How to buy Litecoin (LTC) – A Beginner’s Guide

Last updated: 11/19/18

Ever since Litecoin was created back in 2011 it was considered as Bitcoin’s younger brother. In this guide I will review the various ways you can buy Litecoin online and offline and also how to store it.

How to buy Litecoin is 3 simple steps

  • Get a Litecoin wallet (e.g. Exodus, Ledger, Jaxx)
  • Find an exchange that sells Litecoin (e.g. Coinmama, CEX.io)
  • Deposit money and make the trade
  • Withdraw the Litecoins to your wallet

If you want a deeper explanation about the various methods available for buying Litecoin and wallets to store it in, keep on reading. Here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. What is Litecoin in a nutshell
  2. Getting a litecoin wallet
  3. Buying Litecoin on an exchange
  4. Additional methods for buying Litecoin
  5. Conclusion – What does the future hold for Litecoin?

1. What is Litecoin in a Nutshell?

Litecoin is a Bitcoin spinoff created by former Google employee Charles Lee in October 2011. Litecoin has taken the general idea behind Bitcoin, but changed a few key component:

  1. The block time is 2.5 minutes on average versus 10 minutes for Bitcoin.
  2. The mining algorithm has changed from SHA-256 to Scrypt. This makes mining hardware for Litecoin harder and more complicated to create.
  3. The total number of Litecoins available is 84 million, as opposed to Bitcoin’s 21 million.



2. Get a Litecoin wallet

Before you go off to buy Litecoins, you will first need a wallet to store them in. There are many Litecoin wallets available today, so instead of going over all of them I’ll just quickly review the best ones in my opinion.

Ledger Nano S
Wallet type:
Hardware wallet
Supported platforms:
Desktop
Overall rating:
5 Star Rating
Trezor One
Wallet type:
Hardware wallet
Supported platforms:
Desktop
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Exodus
Wallet type:
Hot wallet
Supported platforms:
Desktop
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Jaxx
Wallet type:
Hot wallet
Supported platforms:
Desktop, iOS, Android
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating

Litecoin hardware wallets

The best option for storing any cryptocurrency would be to use a hardware wallet. These are pieces of hardware that store your coins offline. Today there are two leading wallets to choose from – the Ledger Nano S and the TREZOR One. Both hardware wallets are great and will get the job done. If you want deeper insights on each one you can read my Ledger Nano S review or my TREZOR One review.

Litecoin software wallets

The downside with hardware wallets is that they cost money. If you’re not sure how serious you are about cryptocurrencies and just want to get a taste of what they feel like, perhaps you would be better off to start with a software wallet. A software wallet is a free program that allows you to store your coins on your computer. For a complete explanation about hardware wallets, software wallets and additional types of wallets make sure to watch our Bitcoin Whiteboard Tuesday episode about wallets.

The easiest Litecoin software wallets to get started with are undoubtedly Exodus and Jaxx. Both wallets are very intuitive. Exodus works only on desktops, while Jaxx has a mobile version as well. If you want more information about these wallets you can read my Exodus review or my Jaxx review.

Now that you have a Litecoin wallet you can move on to actually buying your Litecoins.


3. Buying Litecoins at an exchange (most popular method)

As Litecoin becomes more and more popular the number of cryptocurrency exchanges that sell Litecoin increases. In this post I’ll focus on the easiest exchanges to get started with, that also supply the widest variety of payment methods.

eToro
Availability:
Non-US only
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Coinmama
Availability:
Worldwide
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
CEX.io
Availability:
Worldwide
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Bitpanda
Availability:
Eurozone
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Coinbase
Availability:
33 Countries
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating
Bitstamp
Availability:
Worldwide
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating

Buying Litecoin through eToro

Pros: Easy to get started with, various payment methods

Cons: You don’t get access to the actual coins.

Overall rating: 4.5

eToro is a popular and well established cryptocurrency investment platform that allows you to buy and sell Litecoins (and other coins) for fiat currency (i.e. Dollars, Euros, etc.). In other words, eToro  allows you to invest in the coins rather than give you actual access to your coins. .

Even though you can’t withdraw coins or send coins from eToro to other people, it is still a good option for price speculation.  That is thanks to its user friendly platform that offers great customer support and the widest options of payment methods.

