One of the several clone cryptocurrencies that stemmed from Bitcoin, Litecoin “forked” off the Bitcoin ledger in late 2011. It was intended to be the silver to Bitcoin’s gold: a faster, more lightweight version of the Satoshi Nakamoto-created cryptocurrency. Instead of the approximately 10 minutes it takes for a Bitcoin transaction, a Litecoin transaction only takes 2.5 minutes.
While making transactions four times faster, Litecoin’s creator also Charlie Lee quadrupled the maximum number of coins that can be mined. While bitcoin has a total of 21 million, Litecoin totals 84 million. And the total market value of Litecoin is currently lower: $18 billion to Bitcoin’s $291 billion. It is the fourth largest cryptocurrency market behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin cash. The higher number of Litecoins, meanwhile, could make it psychologically more attractive to buy small-ticket items using the cryptocurrency.
South Korea will move to rein in the frenzy around bitcoin by banning minors from opening accounts on exchanges, and possibly by taxing capital gains from the trading of cryptocurrencies.
Reuters reported the proposals following an emergency government meeting on Wednesday. According to an earlier report, some within the South Korean justice ministry had been calling for an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading. Bitcoin has had a meteoric rise in value this year. It started 2017 around the $1,000 mark and is currently worth around $17,250.
However, while that value has had a clear upward trend, it is extremely volatile on a short-term basis, and regulators and economists around the world have been piling on to warn people about the risks of investing in bitcoin. With some people reportedly taking out mortgages to make such investments, it’s not hard to see why.
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