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Litecoin's block reward has halved.

At block 840,000, the mining reward fell from 50 LTC per block to 25 per block, marking the first time the alternative cryptocurrency, launched in 2011, has seen such a reduction. The 840,000th block was mined by F2Pool, also known as Discus Fish.

Litecoin supporters took to social media to celebrate the halving, and creator Charlie Lee thanked Chinese supporters in a YouTube message.

For now, the network itself doesn't appear to have been significantly affected by the reward drop, though some have speculated that, long-term, the hashrate will fall as profitability for some miners declines.

The litecoin network hashrate saw some fluctuation but is within ranges seen over the past several days, according to CoinWarz.

LTC1

Markets reacted more significantly around the time of the halving. According to BitcoinWisdom data for OKCoin, litecoin prices in Chinese markets fell sharply but have since seen recovery at press time.

LTC Chart

Speculation as to what comes next varies.

Some have predicted a long-term price increase, whereas others see further declines to come after the LTC market ramped and subsequently plunged earlier this summer as concerns about Chinese investment fraud mounted.

External factors in China - the largest market for litecoin – could fuel further volatility in markets moving forward, as the country's stock markets slip further into turmoil.

Images via BitcoinWisdom, CoinWarz, Flickr

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