Is Litecoin any better than Bitcoin for online gambling?

8 October, 2018

It is no secret that some gamblers are excited about the possibilities of gambling using cyrpto. Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency out there. There are thousands of them. One of the more well-known Bitcoin competitors is Litecoin.

Our research indicates that a growing number of casinos are looking at Litecoin in addition to Bitcoin as vehicles for cryptocurrency deposits. This leads many cryptocurrency users to wonder if Litecoin has any advantages. Given our focus crypto gambling, we are curious as to whether Litecoin is any better than Bitcoin for playing online casino games.

We have determined that, in the end, it is not. Both Litecoin in Bitcoin have their advantages and disadvantages. Litecoin may be better in some areas and worse in others, but it's not likely to supplant Bitcoin as the dominant cryptocurrency in today's market. With that said, let us look at Litecoin as a means of online gambling compared to Bitcoin.

A little bit about Litecoin

It is appropriate to talk a little about the history of Litecoin before we actually begin comparing it to Bitcoin. Litecoin is both a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and an open-source software project, first released in 2011. It was designated as an altcoin project because it was directly spun off Bitcoin. In fact, Litecoin was one of the first of Bitcoin's many 'children'.

Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin from a technical standpoint. It utilizes a distributed ledger blockchain and an open-source cryptographic protocol to handle transactions. And like Bitcoin, Litecoin is not managed by any central authority. It is completely decentralized with multiple copies of its blockchain distributed on computer nodes around the world.

So what's different about Litecoin? For starters, Litecoin was developed as a fork of the Bitcoin core only. Unlike Bitcoin Cash, which was a fork of Bitcoin's entire blockchain ledger and core, Litecoin did not automatically make Bitcoin owners Litecoin owners as well. Litecoin ownership started from scratch.

Second, Litecoin's code created a platform with a faster block generation time, a different hashtag algorithm, a different user interface, and a larger number of total coins. The most important difference among them was the speed. By the time Litecoin was released in 2011, Bitcoin had already become a bit cumbersome due to its size. While Bitcoin transactions were getting progressively slower, Litecoin was demonstrably faster.

Litecoin as a gambling currency

Bitcoin is still the undisputed leader of cryptocurrencies in terms of both market capitalization and name recognition. That instantly gives Bitcoin an advantage within online gambling. How so? Because casinos looking to add cryptocurrency payments will think of Bitcoin first. Name recognition helps a lot in that regard.

Litecoin, though not as popular, is beginning to show up in online casinos. We randomly chose Sloto'Cash Casino as an example of one such site. Sloto'Cash Casino does accept Bitcoin, but they also accept Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. The online casino enforces no deposit maximum on any of its three cryptocurrency options.

Both Litecoin and Bitcoin function roughly the same way in terms of actually making deposits. Gambling with Litecoin requires having some in your digital wallet. Payments are 'pushed' to the casino's account by initiating a transaction. Bitcoin works the same way. Transactions are encrypted, they are nearly instantaneous, and players can begin gambling right away.

Both Litecoin and Bitcoin also offer anonymity. Due to the encrypted nature of cryptocurrency transactions, buyers and sellers do not need to know one another's identities. So while the online gambler generally has to provide some information in order to register with an online casino, that person's most sensitive information (e.g., credit card and bank information) never has to be revealed.

Litecoin may be better for merchants

Litecoin as a cryptocurrency for online gambling may eventually be more competitive with Bitcoin once merchants discover that it might be better for them. A few of the key differences in Litecoin's architecture suggest that it might be more advantageous to accept Litecoin over Bitcoin.

This takes us back to the question of speed. While transactions for both cryptocurrencies are nearly instantaneous, there is a significant difference in the amount of time it takes for a transaction to be cleared and confirmed. Your average Litecoin transaction is cleared in about 2.5 minutes. It can take as much as 60 minutes for a priority Bitcoin transaction to clear.

