Litecoin (LTC) was created by Charlie Lee as a Bitcoin alternative to address some shortcomings of Bitcoin. According to the Litecoin website, “Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world.”
It was one of the first forks of Bitcoin. Just like Bitcoin, LTC can be sent globally almost instantly for very low fees and have a limited supply (84 million). But the question arises, what’s the use of Litecoin when it is just like Bitcoin?
Litecoin was never meant to replace Bitcoin, but to compliment it. Like silver is to gold, Litecoin is to Bitcoin. It was designed to be lightweight and more abundant than Bitcoin. As for mining, Litecoin uses scrypt as its proof-of-work algorithm, which was aimed to make it more compatible to ASIC mining. Scrypt is also more memory sensitive.
One of the advantages of Litecoin is Charlie Lee himself. Since digital currencies are decentralized, it becomes difficult to form consensus and come to a final decision. Having a vocal leader like Lee to guide technological progress within the community, especially during a time when it is unclear there needs to be a change or not, is a huge advantage.
Recently, Charlie wrote a letter to the Litecoin mining community to convince them to support SegWit. The protocol was implemented on Litecoin way before Bitcoin. The best part is that Litecoin can keep serving as a way for Bitcoin to see how these changes go in the future.
How to buy Litecoin?
Litecoin is one of the very few cryptocurrencies that is comparatively less volatile. LTC started trading at just above $3 in 2013, and since then it stayed in the same range (except the obvious pumps in Dec 2013 and July 2015) up until March of this year.
2017 was the year when it actually took off to register an all-time high of $81.78 in the first week of September when Bitcoin also reached an all-time high at $5000. As an investment, LTC is a great long-term bet. At the time of writing, Litecoin is trading for $54.10 a piece.
Here’s how you can get hold of some Litecoins:
Step 1: Get a Litecoin Wallet
If you’ll be holding LTC long term, it’s best to first download a wallet to store your precious cryptocurrency. There are plenty of options to choose from. The most popular ones are Jaxx, Exodus, LoafWallet (mobile), Litecoin Core and Electrum-LTC.
Step 2: Buy Litecoin from an exchange
The second step is to actually purchase LTCs. There are two primary ways to buy cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin; either by using fiat or Bitcoin.
How to buy Litecoin using fiat in any country
Currencies are different in different countries, so are the exchanges that support those currencies. Every exchange that uses fiat in exchange of cryptocurrencies, has to go through a simple KYC process whereby users must submit government issued id(s) and other personal information in order begin trading on the platform.
The process usually takes 3-4 working days depending on the exchange. Once the KYC is done, you’re free to purchase Litecoins, which are automatically stored in exchange’s online wallet.
Buy Litecoin in the United States (USD)
If you’re a United States resident, there are many exchanges that accept USD in exchange for Litecoin. Exchanges that accept LTC/USD:
Buy Litecoin in China (CNY)
Recently, the Chinese government banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and issued a notice to local cryptocurrency exchanges to shut down. BTCC, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the country, shut its doors late September, but at the time of writing following exchanges continue to operate as normal in China. Exchanges that accept LTC/CNY:
Buy Litecoin in Korea (KRW)
Korea remains one of the largest markets for Litecoin. At the time of writing, in the last 24 hours, LTC/KRW pair traded maximum Litecoin volumes on Bithumb – $21 million worth of LTC – more than any other exchange. Bithumb is the only exchange that accepts LTC/KRW pair.
Buy Litecoin in Japan (JPY)
Thanks to China’s crackdown on local exchanges, Chinese traders are moving to other markets like Japan and South Korea. Japan recently became largest Bitcoin market with 50.75 percent market share of the global Bitcoin exchange market. Exchanges that accept LTC/JPY:
Buy Litecoin in Europe (EUR)
Europe has always been an odd region when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Too many countries with their own law in place working under the same financial regulation umbrella. Every country has its own set of payment options, yet there is no universal solution except SEPA transfers, which are only used for online transfers. Exchanges that accept LTC/EUR:
2. Buy Litecoin using Bitcoin
Most of the exchanges mentioned above can also facilitate the purchase of Litecoin using Bitcoin, regardless of the country you’re in. In other words, if you hold Bitcoin, you can practically purchase any other cryptocurrency.
Although aforementioned exchanges only support a limited number of cryptocurrencies. There are some exchanges that only support trading of Bitcoin with other cryptocurrencies – no fiat involved. You’re likely to get a better price for Litecoin on such exchanges:
Step 3: Withdraw Litecoin to your wallet
It is never a good idea to store Litecoin or any cryptocurrency for that matter on online exchanges. Make sure to withdraw LTCs from the exchange to your personal wallet of which you control the private keys – whether it be a hardware or HD (Hierarchical Deterministic) wallet.