Litecoin and Bitcoin. Both are great currencies which bring something good to the table. You have Bitcoin with the high prices, strong user base, dedicated developers and secure network. You have Litecoin, with the fast confirmation times, dedicated development and a secure network. If you liken Litecoin and Bitcoin to silver/gold and you have an idea of where it could go.
Both Litecoin and Bitcoin went through pumps and falls in 2014, and now Bitcoin is on the rise again. Litecoin has had a low but stable price of around $3 – 4 USD throughout 2016. This may seem small, but it is far from it. It has been stable. Which is a key aspect in a currency and something many altcoins lack entirely. The stability is even slightly higher than that of Bitcoin.
It seems that the Litecoin community are likely to come to consensus on implementing Segwit before Bitcoin. This has wide implications as it would greatly increase Litecoin’s transaction volume and the ability to scale infinitely, and could achieve this before Bitcoin does.
Both currencies can easily co-exist, just as Visa / Mastercard do. Bitcoin has the advantage of a more secure network and larger user base and a more recognized name, Litecoin has the advantages of being a backup or other blockchain, some load balancing if adoption of cryptocurrency increases, and more geared to smaller transactions and can handle a higher volume. It could, also upon deploying segwit potentially fix the scaling issue before things get out of hand / gets too large, where Bitcoin is not coming to consensus.
If bitcoin keeps 1MB blocks as some advocate doing, it will remain a store of wealth for serious investors only, not as a day to day currency, due to the limit of approximately 7 transactions a second. Tradeblock found that during stress tests (simulating many users flocking to the currency) had a mempool size of 40MB of transactions waiting to confirm, this is during a single block window, not counting other transactions coming in.
It would take 40 1 MB blocks (half a day) to confirm just those, let alone all the others coming in. Even during non stress tests in the blow image, courtesy of Tradeblock:
the mempool size of 10MB means it would take 10 blocks to clear those (100 minutes) if no other transactions were happening which they surely would be in widespread use. If Bitcoin has any hope of scaling, the ways of the purists would not be met. Like when one tells people they should not stay in the 1970s, the same applies here. We are not in 2009 anymore, but 2016. It looks like in this case, Litecoin has an advantage if it scales first. And a massive one. Even a 64MB block wouldn’t come close to denting visa/mastercard/amex transaction volumes. This is where Segregated Witness is a good solution.
Litecoin and Bitcoin both have uses. Bitcoin as a store of wealth and larger transactions, Litecoin for smaller transactions like buying your coffee with it. Most transactions in a day are small enough where Litecoin with segwit and the lightning network or other payment channels could do this easily. Bitcoin for those larger transactions.
Or if Bitcoin implements Segwit and comes to a consensus, then Litecoin would still remain silver to Bitcoin’s gold and Bitcoin would go to even new heights. Some see Litecoin as a testing ground for Bitcoin.
If Litecoin went Segwit and Bitcoin did not and stayed at 1MB, it would still be enough for a store of wealth for serious investors, while LTC was used for every day payments.
Both currencies have their place, and hedging bets in both is a wise move. Neither is better or worse than the other, but burying head in the sand in the case of scaling is dangerous at this point!