It may sound like an oxymoron, but it does appear as though at our present stage, cryptocurrencies surprisingly don't make out to be very good at the whole ‘currency' thing. We hope, however, that by the end of our Litecoin vs Dash comparison guide, we can be more optimistic in that these two cryptocurrencies will take decentralized, secure, private, affordable, and speedy transactions as the new norm for digitalized tokens.
But why did we have to ponder that in the first place? Simply, cryptocurrencies are still in the process of maturing into becoming a usable day-to-day currency, one that we can comfortably and conveniently use to buy goods or pay for services. Litecoin and Dash are two of the cryptocurrencies that are making strong headway towards this goal, however, with blockchains designed to be an alternative to the traditional means of payments.
Both Litecoin and Dash aim to disrupt this market and the way money moves around, with the creation of a new decentralized monetary system controlled by you, the people, and not the banks. Both were built on Bitcoin's foundations and have augmented themselves to solve some of its limitations and optimize themselves better as everyday currencies. So, read along our Litecoin vs Dash comparison to see if they've succeeded.
Litecoin VS Dash Comparison Table
|Crypto Token: LTC||Crypto Token: Dash|
|Token Market Capitalization: $13,550,830,794||Token Market Capitalization: $2,743,893,633|
|Market Cap Rating: 8||Market Cap Rating: 31|
|Total Token Supply:84,000,000 LTC||Total Token Supply:18,900,000 DASH|
|Uses/Applications: Day-to-day currency, medium for payments and transactions, or store of value.||Uses/Applications: Day-to-day currency, medium for payments and transactions, or store of value. |
Both Litecoin and Dash have ambitions in creating a secure, private, decentralized, robust, borderless, time-efficient, and cost-effective means of a monetary system that can seamlessly connect businesses with people around the world. However, they both share many similarities in their approach, as they both offer quick and nearly instantaneous transactions, with maximal security and privacy while also costing very low fees.
However, as we'll learn in our Litecoin vs Dash comparison, the key difference is in their global adoption. While Litecoin is by no means a laggard, Dash is leading ahead in the number of widespread commercial support for its cryptocurrency tokens. Many businesses have integrated Dash's cryptocurrency within their payments solutions as a readily and acceptable means of seamlessly processing transactions with Dash's blockchain network.
What Is Litecoin?
Founded in 2011, Litecoin was the brainchild of a former Google employee and computer scientist, Charlie Lee. The Litecoin blockchain is made to be open-source and powered by a decentralized network. Originally, it was created on a modified version of the Bitcoin blockchain and adding on top of that core improvements and upgrades to make it a more usable daily currency.
As per the name, Litecoin is made to be a ‘lite' version of Bitcoin and has long been regarded as the ‘silver' to Bitcoin'sgold.' Among the key modifications in making Litecoin easier to mine and changes to the tokenomics. As highlighted in the comparison table above, Litecoin has 4-times the maximum supply cap of Bitcoin (84,000,000 vs. 21,000,000) and with 4-times faster block timing (2.5 minutes vs 10 minutes).
Litecoin has also benefited in sharing some of Bitcoin's key upgrades over the years. Some examples include Litecoin's adoption of SegWit and the Lightning Network. Litecoin was even among the very first blockchain networks to have implemented SegWit. Its governing body, the Litecoin Foundation, maintains a proactive approach to new developmental changes by bringing future protocol updates before Bitcoin or any other blockchain.
What Are Litecoin's LTC Tokens?
LTC is the native cryptocurrency token of the Litecoin ecosystem. It works similarly to that of Bitcoins's BTC, where LTC can be used as a store of value, as a currency used for payments and transactions, or as a reward for miners. However, unlike Bitcoin's highly appreciative tokens, Litecoin has been designed to best work as a usable payments medium, with its permission-less model, ease of integration, and low transaction fees.
LTC cryptocurrency tokens are among the most widely used to date as an alternative form of currency, as Litecoin has made it easy to integrate it with various payment solutions and point-of-sale systems. As of January 2021, Litecoin's LTC is an accepted payment method at over 2,000 unique merchants worldwide. They have even earned recognition from PayPal, as they have recently announced support for LTC.
At the time of writing this Litecoin vs Dash comparison, LTC tokens are changing hands at a price of $203.80. Matched with its current circulation of 66,490,567 LTC tokens, and this puts a market capitalization value of $13,550,830,794 – making Litecoin the 8th-largest cryptocurrency. As mentioned earlier, Litecoin has a total supply limit of 84,000,000 LTC and has a halving every 4 years, or roughly every 840,000 blocks.
What Are Litecoin's Features?
