All else being equal which is better for the environment, Litecoin or Bitcoin?

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Last updated 2nd April 2014.

In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto launched bitcoin as the world's first cryptocurrency. The code is open source, which means it can be modified by anyone and freely used for other projects. Many cryptocurrencies have launched with modified versions of this code, with varying levels of success.

Litecoin was announced in 2011 with the goal of being the 'silver' to bitcoin's 'gold'. At the time of writing, Litecoin has the highest market cap of any mined cryptocurrency, after bitcoin.

Here's our guide to show you the crucial difference between bitcoin and litecoin.

At-a-glance differences

Mining differences

Just like bitcoin, litecoin is a crytocurrency that is generated by mining. Litecoin was created in October 2011 by former Google engineer Charles Lee. The motivation behind its creation was to improve upon bitcoin. The key difference for end-users being the 2.5 minute time to generate a block, as opposed to...

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Bitcoin has faced growing competition from newer cryptocurrencies, one of which is litecoin. Bitcoin was first introduced around 2008 in a paper by Japanese Satoshi Nakamoto and rose to fame for the next few years while litecoin was launched in 2011.

According to its creators, litecoin could act as a secondary cryptocurrency to bitcoin, just as silver is a lower kind of precious metal compared to gold. As of this writing, litecoin has a market capitalization of around $75 million and is actually proving to be a rival of bitcoin, which is currently holding a market size of $4 billion.

What’s the Difference Between Bitcoin and Litecoin?

Since both are cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and litecoin share a lot of similarities. These lack a governing body that oversees operations and transactions, making them decentralized in nature. In addition, these digital currencies are often adopted by online merchants in order to incur lower transactions costs on...

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Who isn’t curious about Bitcoin, the virtual currency whose origin story is rife with underground marketplaces, instant millionaires, and massive scams? And the best way to learn more is to start participating yourself.

Sure, you could hit up an exchange and drop four hundred dollars or more on a single bitcoin, but you can also get in for free by mining the coins yourself. Bitcoin has become too hard for regular people to mine, but the world of bitcoin-like “altcoins” is still wide-open to hobbyist miners. Here's everything you need to know to get started mining altcoins.

What is an altcoin?

This article assumes you’ve at least heard of Bitcoin, but you might not have heard of altcoins. “Altcoin” is a catch-all term for cryptocurrencies based on the Bitcoin system, which aren’t actually Bitcoin. Because Bitcoin is open-source software, anyone with some development experience can copy it and create their own currency.

Of course, like Bitcoin, the value...

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Who isn't curious about Bitcoin, the virtual currency whose origin story is rife with underground marketplaces, instant millionaires, and massive scams? And the best way to learn more is to start participating yourself.

Sure, you could hit up an exchange and drop four hundred dollars or more on a single bitcoin, but you can also get in for free by mining the coins yourself. Bitcoin has become too hard for regular people to mine, but the world of bitcoin-like "altcoins" is still wide-open to hobbyist miners. Here's everything you need to know to get started mining altcoins.

What is an altcoin?

This article assumes you've at least heard of Bitcoin, but you might not have heard of altcoins. "Altcoin" is a catch-all term for cryptocurrencies based on the Bitcoin system, which aren't actually Bitcoin. Because Bitcoin is open-source software, anyone with some development experience can copy it and create their own currency.

Of course, like Bitcoin, the value...

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In my previous post on How to mine Bitcoin on your Mac I discussed how to mine crypto-gold on your Mac. Before diving in, I wanted to lay down a framework on the basics of Bitcoin (BTC) and its easier-to-mine competitor, Litecoin (LTC).

Since investing in dedicated Bitcoin mining hardware (ASICs) I've mostly ignored other competing crypto-currencies until now. Although Bitcoin is the media darling, Litecoin is a better option for the average user wanting to get into crypto-currency mining.

As I mention in my mining post , Bitcoin mining isn't cost effective without expensive, dedicated mining hardware. However Litecoin, the second largest crypto-currency by market cap, is exponentially easier to mine with the Mac that you're reading this on right now. And at around US$30/LTC, it's more affordable to outright purchase too.

Bitcoin

Before I get into Litecoin a brief history of Bitcoin (BTC) is in order. For background I recommend the...

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Everyone in the cryptocurrency world has heard of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin. But not many have heard of Peter Bushnell, the not-so-mysterious inventor of Feathercoin. On 20 April, he announced his alternative currency to a gaggle of online followers. Two months later, over 8m of them have been mined.

