Litecoin celebrated its eighth birthday this month, with total transactions through the network reaching $500 billion.

According to a post from the Litecoin Foundation, it was in October 2011 when the first block was mined on the Litecoin network with the message:

“@NY Times 05/Oct/2011 Steve Jobs, Apple’s Visionary, Dies at 56”

Subsequently, another couple of blocks were mined for genesis block validation and ensuring proper functioning of the network. After the confirmation, Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, asked users through the Bitcointalk forum as to when it should be launched for ensuring input from the community. 

The time decided was at 03:00 GMT on Thursday, October 13th. Even though there wasn’t much interest from users initially, with time more and more people went on to adopt the cryptocurrency and it saw growth alongside Bitcoin itself making headlines – partly due to the use of the coin in the darknet markets such as Silk Road.

According to CryptoCompare data, Litecoin now maintains a $3.59 billion market cap and has become a top traded cryptocurrency in terms of trading volume. According to Charlie Lee, $500 billion worth of transactions have been made using the Litecoin network till now.

But Litecoin is not without its detractors. Those who consider it a Bitcoin copy have heavily criticized it citing that it would only distract users from Bitcoin.

There are others who consider Litecoin a testnet for BTC. It acted in that capacity during the implementation of Segregated Witness, as it was adopted by the Litecoin network before Bitcoin, and it still has higher usage on the network. As per the figures from last month, the use of SegWit on LTC has grown over 75%. The ATH for SegWit usage on the BTC network has just reached close to 60%.

Litecoin has seen some of the wildest price fluctuations in the past as well. During the last few years, there have been severe fluctuations with LTC hitting a new ATH of almost $400 in December, 2017. It started at only $4 that year.

After that, in December the following year, the price crashed to $22, and it has seen recovery ever since. At the moment, the Litecoin trading price is $57.

According to recent reports, the Litecoin Foundation is currently facing depleted reserves, but Lee has said himself that there’s enough to last for a couple of years.