Now, we've been able to understand more about Litecoin's background and its native LTC cryptocurrency tokens. To get a more conclusive look at our Litecoin vs Dash comparison, we also need to understand more comprehensively what makes Litecoin unique. So, here we've compiled a summarised list of Litecoin's features and benefits.
1. Proof-of-Work (PoW) Consensus Model
As with Bitcoin, Litecoin adopts a Proof-of-Work consensus model. This is underpinned by the use of ‘mining' to secure and validate data on the blockchain network. As a reward for their work, miners receive LTC tokens and as an incentive to further contribute more mining power future. The rewards will soon keep decreasing, as with increasing mining difficulty that happens every halving – 4 years, or about 840,000 blocks.
The difference is that Litecoin uses a Scrypt cryptographic hashing algorithm for mining, compared to Bitcoin and its SHA-256. Scrypt makes Litecoin mining more memory intensive, and this means that mining can be done more easily on regular and commodity computing hardware instead of more complex and expensive ASICs. The end goal is to make Litecoin mining more efficient and decentralized.
2. Faster and More Affordable Payments with Lightning Network
Following Litecoin's goals of increasing its LTC tokens' usability for regular payments, they have also adopted the Lightning Network protocol for their blockchain. The Lightning Network adds a second-layer solution integrated to improve Litecoin's versatility. It achieves this by allowing nearly instantaneous payments and with low fees between users and merchants.
The Lightning Network functions through a specialized payments channel between a Litecoin holder and a merchant. If a user wishes to transact or pay at a store, for example, a payments channel will open between the two parties, which is secured end-to-end. None of the transaction data from this payment channel is recorded onto the blockchain until both parties have completed the transaction and have closed the payment channel.
This enables the payments to be done independently of the blockchain until after the transaction is complete. The first benefit is that transactions can be done nearly instantly, as both the user and the merchant don't have to wait for network confirmations. Moreover, both parties will only need to pay Litecoin miners once the payment channel has been closed.
In summary, the Lightning Network's adoption has made Litecoin more usable, efficient, and cheaper for mass adoption. It makes transactions to be done more securely, quickly, and without having to incur hefty fees compared to some other blockchains and traditional solutions. To prove this, they sent 0.00000001 LTC from Zurich to San Francisco, and the transaction took just under 1 second to complete.
3. Efficient Transaction Processing with SegWit
Litecoin was among the first blockchains to adopt the Segregated Witness (SegWit) network protocol update. In essence, SegWit makes blockchain transactions more efficient and scalable. It does this by segregating (or separating) witness signatures from transaction data. Usually, witness signatures take up more or less 50% of the capacity for each block.
By segregating the witness signatures from the block, it allows a blockchain to more effectively increase the number of transactions that can be stored inside each block. As a result, this means that Litecoin – or any other blockchain – can increase its processing capacity and can complete more transactions per second. Overall, the adoption of SegWit means that a blockchain can be more scalable.
This has several advantages that add to a blockchain's functionality. Firstly, SegWit results in cheaper transaction fees for blockchains. This is a result of the number of transactions that can be stored for each block. Since SegWit makes more room inside of a block for more transactions, a block producer won't need to process as many blocks for a set number of transactions to occur.
Next, SegWit makes for a more robust blockchain network. Previously, witness signatures can be altered before a block can be validated by miners while also unintentionally changing the transaction ID. This is a problem for book-keeping and for making sure all network participants send and receive the agreed amount. SegWit had solved this by allowing the signatures to be changed without altering the transaction parameters.
4. Increased privacy with MimbleWimble.
Recently, Litecoin has adopted the MimbleWimble protocol update to their blockchain. MimbleWimble is a data storage and transactions structure that increases privacy and fungibility while also aiding in increase scalability. MimbleWimble is based on a UTXO model. But unlike the traditional application, it does not have any addresses, and private keys are further encrypted to be known only by the account holder.
When transacting with Litecoin through MimbleWimble, both the sender and receiver will need to establish a dedicated channel for the transaction. Both parties will then sign off on the transaction, respectively, before being sent to the blockchain's mining nodes. This allows for transactions to be completely anonymous, ensuring complete privacy and confidentiality.
What Are Litecoin's Future Roadmap Updates?
The MimbleWimble protocol update was the most recent one added to the Litecoin blockchain. Now, we shall be taking a deeper dive into some of the future developments planned for the Litecoin blockchain so that we can have a better perspective for our Litecoin vs Dash comparison review.
The most immediate improvements planned for Litecoin are to further boost its scalability and versatility through more optimization. Presently, this includes the implementation of Schnorr signatures and Taproot onto the Litecoin blockchain. Both are designed to improve the efficiency of transactions on the network while also creating an extra layer for added privacy and security.