This is a big deal to merchants. The faster cryptocurrency transactions clear, the faster the casino has the actual money in its account. When you are dealing with the large amounts casinos typically deal with, the difference between 2.5 minutes and 60 minutes is significant.

Another thing to consider is Litecoin's cryptographic algorithm. Bitcoin utilizes the SHA-256 algorithm, an algorithm that requires tremendous computing power to work with. Bitcoin miners put a ton of financial resources into their computer equipment in order to maximize their mining operations.

Litecoin, on the other hand, uses the Scrypt algorithm. It is a much less complex algorithm that doesn't require nearly the same computing power. Why does this matter to online casinos? Because it encourages more Litecoin mining and, subsequently, more Litecoin use.

Crypto values are another factor

The comparisons between Litecoin and Bitcoin for online gambling do not stop at the technical differences. Another factor both gamblers and online casinos have to consider are the values of the two cryptocurrencies. From the gambler's perspective, consider how much it costs to buy a single Bitcoin.

At the time of this writing, a single Bitcoin was worth just over US$6,537. There are some 17 million coins currently in circulation. A single Litecoin is worth $57.84 with just over 2.8 billion coins in circulation. If you are investing in cryptocurrency for the first time, which one are you more likely to choose?

An online casino operator might go the opposite way. He or she might choose Bitcoin as the preferred cryptocurrency due to its higher value. To the online casino owner, Bitcoin is more than just a currency with which players can gamble. It is also an investment. Casino owners can substantially increase the value of their operations when the value of Bitcoin rises.

In between the two cryptocurrencies is something that tends to level the playing field between them: volatility. And this is where Litecoin has a slight advantage.

Why crypto is so volatile

If you pay attention to cryptocurrencies in general, you are already aware that they tend to be rather volatile as compared to fiat currencies. The price of Bitcoin alone is subject to wild swings in short periods of time - sometimes just a few hours. Other cryptocurrencies are comparably volatile as well. The volatility of any one cryptocurrency can mean both good and bad things for those individuals and merchants who use it.

So what makes Bitcoin, Litecoin, et al so volatile? Decentralization. Because cryptocurrencies are not controlled by any government or banking authority, their value is determined entirely by supply and demand. There are no other influencing factors. If there is enough demand for Bitcoin to pinch the supply, the price goes up. When demand falls, so does the price. It is the same with Litecoin and all other cryptocurrencies.

This volatility suggests a certain amount of risk for any online casino that chooses to accept cryptocurrency. Imagine being an online casino owner that has accepted the equivalent of $50,000 in Bitcoin deposits during the course of a day. When the day began, a single coin was worth $6,500. Do the math and you will discover you have approximately 7.69 coins to your name.

Now let us assume BTC declines in value by 10% overnight. While you are sleeping, the per-coin price falls from $6,500 to $5,850. By the time you wake up your 7.69 coins are now worth only $44,986.50. You've lost more than $5,000 overnight, based on something you have no control over. For this reason many gambling operators exchange the BTC to fiat money on a daily basis.

Litecoin has an advantage here for two reasons. First, its lower per-coin value poses less of a risk when the value of the cryptocurrency declines. Second, Litecoin is historically not as volatile as Bitcoin. It still has its ups and downs, but the fact that it is worth so much less as compared to Bitcoin also lends to its stability.

The verdict

With all the information we have about both Bitcoin and Litecoin, our verdict is that neither Litecoin nor Bitcoin has a clear enough advantage to make it the better choice for online gambling. Both have their strong and weak points for gamblers and casino owners alike.

At the end of the day, Litecoin works just as well for online gambling as Bitcoin. Users have to purchase their Litecoin from an exchange, store in their own digital wallets, and push it to online casino accounts when making deposits. Transactions are instantaneous and rather inexpensive.

If you like the idea of gambling online with cryptocurrency, Litecoin is one of your options. It is a cryptocurrency that offers all the same benefits of Bitcoin but with a bit more stability.