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Litecoin is on the verge of a major split. Sunday, has caused a stir in the cryptocurrency community as insiders fear confusion around the new token. The split will occur at block 1371111, currently estimated for Sunday evening. When it happens, anyone holding Litecoin will receive 10 Litecoin Cash tokens for every Litecoin token in their wallet. It’s a process all to familiar to the Bitcoin Cash team, which split away and has now become the world’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency. The token enjoyed an impressive surge in value on Friday, jumping 11. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin depend on consensus for change.
Miners run software to interact with the token blockchain. The big incentive to avoid a hard fork is that a new cryptocurrency will have a different marketplace valuation, so a fork requires belief in the new system to rally the price of the new tokens and make mining worth the while. The two tokens have different goals in mind. Bitcoin Cash was about increasing the size of the original bitcoin’s block from one megabyte to eight, which means more data processed at once and a potential increase in transaction speed. Bitcoin receives criticism for only processing around seven transactions per second globally, as opposed to the 50,000 or so with a regular credit card. Instead, Litecoin Cash’s main goal is to repurpose older mining equipment designed to create cryptocurrency tokens using the SHA-256 algorithm.
One of the big changes Litecoin made from bitcoin is switching to another system called Scrypt, making older machines obsolete. The team also claims transactions will be 90 percent cheaper than Litecoin. We’re using the Litecoin Cash name simply because it has become customary in recent months for a coin which forks a blockchain to prefix its name with the name of the coin being forked. This practice has become a widely understood convention.
This reasoning has not gone down well in the community, with some fearing that Litecoin Cash might become confused with its original token. Online retailer Overstock mixed up bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash in January, allowing customers to pay with either token at the same numeric token amount. The litecoin community has no interest in splitting. It’s just some people trying to make a quick buck.
And calling it litecoin gives them some legitimacy. If you liked this article, check out this video about Litecoin’s creator, a meme-loving Internet Dad. Why do I have to complete a CAPTCHA? Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. What can I do to prevent this in the future? If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.
Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. You can’t have Bitcoin without mining. Even if you have gotten your head around what cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin actually are, you’d be forgiven for wondering what Bitcoin mining is all about. It’s far removed from the average Bitcoin owner these days, but that doesn’t change how important it is.
It’s the process that helps the cryptocurrency function as intended and what continues to introduce new Bitcoins to digital wallets all over the world. It’s the process by which transactions conducted with Bitcoin are added to the public ledger. It’s a method of interacting with the blockchain that Bitcoin is built upon and for those that take part in the computationally complicated activity, there are Bitcoin tokens to be earned. Want to learn all about altcoins like Litecoin, or Ethereum? We have guides for those too. The basics of mining Cryptocurrency mining in general, and specifically Bitcoin, can be a complicated topic.
Mining is a risky process though. It not only takes heavy lifting from the mining chips themselves, but boatloads of electricity, powerful cooling, and a strong network connection. The reward at the end isn’t even guaranteed, so it should never be entered into lightly. Bitcoin works differently from traditional currencies.
Where dollars and pounds are handled by banks and financial institutions which collectively confirm when transactions occur, Bitcoin operates on the basis of a public ledger system. In order for transactions to be confirmed — to avoid the same Bitcoin from being spent twice, for example — a number of Bitcoin nodes, operated by miners around the world, need to give it their seal of approval. For that, they are rewarded the transaction fees paid by those conducting them and while there are still new Bitcoins to be made — there are currently more than 16. 8 million of a maximum 21 million — a separate reward too, in order to incentivize the practice. In taking part in mining, miners create new Bitcoins to add to the general circulation, whilst facilitating the very transactions that make Bitcoin a functional cryptocurrency. Prospective miners download and run bespoke mining software — of which there are several popular options — and often join a pool of other miners doing the same thing. It’s a computationally intense process that is further hampered by deliberate increases in difficulty as more and more miners attempt to create the next block in the chain.
The individual miner or pool who are the first to create the proof of work for a block are rewarded with transaction fees for those confirmed transactions and a subsidy of Bitcoin. That subsidy is made up of brand new Bitcoin which are generated through the process of mining. That will continue to happen until all 21 million have been mined. There is no guarantee that any one miner or mining pool will generate the correct integer needed to confirm a block and thereby earn the reward. That’s precisely why miners join pools. Although their reward is far smaller should they mine the next block, their chances of doing so are far greater as a collective and their return on any investment they’ve made much more likely.