Unfortunately, these new additions to the Litecoin blockchain could also expose it to increased regulatory pressure, as transactions can be done anonymously and practically untraceable. One more thing to look at in Litecoin's future is the next halving cycle. The first halving for its LTC tokens happened in August 2015 and once again in August 2019. The next halving is scheduled to arrive sometime in August 2023.
We can now finish the first half of our Litecoin vs Dash comparison. Indeed, it's very easy to get excited about Litecoin's promise while also looking at its ability to push cryptocurrencies into mass adoption. This is especially in the realms of using cryptocurrencies as a viable alternative to stablecoins and fiat currencies. Litecoin has lit the way forwards, where transactions can be done quickly, seamlessly, privately, securely, and affordably.
Evidently, Litecoin's LTC tokens have seen increasing interest lately, as more people are seeing the specialties of its underlying blockchain. This is compounded by the limited scalability of major blockchains today, struggling under network congestion, and sky-high fees. It's clear that alternative blockchains like Litecoin are crucial to the survival and future adoption of blockchain technology en masse in a decentralized future.
Litecoin Pros & Cons
What Is Dash?
Dash was founded in 2014 as a fork of the Litecoin blockchain. At the time, it carried the name ‘Xcoin' and was later rebranded into ‘Darkcoin.' This was perhaps consequential, as their cryptocurrency tokens were widely used in major dark-web marketplaces for illicit transactions. It was then rebranded again as Dash, following a “re-fork” from Litecoin to Bitcoin after encountering technical bugs – a combination of the words, ‘digital cash.'
The purpose of Dash's existence is to offer faster, cheaper, and more private transactions on its own blockchain than the pseudo-anonymous Bitcoin. Their ambition is to be a leader in the processing and settling payments. Dash, just like Litecoin, aims to help fix some of Bitcoin's core flaws. This included Bitcoin's lengthy 10 minute block time and reducing that to just 2 minutes and 30 seconds with Dash.
Dash is also the longest-running decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in operation. This means that Dash is not controlled by a single entity but instead relies on on-chain governance to promote changes, allocate network resources, and continually support the blockchain. Dash has since rapidly grown and expanded its business into becoming its own financial services provider, more than just for transactions and settlements.
What Are DASH Tokens?
DASH is the native cryptocurrency token within the Dash blockchain ecosystem. It works as a store of value, as a medium for payments or transactions, and also as a reward-cum-incentive for miners. Just like Litecoin, Dash's vision is to build a cryptocurrency that can be used very easily for day-to-day transactions without having to pay high network fees or having to wait a long time for confirmations.
DASH tokens have rapidly grown in use within the Dash blockchain ecosystem. As of late 2020, Dash has integrated its payments solutions and cryptocurrency tokens to over 4,800 different merchants all over the world and across more than 260 exchanges and brokers. It has a daily active address count of over 85,000 for its DASH tokens and having settled more than $640,00,000 as of 2020.
More than 20,000 daily transactions are being processed by Dash and at a speedy transaction speed of less than 1 second and a fee of just $0.01 per transaction. Highlighting its growth, DASH tokens are priced at $275.07 while writing this Litecoin vs Dash review. A circulating supply of 9,975,402 DASH values its market cap at $2,743,893,633, making Dash the 31st-largest cryptocurrency. Its maximum supply cap is 18,900,000 DASH.
What Are Dash's Features?
So far in our Litecoin vs Dash comparison, we've taken a very good overview of what Dash is and its cryptocurrency tokens. We've seen now how far Dash has been integrated into the worldwide monetary and financial systems and the promise it has. So, let's take a closer look into how it's achieving this by studying the features that make Dash unique.
1. Hybrid Proof-of-Work, and Proof-of-Service
Dash's blockchain operates on a two-tier network, combining both in a unique hybrid setup to power its ecosystem. The first tier are nodes that are responsible for powering and securing the Dash blockchain through mining operations, carried out under a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. Here, at least 51% of nodes must approve a transaction for the data to be embedded onto the blockchain.
Dash uses a specialized ‘X11' cryptographic mining hashing algorithm, which has been touted as among the most secure algorithms used in blockchains to date. Meanwhile, the second tier on the blockchain consists of Masternodes. They are powerful servers that operate under a unique Proof-of-Service consensus algorithm. Any node can become a Masternode, with 1,000 DASH backed and kept at all times as collateral.
Masternodes operate some of the specialized functions that run on top of the Dash blockchain network, such as processing the InstantSend and PrivateSend features. Just like nodes, Masternodes are rewarded with DASH tokens as compensation for their services. As the name suggests, Masternodes have greater control over regular nodes and can, for example, have the power to reject newly created blocks if they were added incorrectly.
