Wondering if the Litecoin cryptocurrency has a supply cap like bitcoin does? We've got the answers you need right here.
Litecoin (LTC) is among the earliest 'altcoins' to exist, with Charlie Lee launching the cryptocurrency in October 2011. Similar to bitcoin, Litecoin has seen its price increase during 2021 amid increased cryptocurrency interest. The altcoin hit a high of over $380 in May 2021, before dropping to $167 at the time of writing (via CoinMarketCap).
Unlike fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin will often have imposed hard caps on their total supplies. So, is Litecoin following in bitcoin's footsteps by having its own maximum supply limits, or does it have an unlimited supply like Shiba Inu?
Does Litecoin have a supply cap?
Yes, Litecoin has a maximum supply of 84,000,000 LTC. This is four times the supply cap of bitcoin, which has a limit of 21,000,000 BTC. Once the 84,000,000 LTC has been mined, no more LTC will come into existence.
Litecoin does not have a whitepaper to explain why it has this supply cap. However, in a presentation at BTC Miami, Charlie Lee gave a slight insight into the reasoning for many of Litecoin's features, including its limits.
Litecoin was a 'lite' version of bitcoin. I always thought of the silver analogy, so I wanted to create something that was a little bit cheaper than bitcoin, had a lot more coins, and felt more lightweight.
Lee used the concept of Litecoin being the 'silver to bitcoin's gold', which meant following bitcoin in imposing a supply cap but also quadrupling the total cap.
At its current price of $167, this gives Litecoin a fully diluted market cap of $14,028,000,000 - although this will change with any fluctuations in Litecoin's price.
How many Litecoins are left?
As of June 2021, there are over 66,000,000 LTC in circulation. This means that just over 17,000,000 LTC can be mined before the cryptocurrency reaches its supply cap.
However, it will take quite a while for the remaining LTC to be mined. Due to Litecoin halving - a phenomenon that sees the LTC rewarded per block mined half every 840,000 blocks - this event will not take place until approximately 2142, according to the Litecoin Foundation.
Of course, once all the remaining LTC has been mined, the total supply will likely be lower than 84,000,000. This is because a significant amount of wallets and keys may become - or already are - lost and therefore out of the wider circulation.