Bitcoin transactions are verified by the work of software run by other people using the currency, a process that takes on average 10 minutes and can be much longer, an hour in the case of many exchange sites. Lee says that hinders operators of online stores from using the currency. “With Bitcoin, sometimes merchants are forced to accept unconfirmed transactions because confirmations are way too slow,” he says. “Faster confirmations lead to a more useful currency.” Litecoin transactions are confirmed on average every 2.5 minutes, which Litecoin’s developers say is more practical for businesses.
via As Bitcoin Soars in Value, Alternative Cryptocurrencies, Such as Litecoin and PPCoin, Also Climb | MIT Technology Review.