The World's First Successful "Altcoin"
Widely considered to be the first successful “alternative cryptocurrency,” Litecoin’s 2011 release would inspire a wave of developers to try to expand the user base for cryptocurrencies by altering Bitcoin’s code and using it to launch new kinds of networks.
So, while Litecoin was not the first cryptocurrency to copy Bitcoin’s code and modify its features, it is one of the more historically significant, establishing a robust market over time even as it has sometimes faced criticisms that it lacks a clear value proposition.
While inspired by, and in most regards technically nearly identical to Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin has some technical improvements over Bitcoin, and most other major cryptocurrencies, such as the adoption of Segregated Witness, and the Lightning Network. These effectively allow a greater amount of transactions to be processed by the network in a given time, reducing potential bottlenecks, as seen with Bitcoin. Litecoin also has almost zero payment cost and facilitates payments approximately four times faster than Bitcoin.