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.
Zcash is a decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency that offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Zcash payments are published on a public blockchain, but the sender, recipient, and amount of a transaction remain private. Zcash is based on peer-reviewed cryptographic research, and built by a security-specialized engineering team on an open source platform based on Bitcoin Core's battle-tested codebase. Our improvement over Bitcoin is the addition of privacy. Zcash uses advanced cryptographic techniques, namely zero-knowledge proofs, to guarantee the validity of transactions without revealing additional information about them. How Zcash works Zcash encrypts the contents of shielded transactions. Since the payment information is encrypted, the protocol uses a novel cryptographic method to verify their validity. Zcash uses a zero-knowledge proof construction called a zk-SNARK, developed by our team of experienced cryptographers based on recent breakthroughs in cryptography. These constructions allow the network to maintain a secure ledger of balances without disclosing the parties or amounts involved. Instead of publicly demonstrating spend-authority and transaction values, the transaction metadata is encrypted and zk-SNARKs are used to prove that nobody is cheating or stealing. Zcash also enables users to send public payments which work similarly to Bitcoin. With the support for both shielded and transparent addresses, users can choose to send Zcash privately or publicly. Zcash payments sent from a shielded address to a transparent address reveal the received balance, while payments from a transparent address to a shielded address protect the receiving value. Check out CoinBureau for guide on What is ZCash.