If there exists a peer to peer coin next to Bitcoin and is featured enough to take the position of Bitcoin (if it fails), then its LiteCoin (LTC). In web world, it is considered as silver coin if BTC is tagged as gold coin. Charles Lee developed the litecoins in the year 2011 which are similar to bitcoins except few modifications.
The LTC working is based on the BTC protocol but it is modified in such a way that the transactions are made faster i.e. confirmations are obtained after approximately 2.5 minutes on an average, whereas Bitcoin transactions take hours to complete. The Litecoin network can create around 84 million currency units which is 4 times that of Bitcoins (21 million currency units).
Litecoin mining can be done on comparatively less advanced computing equipment and rather efficiently mined with consumer- grade hardware. It aims to mine on the same hardware that is used in Bitcoins mining process. It targets the GPUs and regular PCs used by maximum people by implementing a memory- hard and scrypt hashing mining algorithm. However, ASIC mining cannot be introduced for Litecoin unless and until it becomes as popular as Bitcoin.
It’s incredible to note that by December, 2013 around 24 million Litecoins were mined whereas BTC will take more years to produce just 21 millions! This kind of huge difference is due to the speed of transaction confirmation of the former one. Buying Litecoins with PayPal, Credit and Cash is difficult and thus, there is no direct way or solution to buy Litecoins with these options. In order to buy Litecoin with cash, you can opt for usage of Local BTC.
Remember not to download Litecoin clients from any web sites other than www.litecoin.org. You must take a look at security certificate in your browser. Do not even forget to upgrade the Litecoin client if you are running a previous version; do follow the Litecoin Client Upgrade Instructions. Now, the question arises as to where the mined Litecoins are being traded? Similar to VirWox (Virtual World Exchange) for BTC, Vircurex (Virtual Currency Exchange) is a trusted solution for the exchange of LTC. Currently, the largest exchange for LTC is carried out at BTC-E. The exchange rate of Litecoin few months back was about 35 USDs, as of now it has reduced down to 10.8 USDs.
Hence, you can now conclude Litecoin is the only potential Altcoin that is at next position to Bitcoin. On the other hand, the faster rates of transactions of Litecoins and huge quantity production of the currencies have not affected the popularity of Bitcoins worldwide!