Cryptocurrencies are essentially digital forms of money, allowing users to buy, sell and spend as they please, from wherever they might be in the world. Cryptocurrencies allow for the seamless exchange of value, requiring only an internet connection and a viable wallet. Since the advent of Bitcoin in 2008, over 7,000 cryptocurrencies have emerged, each aligned with where the future of money is headed.
Crypto might only have been around for over a decade, but the powerful nascent technology has witnessed incredible growth. These digital assets have proven to be a prized store of value, with investors making incredible gains on merely purchasing and holding the assets. In just 11 years the cryptocurrency industry has built over $360 billion in market value.
The beautiful thing about cryptocurrencies is that they are free from central authorities. Cryptocurrencies are built to be autonomous and function entirely through a shared network of operators. Cryptocurrencies do not rely on governments, financial institutions or federal reserve banks. Cryptocurrencies do offer a centralized public ledger of all transactions and use cryptography to ensure their utmost safety.
Another imperative step in understanding ”what is litecoin” is understanding how the mining process works. Similar to Bitcoin the cryptocurrency is mined using mining rigs operated by members of the community. While Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 mining algorithm, Litecoin uses a newer proof of work mining algorithm, called Scrypt. This memory intensive manner of mining allows individual users to be able to mine, as opposed to being a part of a large mining pool (how Bitcoin is now run).