Litecoin vs. Darkcoin: Can the Coins Compete?

June 24, 2014 12:47 UTC

Litecoin and Darkcoin have been hovering around the same price for the past month. Litecoin is, arguably, the second-most successful digital currency currently on the market in terms of adoption, but Darkcoin seems to be stepping up into the same value-range. With the cryptocurrency market as competitive as it is, investors are wondering what will happen to either coin as the cards play out?

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In this corner, we have Litecoin: The quick and speedy crypto successfully attached to Bitcoin’s value fluctuations. Litecoin has been a pioneer for the scrypt algorithm and has paved the way for other cryptos to boast faster transaction times than Bitcoin.

In this corner, we have Darkcoin: The relatively new crypto driven to make money anonymous. Darkcoin has seen success in the markets, and looks to be a contender for the altcoin title.

Each of these digital currencies has strengths and following, but are haunted by a few negative stigmas. With the markets currently at an even playing field, it’s important for investors to look at each coin and what it can do to benefit crypto as a whole.


Litecoin was developed and release in October of 2011 by Charles Lee. Lee has a background as a Google employee, and now maintains a relatively popular stance in the digital currency community.

The coin runs on the scrypt algorithm, boast much faster transaction times than its predecessor, Bitcoin. Litecoin claims 2.5-minute transaction time, while Bitcoin is around ten minutes. It is Proof of Work, and will produce a total of 84 million coins.

Litecoin Moving Forward

Litecoin truly has brought something to the table that was much needed at the time: speed. Popularizing the scrypt algorithm has pushed the limits of an already revolutionary technology and has allowed other cryptos to tinker and improve the algorithm as they are released.

Along with this, Litecoin has allowed more access to more people. While Dogecoin’s production rate is in the billions, Litecoin seems to have found a happy medium between too much and too little. Enough Litecoin are in production to allow many people to have a few while not seeming as exclusive as Bitcoin.

Litecoin has also seen an excellent adoption rate among vendors that accept Bitcoin. Litecoin was able to provide large steps forward at the beginning of digital currency, and luckily were seen as the “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold.”

Litecoin Held Back

While Litecoin has been around for years, some in the digital community see it as a stagnant technological prospect. Litecoin paved the way for ASIC mining, but the market is so saturated with scrypt coins that it looks like Litecoin has stopped

Litecoin has surely seen its share of negativity from the Bitcoin community, as they are their oldest contender, but they’ve also recently gotten heat from other altcoins as well. Many see Litecoin as a halted coin with nothing more to give. As other coins are released onto the market with necessary improvements, it puts more pressure on already existing coins to improve themselves.

This is where Litecoin is currently held back. Whether improvements are being made or not, Litecoin needs a clear communication channel to the rest of the digital currency world on their developments. Otherwise, the negative stigma will continue to rise and become more visceral.


Founded in January of 2014, Darkcoin was developed by Evan Duffield. The coin uses the X11 algorithm that claims to be immune to the nearing 51% attacks Bitcoin and Litecoin have battled in the past.

Around 22 million coins will be produced, much less than that of Litecoin. Darkcoin developers are focused on making the coin as anonymous as possible through DarkSend, an obfuscating mixing implementation that works to keep transactions private.

Darkcoin’s Successes

Being so new to a market oversaturated with currencies, Darkcoin has had resistance and has overcome it in terms of growth. Released as Xcoin, Darkcoin quickly adopted its new name and brought forth the X11 algorithm. This algorithm claims fast speed, just like Litecoin, but more security.

Darkcoin also provides users with security in ways of anonymity. By DarkSend blurring transaction paths as much as possible, users can feel confidence in knowing they can move their finances without being watched. While anonymous transactions are a controversial topic on a case-by-case basis, Darkcoin looks to be challenging current technology with it.

Darkcoin’s Dark Past

One of the biggest bumps in the road Darkcoin faces is their big instamine. No, not premine. Darkcoin users will be the first to correct any sentiment of premine if seen.

In a post on, Duffield addressed this situation.

“When we relaunched we had a rush of miners join causing a huge spike of coin production without it being able to adjust the difficulty quick enough, we just ended up spilling out coins.”

“I soon fixed this issue at block 4500, but none of us realized the amount of coins that had been issued at the time. At that point, we didn’t even have a block explorer yet.”

The premine/instamine stigma that Darkcoin carries now seems to be enough to push investors away immediately. While the coin has seen growth, there are still some out there that remain highly skeptical. The developers have stated that the coins were introduced back onto the market carefully, but the mere mention of instamine is something the Darkcoin community will have to deal with for a long time.

Who Will Win

Both of these coins bring new additions to the table. They both provide valid technological advancements to the market that address current issues. However, in order to stay relevant, they will have to continue making those advancements and adjustments.

While Litecoin faces a bigger challenge due to it being late in their lifetime, they’re held up by their adoption successes. Darkcoin may have the ability to change and advance over time, but they face the mistakes of their past.

In order for either coin to see the successes of Bitcoin, they’ll have to push the market to the very limits. They’ll have to show investors what they can bring to the table in their own unique way. Otherwise, they’ll be forgotten as digital currency moves forward.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Last modified: July 2, 2014 09:53 UTC

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