper than the likes of bitcoin. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, XRP transfers are effectively immediate, requiring no typical confirmation time. Ripple was originally founded by a single company, Ripple Labs, and continues to be backed by it, rather than the larger network of developers that continue bitcoin’s development. It also doesn’t have a fluctuating amount of its currency in existence. Where bitcoin has a continually growing pool with an eventual maximum, and Ethereum theoretically has no limit, Ripple was created with all of its 100 billion XRP tokens right out of the gate. That number is maintained with no mining and most of the tokens are owned and held by Ripple Labs itself — around 60 billion at the latest count. Even at the recently reduced value of around half a dollar per XRP, that means Ripple Labs is currently sitting on around $20 billion worth of the cryptocurrency (note: Ripple’s price crashed hard recently, and may be worth far less than $60 billion by time you read this). It holds 55 billion XRP in an escrow account, which allows it to sell up to a billion per month if it so chooses in order to fund new projects and acquisitions. Selling such an amount would likely have a drastic effect on the cryptocurrency’s value, and isn’t something Ripple Labs plans to do anytime soon. In actuality, Ripple Labs is looking to leverage the technology behind XRP to allow for faster banking transactions around the world. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are built on the idea of separating financial transactions from the financial organizations of traditional currencies, Ripple is almost the opposite in every sense. XRP by Ripple price can be found on this page alongside the market capitalization and additional stats.