Feathercoin is one of a range of alternative currencies that, like Bitcoin, are based entirely on mathematics. Known collectively as alt-currencies, they have been launching in increasing numbers over the past year. Some launch for ideological reasons; others for technical ones; still more, for financial gain. Bitcoin is unlikely to be the only cryptocurrency to enjoy huge successes. So which altcoin will follow in its footsteps?

"I released this and wanted to foster a small community," says Bushnell, who quit his job in May as head of IT at Oxford University's Brasenose College. Since then, he has been living off his collection of Litecoins –...

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We already know that the Bitcoin rigs are totally awesome. But what about the Litecoin rigs? They’re equally awesome! We gathered some to show you, but you better get a fire truck on standby because these are the hottest Litecoin rigs out there.

1. Encased cooler master rig

With two Sapphire AMD HD7950 Flex OC Graphics Card, with 3GB (GPU’s), this machine mines like crazy, but has a relatively low power consumption rate.

2. Super heater Litecoin rig

This is more like those Frankenstein-like computers we saw a while ago mining Bitcoins.

3. 1482 75 Graphic mine

This amazing machine must have an unbelievable mining speed.

4. 256 GPU900 MEM1100 Litecoin rig

What a great use for an old computer that wasn’t good for nothing else. Now, it’s making digital money!

5. College room Litecoin rig

This machine makes you some money and even provides lighting for your study...

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If you are looking to mine Bitcoins or Litecoins with Minergate pool, here are some useful instructions from the member of our team Janika.

Hello! My name is Janika and I am very fresh in the world of cryptocurrency. I have never tried to mine one of the “major” cryptocurrencies and today I want to prove you that it is not that difficult even for a novice. Just put your mind to it, I will do my best to help you.

Ready

First of all, you need to know that your mining performance will depend on your hardware. Litecoin and especially Bitcoin require powerful resources to be mined profitably.

There are several possibilities to choose from. First of all, you can use the hashing power of your CPU (central processing unit) or GPU (graphic processing unit), by which I obviously mean video card. It is safe to say that you will get better results using the latter, but of course you are free to experiment.

The third option appeared in...

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Just a quick correction to Jed's review. He states: " the title states 1500 khash which im hoping he meant megahash...if your only getting 1500 khash...your doing it wrong :) good hunting."

That would be true for Bitcoin mining (SHA-256), but not Litecoin mining (scrypt). The lister is billing this as a Litecoin miner and the hash rates are for that. Litecoin hashing is about 1000 times slower on similar hardware. 1500 KH/sec is respectable--but I'd rather see something in the 2 MH/sec range (e.g. 3 7970s) in that box. With proper cooling, that should be possible.

There have been no ASIC announcements yet for scrypt mining (or even FPGA for that matter), so GPUs will dominate for some time in that arena. However, as ASICs begin to dominate bitcoin hashing, more and more GPU miners will be switching to Litecoin, and difficulty will increase dramatically. Calculate your ROI estimates with...

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The following Litecoin mining software guide is designed to help get you started in configuring your mining rig for pooled mining. If you’ve purchased the AMD 7950 graphics card mentioned in the mining rig build guides, you’ll find the best mining settings for your specific card. If you’ve chosen one of the AMD 7950 alternatives, don’t worry; this mining software guide will point you in the right direction to not only set up your mining software and maximize your hash rates, but understand the technology behind all these system tweaks as well.

Like many people, I’m a visual learner, so here’s a diagram to help us understand the ‘layers’ or ‘variables’ in your custom-built Litecoin mining rig:
In order from the top, we have three layers:

Environmental Variables Software Variables Hardware Variables

That’s a lot of variables! No wonder most people who are just getting started, have all kinds of issues tweaking all of these layers to work together properly. For...

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uTorrent recently made headlines for bundling cryptocurrency-mining junkware. Out of all the junkware programs bundled with installers, cryptocurrency-miners like Epic Scale are some of the worst.

Modern malware makes money by using this technique to mine Bitcoin, too. Even if you don’t care about most junkware at all, cryptocurrency-mining software is something you really don’t want on your computer.

Cryptocurrency 101

You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin, the most famous cryptocurrency. It’s a digital currency, and new units of currency are generated by “mining.” This is a computationally intensive task, and it requires a lot of processing power. Essentially, the computer is rewarded for solving difficult math problems. This processing power is used to verify transactions, so all that number-crunching is required for the cryptocurrency to work. That’s an extremely basic explanation — read our in-depth explanation of Bitcoin for more...