If you use eToro you don’t actually need a Litecoin wallet as they don’t supply you the actual coins. eToro also allows you to short a certain currency if you think its price will drop. If you do decide to use eToro for speculation purposes, please remember that cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. So keep in mind that your capital is at risk.

Visit eToro Read our review

Buying Litecoin through Coinmama

Pros: Simple buying process, reliable company

Cons: Relatively high fees

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Coinmama allows you to instantly buy Litecoins with your credit or debit card. They accept users from most countries around the world (excluding several states of the US). The company has been around for a long time (since 2013) and is considered trustworthy. You can read my full Coinmama review here.

Coinmama won’t hold your Litecoins for you, which means you’ll need to make sure you have a Litecoin wallet and address before starting the buying process. Coins are sent almost instantly once the buying process is completed.

Visit Coinmama Read our Coinmama review

Buying Litecoin through CEX.io

Pros: Low fees when using the trading platform, wide variety of payment methods

Cons: High fees on the brokerage service

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

CEX  Allows you to buy Litecoin in a fast & secure way, using your credit card. The site offers two methods for buying Litecoins:

  1. A brokerage service (the company sells you Litecoins directly) – An easy process at a premium price
  2. A trading platform (you interact with buyers/sellers from around the world) – A cheaper, but relatively complex process for beginners

Like Coinmama, CEX has been around since 2013 and has gained a very good reputation since. If you’re just starting out, it will probably be better if you use the brokerage service since it’s simpler than the trading platform. Keep in mind that the brokerage service fees are around 7% while the trading platform fees are around 0.25%. If you’re buying a small amount, that shouldn’t make that much of a difference and sometimes it’s better to pay a little extra for an easier process.

Visit Cex.io Read our review

Buying Litecoin through Bitpanda

Pros: Multiple payment methods supported, relatively low fees

Cons: Not available worldwide,

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Bitpanda is a cryptocurrency broker that specializes in buying and selling cryptocurrency within the Eurozone. The company was founded in late 2014 and has since grown to become one of the more popular options to purchase cryptocurrency around Europe.

Bitpanda Allows you to buy Litecoins using your credit card, Skrill account, SEPA transfer or SOFORT transfer.

Visit Bitpanda     Read our review

Buying Litecoin through Coinbase

Pros: Low fees on ACH/SEPA transfer

Cons: Horrible support, not available worldwide

Overall rating: 4 Stars

Coinbase – Allows you to buy Litecoins using your credit card or bank account. Coinbase accepts buyers from 33 countries around the world and the fees on the exchange are relatively low (mainly for ACH transfers inside the US).

The bottom line for Coinbase is this – if they are supported in your country they are probably the cheapest option for buying Litecoins. The company is well established and has been selling cryptocurrencies since 2012. On the downside, don’t expect anyone from their support to answer if you encounter any issues (they created a name for themselves in that field).

Visit Coinbase Read our review

Buying Litecoin through Bitstamp

Pros: Reputable exchange, relatively low fees and exchange rate

Cons: Complicated for beginners

Overall rating: 4 stars

Bitstamp is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchange out there. Bitstamp allows you to buy Litecoins through a credit card or a wire transfer of USD, EUR. Alternatively you can change Bitcoins to Litecoins on the exchange.

Aside from a pretty confusing trading platform, Bitstamp also offers a direct buying service for cryptocurrencies via a credit card at premium.

Visit Bitstamp     Read our review

Always withdraw your Litecoins to your wallet

Once you decide on an exchange, open an account and buy the Litecoins. Make sure to withdraw the Litecoins from the exchange to your personal wallet. Never leave coins in an exchange, as you risk losing them all if the exchange gets hacked or shuts down.


4. Additional options for buying Litecoins

If you own Bitcoins and wish to exchange them for Litecoin, you can do that on a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance. Also, if you get stuck with any of the methods described above, you can always buy Bitcoin and convert them to Litecoins using Binance.

Buying Litecoins with Paypal

If you’re looking to buy Litecoins with Paypal there is no direct option. You’ll need to buy Bitcoins with Paypal through Virwox and then exchange them to Litecoins on a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance or Changelly.

The process goes as follows:

  1. Sign up to Virwox
  2. Deposit money via Paypal
  3. Convert USD/SLL (this is a virtual currency known as Second Life Lindens)
  4. Convert SLL/BTC (Bitcoin)
  5. Withdraw your Bitcoins to a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance
  6. Convert BTC to LTC

Important – This process hold within it A LOT of fees due to the many conversions, deposits and withdrawals. Make sure you’re aware of all of the fees beforehand so you won’t be surprised.

