An Overview of Litecoin Forks
If you have been around the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry long enough, then the term “fork” will not be new to you. But hearing about them, and understanding them are two different ball games. So we set out to give you an overview of Litecoin forks, taking a look at how they happened and the reasons behind them.
The term “fork” is used to describe a situation when a particular blockchain diverges into two paths. This could happen when the entire blockchain community decides to adopt a new way of doing things, or a segment of the community chooses to break away from the old protocol.
There are two types of Blockchain forks, hard forks and soft forks. During a hard fork, all the nodes participating in a blockchain network must upgrade to a new protocol in order to remain relevant. Failing to do so would leave such nodes on an entirely different blockchain with distinct capabilities.
On the other hand, during a soft fork, nodes are also required to upgrade their software, but this does not necessarily make those who don’t, invalid. They all remain within the same network, and each node can still validate transactions. The only difference is that the two sets of nodes will work differently on the network, with varying capabilities.
Now, let us take a proper look at an overview of Litecoin forks as stated above:
Even Litecoin itself is a fork of Bitcoin which came into existence in October 2011. The brain behind Litecoin is Charlie Lee, who used to be an employee at Google, and former Engineering Director at Coinbase. Litecoin was forked off of the Bitcoin network in order to create a similar cryptocurrency but with an improvement in the speed of transactions. Hence it had the nickname, “faster Bitcoin”. Here is what Lee has to say about Litecoin:
“My vision is that people would use Litecoin every day to buy things. It would just be the payment method of choice.”
Down the road, members of the Litecoin community saw reasons to also create newer cryptocurrencies for other reasons and implementations. That is how the forks that we are about to discuss all came into existence.
This is the first ever Litecoin fork to be created. Junkcoin was created in May 2013, and going by the additional features, it appears to have been a cryptocurrency that was created for mining purposes. A description of the coin on BitcoinTalk shortly after its creation stated as follows:
“The new feature of this coin is that it added random coin size per block (see below), so even late in the game, you may still hit a block of 1000 coins! Like real gold mining, you may hit different block grade.”
Over the years, this fork of Litecoin has not really performed well in the cryptocurrency marketplace. Its trading volume has fallen significantly and so too is the network activity. At the time of writing, the market price of the JKC is $0.000095.
Litecoin experienced another hard fork in December 2013, the result of which is the creation of Monacoin. It is a cryptocurrency that is used for peer-to-peer payment, named after the popular ASCII cat, Mona, which was created in the late 1990s, and is very popular in Japan.
Monacoin is popular in the Japanese crypto ecosystem, and continues to be active in the cryptocurrency marketplace. MONA reached an all-time high price of $20.23 on 6 December 2017 before falling in price with other cryptocurrencies during the crypto winter. The coin trades at $1.11 at the time of writing, with a 24hr volume of $1,616,579.
Litecoin Cash is more recent, and remains one of the successful forks of Litecoin. The Litecoin Cash network is completely divergent from the original Litecoin, and is managed by a group that is completely different from the original Litecoin group.
Just like the parent blockchain, Litecoin Cash focuses on improved transaction processing, and in addition, a more productive mining system. The current price of Litecoin Cash on CoinmarketCap is $0.014645.
At a point when privacy of transactions became a hot topic in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, CloakCoin was one of the creations that emerged. It is yet another fork of Litecoin that was created in 2014.
A unique privacy protocol called ENIGMA is developed by CloakCoin, which it uses to make transactions anonymous. It achieves this with additional layers of encryption and off-chain coin mixing systems. You can participate in the CloakCoin network simply by using a smartphone or computer. The price of CLOAK at the time of writing is $0.298791.
Here we have a cryptocurrency designed for a course that is entirely secondary. We already know that many coins are created to either enable improved transaction systems, or to generate revenue for participants. For Einsteinium, the goal is different.
This is a fork of Litecoin that is designed to fund scientific processes, through the Einsteinium Foundation. What happens here is that the EMC2 coin is a mineable one, and the rewards of miners are taxed to raise funds for scientific research. There is a compulsory 2.5% donation from mined blocks. The donations are awarded to deserving scientific projects within the network’s community to carry out their exercises.
The price of EMC2 at the time of writing is $0.046156.
In the early days of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, there was a lot of activity around the ecosystem. When the initial challenges of Bitcoin showed up, especially in the area of transaction processes, innovations started popping up, including Litecoin.
In the same way, other projects that aimed to offer something better, or at least different, also emerged, and Feathercoin was one of them. The goal of Feathercoin was to provide a faster, more secure and stable cryptocurrency to Litecoin.
A major focus area in the creation of Feathercoin was in mining, as it was designed to be easier to mine and process transactions. This cryptocurrency at the time of writing trades at a low value of $0.009490.
It is common to find supporters of new projects claiming that their versions of products are better than the previous versions. While this is possible, it is more appropriate to describe these projects as “different” rather than holding claims of superiority. After all, from the list above we can see that these forks of Litecoin are yet to supercede the parent blockchain project. And the same applies to Litecoin, with regards to its relationship with its parent blockchain, Bitcoin.
What we enjoy with this development is the diversity that these forks provide us, based on what we want to achieve at any given time. This is where marketplaces like Vertex.Market play crucial roles in the industry. Peer-to-peer trading can be conducted seamlessly, across borders and requiring no KYC.
Whether you’re interested in the original blockchain, Bitcoin, or its most successful hard fork, Litecoin, or even Litecoin’s most successful hard fork, Monacoin — we hope you enjoyed this overview of Litecoin Forks.