Masternodes are able to perform specialized tasks (i.e., validate transactions) without requiring the entire blockchain and all its nodes to take part. This is different from most blockchains, and this second layer is what allows Dash to offer speedy transactions without high fees. Moreover, Masternodes are responsible for ensuring the security of the Dash blockchain through ChainLocks and preventing 51% chain attacks or double-spending.
2. Greater anonymity and privacy with PrivateSend
Users on the Dash blockchain can also send their tokens privately and anonymously using the PrivateSend functionality. Using a technology known as “CoinJoin,” the Dash blockchain increases privacy for transactions using PrivateSend, by intentionally mixing up the Dash tokens of several holders before transmitting the transaction data and then completing the transaction.
As a result of the batch mixing, it creates uncertainty and difficult traceability regarding the actual source of the original transaction. However, the transaction itself is still recorded onto the blockchain. Therefore, the use of Dash's PrivateSend makes it much harder for third parties to monitor and know the total value of an account holder's assets, for instance. This can thus be used to protect users from cyber-theft attempts against high net value users.
3. Instantly settled payments with InstantSend
Aside from the privacy benefits of PrivateSend, Dash also offers users and holders of Dash to make payments that can be settled instantaneously, using its InstantSend feature. Just like the aforementioned PrivateSend, InstantSend's services are able to happen owing to the existence of Masternodes. Normally, blockchains can often take a long time to process transactions, and usually, the only way to bypass this is through centralizing its nodes.
Dash is able to enable instantly verified transactions to occur across its blockchain network while still retaining a decentralized structure. The smaller batch of Masternodes can vote on a transaction through InstantSend, and lock in the transaction to be confirmed and verified in subsequent blocks without needing the rest of the mining nodes across the Dash blockchain to take part.
This has allowed Dash to offer instantly processed payments in a decentralized manner while also competing in terms of speed, security, and reliability as traditional and centralized institutions that process credit card or point-of-sale payments. It's this feature that has allowed Dash to rapidly process payments and at significantly lower fees than competing blockchains that might take minutes or an hour for transactions to be confirmed.
What Are Dash's Future Roadmap Updates?
So far, in our Litecoin vs. Dash comparison, we've taken a look at some of the unique features and key characteristics that set Dash apart from other blockchain solutions. Well, now would be a good time to peer into the crystal ball and see what they have planned for the future. They have long committed to innovative and proactive development, having already released numerous key technologies, and have partnered with many companies.
Currently, Dash's most immediate attention is being put on DashPay, which is their dedicated wallet and payments application. DashPay functions just like ApplePay or PayPal in that it allows users to hold Dash and then easily transact, transfer, or pay using its DASH cryptocurrency tokens. It makes the process of running a wallet application much easier and more seamless while also powered by Dash's expansive network of supported merchants.
DashPay has already been released in its Alpha stage as of writing this Litecoin vs Dash comparison, although further refinements are to be made. Dash has also planned a slew of optimizations and minor updates to their blockchain, such as adding new security checks and running stress tests. Dash will also seek to expand its reach as an accepted payment method for more businesses, merchants, and vendors.
We can now end the second half of our Litecoin vs Dash review and safely summarise our thoughts on Dash. We can see that in the heated competition of integrating cryptocurrencies for regular payments, Dash is far ahead of Litecoin. This is helped with its more regulatory complaint approach, as Dash has been certified to be friendly to both AML and KYC rules while also retaining maximal privacy and robustness.
Dash has been widely adopted and preferred by businesses as a viable medium for accepting payments and by individuals who'd want convenience and ease of use. You can use DASH tokens to buy gift cards, spend on mobile top-ups, pay for online services, book air tickets and accommodation overseas, and more. While many cryptocurrencies are still lagging behind in mainstream use, it seems like Dash is readily dashing ahead into the future.
DASH Pros & Cons
Litecoin VS Dash: Conclusion
It's time now to end our Litecoin vs Dash comparison by declaring a final winner between the two. Admittedly, this is very hard to do, as both blockchains have immense capabilities, with strong feature sets, good widespread adoption, alongside a very promising future. Both Litecoin and Dash have the ultimate goal of creating seamless, convenient, affordable, and robust currencies for mass use in everyday situations.
However, we can see quite clearly that despite Litecoin's best efforts to soldier on, Dash is the leader of the pack when it comes to creating a cryptocurrency token that can best be used as a regular, usable currency. It has had far more adoption among businesses (double the global supported merchant's count) and with its userbase. This is not to mention its unique blockchain, that as has allowed Dash's unique features to propagate.
Being able to send and process transactions instantly and not letting third-parties snoop on your tokens is a massive advantage. Despite much of the controversy of Dash's early history, it has grown into a very competent ecosystem and one that works towards creating a future where cryptocurrencies can very readily be used worldwide. As we've learned in our Litecoin vs Dash review, the future looks very bright indeed, thanks to these two.