Buying Litecoins without ID or verification

Since Litecoin isn’t a popular payment method as Bitcoin is, it’s hard to find a credible way to buy it without any verification. The best way to buy Litecoin anonymously would be to buy Bitcoins anonymously and then trade those Bitcoins for Litecoins on Binance.


5. Conclusion

Throughout the years Litecoin has proved itself to be a coin that’s here to stay with a strong community and development team behind it. The question of “will it play a role in the future monetary system?” is still unanswered, but for now if Bitcoin is the closest there is to digital gold. Still, Litecoin is the closest there is to digital silver.

Have you found any other interesting ways to purchase Litecoins? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.

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Ronald Baas
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Ronald Baas

Hello Ofir. Again thank you for a great website!! It is well set up and you explain things in a way that old “clueless crypto” (myself) even understands.
Ofir, do you think I should further invest some money in BTC, LTC and ETH? Would you at this stage? Sorry for asking so bluntly but I would really like to hear your comments on investing in these 3 well established crypto’s.
Thanks again for all the lessons and info
Ronnie

Roger Swiatlowski
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Roger Swiatlowski

I bought a Trezor wallet and bought Litecoin from Coinbase. The problem is I can’t transfer my Litecoin to my Trezor wallet. Coinbase tells me they cannot transfer Litecoin to a Trezor wallet. Any suggestions. Can I transfer to an Electrum wallet and then to my Trezor wallet?
Can you send an answer to my email?

Vicki C.
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Vicki C.

Good advice in here but some are a bit complicated for beginners. I used coinbase app which was simple minus the initial wait of the deposit to hit the account. Graduated to Gdax for very low to no fees, same account owned by Coinbase so you use the same log in on your computer. Then the best next step for me was using Binance exchange. Glad I did, it was very easy to use and transfer my coins to start trading other coins and fees are low as well. I leave my coins on the exchange for months now and… Read more »

Justin
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Justin

Hello,
I’m green also. I’d like to buy Litecoin (LTC)and put them on a ‘cold storage’ wallet card. I’m thinking of buying the card from: cryptocoinwalletcards.com. Are they good? Once I receive the card how do I deposit, say $1000? Once the USD are on the card, how do I purchase the LTC? When I sell the LTC, how does my USD come back to me?
Thank you and Happy Holidays

Maria
Guest
Maria

Hi,
I am so green to all this but i am trying it. So, I just opened a Coinbase account, i linked it with my bank. It says that it will take 305 days for the bank to confirm…WHEN can i make a purchase?? it seems like its allowing me to purchase – but i do not see the funds. If i buy now at the “x”price and it takes 2-3 days to process what will be the final price?
Anyhow from what you said i need to create a wallet. How do i do that before purchasing?
Thanks so much!

Kendra
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Kendra

I’m completely green to all of this and want to make sure I’m doing everything correctly before I do it. I set up a Coinbase account and linked my bank account info to it so I could purchase a few Litecoin. But, before I do, I want to clarify….. Does Coinbase serve as both my wallet AND the exchange? I saw your instructions that cautioned not to leave our money in the exchange, and to transfer it into our wallets to protect it in case the exchange gets hacked. Will you please tell me how to make sure my purchase… Read more »

Kimberly
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Kimberly

I just purchased Litecoin through Coinbase. How do I set up a personal wallet to transfer it too?

Alissa
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Alissa

Hi! I noticed that Coinbase has a strike through it. I’m currently using Coinbase to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Please tell me why you’re no longer using Coinbase or what it isn’t a viable option. I’m so green but I had to get on this train.

Dan
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Dan

Hey man thanks for the video. Seems very long winded for most people. So Litecoin really is reliant on bitcoin it seems. I suppose when these virtual currencies become mainstream through a decent app we will then see the real skyrocketing of their potential. A shame they were not a bit more accessible though. I remember Max Keiser going on about bitcoin loads and sadly I didn’t invest because I didn’t really get it, then mt god shut down and it got hacked. Anyway I’ve lost ££££ investing in silver and now considering just taking a loss and re investing… Read more »

Siddhant Latiyan
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Siddhant Latiyan

Its very helpful article to know how we can buy buy litecoin through Paypal or credit cards. But there are some other methods also to buy litecoin to buy directly through the fiat currency.