Litecoin is a Bitcoin fork.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, initially called it “silver to Bitcoin's gold”. It was designed to take the best from Bitcoin and other coins that were popular at that time.
Lee’s intent was to make a faster and less secure coin than Bitcoin, so he decided to reduce average block time from 10 to 2.5 minutes. He also switched the hashing algorithm from SHA-256 to scrypt, which made it CPU-minable. It also made possible to mine both Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Lee also tried to make Litecoin distribution as fair as possible. That is, Charlie Lee announced the launch of a coin in advance. He also made a public poll to decide when it will be the best time to launch it. Finally, he released the client and mining software before the launch, so when the time has came, people instantly started to mine. As a result, Litecoin was not premined.
Beside this, it is technically the same as Bitcoin. Charlie Lee basically copied the code of Bitcoin and made minor changes in hashing algorithm and block time. The reward halving, a formation of blocks, signing transactions are all identical to Bitcoin.
- October 9, 2011: Charlie Lee made announce thread on Bitcointalk bitcointalk.org
- October 13, 2011: Litecoin was launched on mainnet bitcointalk.org
- December 18, 2015: Release of version 0.10.4. This update includes support for payment channels and escrow. blog.litecoin.org
- May 8, 2017: SegWit start coindesk.com
- November 22, 2017: Release of version 0.13.3. This update includes support for SegWit and HD (hierarchical deterministic) wallets blog.litecoin.org
- December 19, 2017: Charlie Lee wrote about selling all his coins twitter.com