Litecoin: Which is the Real Fork, and What it Promises

Litecoin may transform into a family of digital assets - but teams make different claims.

We already noticed that the Litecoin community had no taste for the upcoming forks. At this point, the forks not only look like a cash grab, but may confuse the community.

The reason for this is that in fact, two projects are competing for the Litecoin Cash moniker. We already covered one fast proposal using the Litecoin Cash Twitter handle, and which is in fact an ERC-20 token.

But the other fork aims to do something more ambitious - create a SHA-256 Litecoin version. This is even more puzzling, given that Litecoin was specifically formed to rely on the Scrypt hashing algorithm. In the case of Litecoin Cash, the project has miners in mind, and wants to offer a SHA-256 asset with a relatively low difficulty.

The rationale of the project founders is that this asset would put to use already obsolete mining equipment, which is no longer profitable in mining Bitcoin.

In expectation of the fork, Litecoin has not appreciated significantly, with the asset still more than 60% away from its peak, at $157.36.

The Real Hard Fork Please Stand Up

In the case of the real Litecoin Cash project, the fork is expected on or around February 18.

The fork will award 10 LCC, or Litecoin Cash, for each Litecoin owned. This digital asset will have nothing to do with the ERC-20 Litecoin Cash, and the two assets of the same name would be incompatible.

The team has used the "Cash" addition just for branding purposes:

"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. We're not associated or affiliated with Charlie Lee or any of the Litecoin team in any way; we are big fans though."

So far, the team remains anonymous. The Telegram community is less than 600 members, and the fork seems to be largely passed over by exchanges, at least for now.

Litecoin Cash will have a supply of 840 million coins, 10 times as much as Litecoin. Mining will start with a low difficulty and a low block reward, then grow to the 250 LCC block reward, which will go on to halve every four years.

On a positive note, the Litecoin Cash team does not aim to compete with Litecoin directly, and has warned users to be very careful and never split coins from their main Litecoin address, and from a full wallet. It is unknown whether official wallet providers would support Litecoin Cash, and how soon this would happen.