Litecoin continues to rise in popularity, as one of the leading mining manufacturers lists new litecoin hardware on its website.
Bitmain, based in China, recently listed the Antminer L3+ miner online, with manufacturing and shipping to be completed in July. With prices starting at $1370, the company claims that it is one of the most powerful and efficient litecoin compatible miners on the market, operating at a peak hash rate of 504 MH’s (megahashes per second) and consuming 1.6 J/MH (Joules per megahash).
This and other new developments in mining hardware are further strengthening litecoin’s position following a surge of interest in the past two weeks. Miners have been showing support for the proposed software update – SegWit – that if confirmed will improve the network’s potential to efficiently process transactions quicker than leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The price of a single litecoin shot to almost $12 on Wednesday 12th April, an increase of 20% from the previous day, and nearly a three-year high after it spent years languishing behind bitcoin and its other large rival, Ethereum. Support for the software upgrade was rapidly approaching the 75% threshold required for the process to take effect at the end of last week.
According to Charles Hayter, CEO of CryptoCompare, litecoin has achieved what bitcoin and ethereum have both failed to do: “it has managed to break through an impasse by offering a scaling solution.” SegWit will enable miners to process more coins into each litecoin blockchain by stripping out data from litecoin transactions. For buyers this means increased ease transferring the balance from one litecoin to another, an ‘off-chain’ transaction that isn’t processed by the primary litecoin network, causing a reduction in fees. Despite a recent attempt ethereum didn’t quite reach the consensus required to split its network into two separate coins, a fate that bitcoin also shared in March.
As long as litecoin remains scalable, it has been discussed that it could gain market share from bitcoin due to the two currencies sharing similarities in their codebases. Petar Zivkovski, director of trading platform Whaleclub’s COO, has stated that “SegWit activation is very likely to create a mid-term bullish trend which will increase litecoin’s market cap.” However, he firmly believes that what is good for litecoin will also be good for bitcoin due to “some amount of wealth transfer from bitcoin to litecoin, simply because the most convenient way to buy litecoin is to use bitcoin.”
Although it is rapidly being accepted and utilized by global brands and online retailers, cryptocurrency is yet to be fully embraced by one of the largest growing online industries, namely the Casino industry. PokerStars, one of the leading online platforms in the industry, is one such company that hasn’t integrated litecoin or any of its rivals, stating as yet that it is not on their ‘roadmap.’
Althoughthere are numerous online platforms offering casino-based games that do accept bitcoin, partnering with the leaders in the industry must surely be the way forward to secure the future of cryptocurrency in the market.
And for now at least miner manufacturers like Bitmain aren’t committing themselves to allocating significant resources to litecoin hardware, despite SegWit-related support from mining pools like China’s F2Pool, due to the very simple fact that litecoin is still only worth a fraction of the market value of bitcoin.
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