For people encountering cryptocurrencies for the first time, all they know is “bitcoin”. Sometimes, they use it interchangeably, like using “a xerox” to refer to a copier machine. But there are other coins besides The Bitcoin, the first and still leading cryptocurrency. And there are key differences between the most famous names in the bunch.
So what is Bitcoin? It is the coin that is carried over the Bitcoin blockchain. It was the original, usable cryptocurrency that took off in 2009 and has existed ever since. Bitcoin is the creation of Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous lead developer that, along with several others, developed and tested the Bitcoin protocol and released it in October 2009.
What is Ethereum? Ethereum is the coin that is challenging the leadership of Bitcoin. Created by visionary programmer Vitalik Buterin, a child prodigy, Ethereum appeared in 2014. In the past year, its price skyrocketed as the project gained fame. Ethereum is very different from Bitcoin in how its blockchain works. For one, Ethereum allows other tokens to be moved through its network- so Ethereum is not just one coin, but an ecosystem where programmers may create and distribute blockchain-based applications. Ina way, Ethereum is a global supercomputer, where anyone can perform a task, provided they make a payment. The main difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum is that Ethereum is second-generation technology, allowing a more creative usage of blockchain technology.
But what about Litecoin? What is Litecoin? Litecoin is one of the first altcoins. It uses the code of the Bitcoin blockchain, with a few differences. The Litecoin blockchain calculates blocks more often. Also, there will be a total of only 21 million Bitcoin, but Litecoin will be mined until there are 84 million coins, four times as much. The creator of Litecoin is Charlie Lee, a developer who started with the idea to create a more convenient, stable and friendly cryptocurrency to be used for smaller everyday transactions. The difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin also lies in the algorithm they use to build the next block. Bitcoin uses SHA-256 hashing, and Litecoin uses Scrypt hashing. Because of this, Litecoin cannot be mined with ASIC machines or specialized rigs- like Ethereum, Litecoin relies on graphic card mining or sometimes, CPU mining.