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Editor’s note: This guest post was written by Radoslav Albrecht, co-founder of peer-to-peer bitcoin lending platform Bitbond.net. He has a background in economics, worked at an investment bank in London, and runs the German bitcoin blog bitcoins21.

The bitcoin price is probably the most discussed aspect about bitcoin. But only few discussions try to derive a quantified long-term price potential.

Do not mistake potential for prediction. As Yogi Berra said: “It is tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Nobody is capable of accurate prediction. The price potential rather tells us where the price could go, given that certain assumptions will prove correct.

So if we’re not good at predicting something, why bother with an analysis about the bitcoin price potential?

Because it gives us a better understanding as to what drives the bitcoin price. It allows us to watch the identified drivers closely and refine our estimate of the potential.

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Find answers to recurring questions and myths about Bitcoin.

Table of contents

General

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the Internet. Bitcoin can also be seen as the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.

Bitcoin is the first implementation of a concept called "cryptocurrency", which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list, suggesting the idea of a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than a central authority. The first Bitcoin specification and proof of concept was published in 2009 in a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi left the project in late 2010...

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Bitcoin is still a relatively new technology and there are a lot of potential risks associated with investing in it. Below are some of the biggest risks I see facing bitcoin as it pertains to become a widely adopted currency. Note: I'm not a bitcoin "bear", these are just some risk factors.

a. Government Regulation

If the government were to make it illegal to own or use bitcoin, it would likely deter people from doing so. The government’s position on bitcoin is not clear. But it does seem plausible that the government could make it illegal, as the currency is somewhat competitive to government. The government could also try to regulate it and/or tax it the way it does other industries.
Depending on the specifics of the regulation, it could potentially make it less attractive to own bitcoin.

b. Limited Adoption

If there are very few people who accept payment in the form of bitcoin, there would be less incentive to own bitcoin. If you could use bitcoin for...

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Tuur Demeester is an independent investor, newsletter writer and editor in chief at Adamant Research. Launched in 2015, Adamant Research provides a monthly newsletter service. The inaugural report, ‘How to Position for the Rally in Bitcoin’ can be found here.

2015 was another rollercoaster year for bitcoin: incredible amounts of infrastructure development, lots of talk about ‘the blockchain’ and the fierce scalability debate, all against the backdrop of a crash to $150, which was followed by a high of $500 (so far).

Let's reflect back on the ups and downs of bitcoin's financial history, and then we can look forward to the ride to come.

Here's my condensed take on the financial history of bitcoin:

2009-2010: Conceptualization

This is the pre-history of bitcoin-the-currency, as there’s hardly even a price for the tokens generated by the bitcoin software.

A lot of technical and economic discussions take place, and core developers...

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In a few short months, Bitcoin has gone from novelty to full-blown mania. In the last month alone, the virtual currency blew through the $400 and $700 mark and charmed Washington DC. Now, it has risen over 6 percent in the last week and cracked $1,000 on a popular exchange. This tweet sums up the price:

BTC Prices: 1BTC = $1 Feb 2011 1BTC = $10 Jun 2011 1BTC = $100 Apr 2013 1BTC = $1000 Nov 2013 (via @coindesk)

— Adam Nash (@adamnash) November 27, 2013

The $1,000 hype has led to a spirited discussion on sites like Hacker News where some people suggest the price is heading ever upwards:

All else being equal, the more people who decide to use or hold Bitcoin, the higher its price will be, because the maximum number of bitcoins that can ever exist is permanently fixed. It’s a scarce commodity by design.

Others, of course, are more skeptical and think something else will happen:

You should take into account that if things go as usual,...

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It is my personal opinion that bitcoin has a small chance of becoming priced significantly higher than it is today. While the chance is small, the upside is high enough that It's worth making the investment as part of a diversified strategy.

This is similar to betting on a startup. Because I believe the chance is so small, I would not want to have a significant portion of my wealth in bitcoin. I would invest only a small percentage of my wealth in bitcoin. I would not try to buy and sell it like a day trader. Because of bitcoin’s price volatility, I would not want to take that risk. Instead, I would buy it and hold it as a long term investment.

Opportunity

If bitcoin was widely used as a currency it would most likely be priced significantly higher than it is today. It would likely be priced higher because it could only be widely used as a currency if a lot of people bought it first. The increase in demand for bitcoin would cause the price to...

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