Litecoin is a Bitcoin hard fork that aimed to improve the slow transaction times and high fees on the Bitcoin blockchain, during high network congestion times. Its purpose was to make micropayments a reality. Monero, on the other hand, was a Bytecoin hard fork created to provide absolute anonymity to the users.
Litecoin is expected to benefit from the advent of the Lightning Network and Monero attracts many users that wish to keep their transactions under the radar.
Differences And Similarities Between Litecoin And Monero
Litecoin makes use of the Scrypt Proof-of-Work, a memory-hard mining algorithm. It was created to serve as fairer cryptocurrency compared to Bitcoin and enable easy mining by utilizing the computational power of home PCs. Monero uses the CryptoNote Proof-of-Work algorithm. By implementing the “Ring Signatures” and “Stealth Addresses” features, the sender and recipients’ public address is mixed with others and randomized, respectively, making Monero completely untraceable. In addition, the “Ring Confidential Transactions” feature, can hide the amounts in-transfer completely. Monero is also an easy-to-mine cryptocurrency by single home devices and resistant to mining-specific ASIC hardware.
Monero is fully-fungible, meaning that every coin can be substituted by another. Litecoin, same as Bitcoin, provides a transparent ledger history in a pseudonymous manner. Illicit transactions in Litecoin can be traced and blacklisted in the blockchain, a feature that is not available with Monero.
Because of this, Monero is the preferred cryptocurrency by hackers, as well as for transactions in the Dark Web. While both cryptocurrencies can be mined through a wallet, Monero can further be mined through browser applications, like Coinhive. Initially introduced as a legitimate monetization method for online services, using the webpage visitors’ CPU power to mine XMR for as long as they use the online service. Coinhive is widely exploited by hackers to mine small amounts of Monero by multiple devices.
Litecoin has experienced major growth, acting as the testbed for new innovations on Bitcoin’s blockchain. SegWit’s adoption, as well as the Lightning Network have added credibility to Litecoin’s reputation and established it as a top-10 cryptocurrency. Although Monero was around since 2014, it didn’t see rapid growth until two years later, when the former Dark Web market Alphabay accepted it as a payment method.
Litecoin is scarce as only 84 million Litecoins will ever exist. In contrary, Monero’s coin amount is infinite. Both Monero and Litecoin are fast blockchains, as the first has a 2-minute block time and the latter has 2.5-minutes, respectively. Litecoin’s mining difficulty is recalculated every 3.5 days, while Monero’s difficulty is readjusted on every block.
Finally, in terms of acceptance, Litecoin is the prevalent cryptocurrency. At the time of writing (June 2018) it has three times higher market capitalization ($6 million) than Monero’s $2 million. Litecoin’s 24-hour volume trade is almost $400k, while Monero’s sits at $46k. There are currently 56,925,873 LTC in circulation and 16,119,004 XMR, respectively.