The coming technology is always better than the previous one. In the crypto world, the newly invented currencies are better than the already invented currencies but all have their own trade-off between speed, security, and cost to mine.
Litecoin is a fork of bitcoin is also referred to as altcoins. Fork means they copied the bitcoin code and make few changes to make a new coin.
Litecoin gained so much popularity due to its transaction speed faster than bitcoin. Litecoin is 4 times faster than bitcoin and it takes 2.5 minutes to add a new block into its blockchain, but bitcoin is relatively slower and it takes 10 minutes to mine a block.
Let’s take an example, suppose you want to spend bitcoins in Macdonald, and you have to spend 10 minutes until the transaction is not completed because bitcoin POW algorithm takes 10 minutes to verify the transaction and add into the blockchain. But if you spend Litecoin to perform the transaction, you have to wait only for 2.5 minutes of your life.
Actually, Litecoin was developed to speed up the transaction which is a flaw in bitcoin. But what changes the inventor of Litecoin (Charlie Lee) made into the code of bitcoin to speed up the transactions. That change is changing the hashing algorithm
Bitcoin uses SHA256 hashing algorithm and Litecoin uses Scrypt algorithm.
SHA256 vs Scrypt
SHA stands for Secure Hashing algorithm, SHA256 is the most secure hashing algorithm used by bitcoin. But its processing is slow because it uses a lot of hashing power, but it is error free and considered the most secure. Bitcoin transactions are slow due to SHA256 algorithm, that’s why bitcoin transactions take 10mins to complete.
The mining of SHA256 coins is very hard, as they require a lot of hashing power and special hardware to mine like ASIC miner.
On the other hand, the new hashing algorithm Scrypt used by Litecoin is very simple and faster than SHA256, it consumes less hashing power of usually KH/s (kilohashes per second, or one thousand hash computations per second) or MH/s (Megahashes per second, or one million hash computations per second) which can easily be achieved using a normal computer. Litecoin mining sometimes referred to as Scrypt mining. Lee wanted the Litecoin should be mined by anyone easily without special hardware, that’s why he changed the hashing algorithm and made it ASIC resistance.
Which coin to mine SHA256 or Scrypt?
SHA256 coins require high-performance hardware like ASIC miners and huge electricity. For example, bitcoin, bitcoin cash, bytecoin are using sha256 hashing and it also depends on network difficulty.
Scrypt coins can be mined on already-existing CPU. This gives an advantage over sha256 coins because in the future sha256 coins gonna use more electricity due to high difficulty and profit ratio will be very low.
Both algorithms have their own significance. In terms of security, bitcoin is better and in terms of speed Litecoin is better, I am not saying litecoin is not secure it also secure due to blockchain technology, It’s just Scrypt do processing faster than sha256.
But in terms of mining sha256 coins are not profitable to mine as they require huge electricity and special hardware to mine. this is why future of SHA256 coins is not bright, as the electricity cost may get higher and working miner will not get profit and they will close this business, but in scrypt we can use general CPU and it requires less electricity than sha256.
Always research about coin to mine, which algorithm they are using , is it sha256 or Scrypt or any other.