Litecoin was released by Charlie Lee back in 2011 as a "Light" version of Bitcoin. While Litecoin is based on the same technologies as Bitcoin, it can be defined by simply noting the differences in transaction times and costs.
In the crypto community, many say that there are three main characteristics that a cryptocurrency should have: security, speed, and decentralization. While many currencies focus on two of the three characteristics, Litecoin was the first coin to implement the Lightning Network, which is a decentralized system of payment channels that facilitates almost instant and free transactions without compromising the security.
In addition, it takes on average around ¼ of the time for Litecoin transactions to be confirmed compared to Bitcoin transactions, due to a difference in the function of their mining protocol.