What is Litecoin
Litecoin is one of the first alt coins (a term given to all cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin) and it was created by Charles Lee, a former employee of Google, back in 2011 as a fork of Bitcoin (a variation of the protocol) in order to facilitate a faster, lighter network.
It has taken the general idea behind Bitcoin, but with a few changes.
1-The block time is much faster – 2.5 minutes versus 10 minutes for Bitcoin.
2-The mining algorithm (scrypt, instead of SHA-256) blocks the use of powerful ASIC miners like the ones we have in Bitcoin.
3-The total number of Litecoins available is 84 million as opposed to Bitcoin’s 21 million.
For some time Litecoin was the biggest alt coin but since the rise of Ripple, Dash and Ethereum, it was pushed out of the top and for a long time now it is being overlooked and subsequently undervalued. Which is good news for first time buyers.
However recently Litecoin started booming again, mainly due to the fact they adopted the Segwit soft fork implementations and the super-fast Lightning Network solution. In February this year The Litecoin Foundation announced LitePay and LitePal – two major payment solutions that will catapult Litecoin to new highs in the cryptosphere. According to the press release, LitePay takes Litecoin out of the cyber realm and places it squarely in real life by allowing businesses to accept payment in Litecoin from anywhere on earth. Transactions will be super-fast and allow customers to pay for products and services in dollars with no transaction charges. A Litecoin wallet will also be available for all major mobile and desktop browsers and instant withdrawals from VISA compatible ATMs and spend with any VISA merchant will be possible.
This makes it an attractive “buy” for anyone looking to diversify their crypto portfolio.
How to buy Litecoin
First things first.
Before you buy, make sure you have a place to store it. An offline (cold storage) wallet is advisable but if that is too much expense right now, you can do with a free online wallet for a start.
My top choices for wallets are:
- Ledger Nano S (offline, hardware unit, safest option)
- Exodus (desktop wallet, very safe unless your computer gets compromised)
- Jaxx and Coinomi (phone apps mainly for Android)
Buy Litecoin with a Credit/Debit Card
For first time buyers, I would say that the most popular website is Coinbase which is available in the United States, Canada, Europe, UK, Singapore, and Australia. The fees will come out to around 4% per purchase (some foreign currency fees might apply too depending on your region). I have been using this service for years.
BitPanda is based in Austria and is a crypto brokerage service. You can buy using a credit card from most European countries.
Paybis is a relatively new service and so far I’m seeing good feedback on it but I have not used it myself. It is a Latvian-based company and they work with a variety of payment processors such as Payza, Payeer, PErfect Money and even Paypal on some occasions so it is worth checking its availability in your region. Their fees are between 8-10% so not the lowest on the market but with its good deal of usability this may be a good website for you.
Buy Litecoin with Bank Account or Bank Transfer
Coinbase is the easiest way to buy litecoins with a bank account or transfer.
Coinbase, like is is for credit cards, is available in the United States, Canada, Europe, UK, Singapore, and Australia. Americans can use ACH transfer (5-7 days wait), and Europeans can use SEPA transfer (1-3 days wait). The fees will come out to 1.49% per purchase.
BitPanda is based in Austria and is a crypto brokerage service. You can buy using SEPA transfer from most European countries. You can also use SOFORT, NETELLER, or GiroPay.
Paybis is also accepting bank transfers but this is usually a slow service so not the most preferred method in my experience.
Buy Litecoin with Cash
There are Bitcoin ATMs that support Litecoin but these are hard to get by so this will not be your easiest option.
Buy Litecoin with Bitcoin
If you already have bitcoins then it is VERY simple to convert some of your BTC to litecoins.
You just need to find an exchange with the LTC/BTC pair, which is most exchanges since LTC/BTC is a very popular pair to trade.
Binance is now one of the largest if not the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. You can use the LTC/BTC and you can also have a knock-off the fees on Binance if you buy and hold their own coin BNB which is also a great way to diversify your holdings and benefit of a larger, more versatile portfolio.
Changelly is probably the fastest way to convert BTC to Litecoin. You just enter the amount of LTC you want to buy, and give them a LTC address. Then they will tell you how much BTC to send to their address. Once your BTC is sent, you will have LTC delivered to your wallet very shortly after.
Shapeshift is basically the same as Changelly, and was actually the first company to come up with the concept of an exchange that does not hold your own funds. Their fees are often steep and I don’t use it very much. It is integrated in Jaxx wallet so if you get that one, you don’t need to go to Shapeshift website, you can use it in-app.
Buy Litecoin with Skrill
BitPanda, mentioned above, also accepts Skrill payments for LTC. The fees will vary and are simply included in your buy price.
Frequently Asked Questions
We will aim to answer many of the most common questions relating to buying Litecoin with Ethereum.
Why are there limited options?
The issue in all crypto markets is liquidity. As the space gets bigger, the liquidity also gets better. But as of now, the only VERY liquid cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. So exchanging two altcoins between each other is often harder than if BTC was involved on one side of the trade.
Why can litecoin take so long to buy?
Litecoin can take long to buy because the legacy banking system is very slow. If you are buying with another cryptocurrency, you will see how fast it is to buy!
Bank transfer in the USA, for example, take about 5 days to complete. So any purchase of Litecoin made with a US bank transfer will take a minimum of 5 days.
Can you sell litecoin?
Yes, you can sell LTC on most of the exchanges mentioned above. The fees, speed, and privacy is the same in most cases.
Can you buy partial litecoins?
Yes, litecoin, like Bitcoin, is divisible to many decimal places so you can buy 0.1 LTC, 0.001 LTC, etc.
Can anyone buy litecoins?
Anyone is free to buy litecoins, as long as you find an exchange that supports your country. Most cryptocurrency wallets do not require ID to sign up so you can always make a wallet and get paid in litecoin, too.
Is it better to mine or buy litecoins?
If you have cheap electricity, it might be worth it to mine litecoins. If you have solar power or just want to mine for fun then it could be worth it. Otherwise, it’s probably better just to buy.
Mining is constantly changing and small changes in Litecoin price or electricity can greatly affect your profitability.
Which payment method is best to use?
For speed, credit card will likely be fastest. For larger amounts, bank transfer is best. For privacy, it’s best to buy bitcoins with cash and then trade for litecoins using Changelly or Shapeshift.