How to buy Litecoin (LTC) – A Beginner’s Guide
By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 8/16/20
Ever since Litecoin was created back in 2011 it was considered as Bitcoin’s popular 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 Summary
- Get a Litecoin wallet (e.g. Exodus, Ledger, Edge)
- 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:
- What is Litecoin in a nutshell
- Buying Litecoin in 3 Steps
- Additional methods for buying Litecoin
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion – What does the future hold for Litecoin?
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:
- The block time is 2.5 minutes on average versus 10 minutes for Bitcoin.
- The mining algorithm has changed from SHA-256 to Scrypt. This makes mining hardware for Litecoin harder and more complicated to create.
- The total number of Litecoins available is 84 million, as opposed to Bitcoin’s 21 million.
To sum it up, if Bitcoin is digital gold, Litecoin is digital silver. It’s faster but also cheaper and more abundant than Bitcoin.
Before you go off to buy Litecoins, you will need a wallet to store them in. There are many Litecoin wallets available today, but in this post I’ll just review the best ones in my opinion.
Litecoin Hardware Wallets
The best option for storing any cryptocurrency would be to use a hardware wallet. These are pieces of hardware that store the private key to your coins offline.
Litecoin Software Wallets
Hardware wallets cost money. So 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 or mobile phone.
The easiest Litecoin software wallets to get started with are undoubtedly Exodus and Edge. Both wallets are very intuitive. Exodus works only on desktops, while Edge is for mobile. If you want more information you can read my Exodus review.
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.
Once you have your wallet you will need to locate your Litecoin address. Your Litecoin address is a long string of letters and numbers starting with “L”, “3” or “M”. Here’s an example:
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 users: 75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Pros: Easy to get started with, various payment methods
Cons: Less suited for accessing the actual coins
eToro is a popular and well established cryptocurrency trading platform that makes it easy for you to invest in Litecoins and other cryptocurrencies for fiat currency (i.e. Dollars, Euros, etc.). In other words, eToro is more targeted towards traders than towards users who are looking to actually own their coins.
Even though you can withdraw or send coins from eToro to other people, it is not the ideal platform for that and it is more suited for price speculation.
This is thanks to its user friendly platform that offers great customer support and the widest variety of payment methods (wire, credit card, PayPal, Neteller and more).Visit eToro Read review
*75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are not offered to US users. Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
Pros: Simple buying process, reliable company
Cons: Relatively high fees
Coinmama allows you to instantly buy Litecoins with your credit card, debit card or a SEPA transfer. 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 (as I’ve covered in Step 1).
Coins are sent almost instantly once the buying process is completed.Visit Coinmama Read review
Pros: Low fees on trading platform, wide variety of payment methods
Cons: High fees on the brokerage service
CEX Allows you to buy Litecoin in a fast & secure way, using your credit card, debit card or wire transfer. The site offers two methods for buying Litecoins:
- A brokerage service (the company sells you Litecoins directly) – An easy process at a premium price
- 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, faster process.Visit Cex.io Read review
Pros: Low fees on ACH/SEPA transfer, established company
Cons: Horrible support, not available worldwide
Coinbase allows you to buy Litecoins using your debit card or bank account. Coinbase accepts buyers from 103 countries around the world and the fees on the exchange are relatively low (mainly for ACH transfers inside the US).
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).
The bottom line for Coinbase is this – if they are supported in your country they are probably the cheapest and fastest option for buying Litecoins.Visit Coinbase Read review
Buying Litecoin through Bitpanda
Pros: Multiple payment methods supported, relatively low fees
Cons: Not available worldwide
Bitpanda is a cryptocurrency broker that specializes in buying and selling cryptocurrency within the Eurozone. Bitpanda Allows you to buy Litecoins using your credit card, Skrill account, SEPA transfer or SOFORT transfer.
The company was founded in late 2014 and has since grown to become one of the more popular options to purchase cryptocurrency around Europe.Visit Bitpanda Read review
Buying Litecoin through Bitstamp
Pros: Reputable exchange, relatively low fees and exchange rate
Cons: Complicated for beginners
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 a premium.Visit Bitstamp Read review
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 a certain exchange gets hacked or shuts down (which happened in the past).
If you already own Bitcoins and wish to exchange them for Litecoin, you can do that on a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance. Alternatively, you can always buy Bitcoin and convert them to Litecoins using Binance.
There is no direct option to buy Litecoins with PayPal. If you’re looking only for price speculation and not to actually own the coins you can invest through eToro.
Important – Buying cryptocurrencies with PayPal usually includes A LOT of fees. Make sure you’re aware of all of the fees beforehand so you won’t be surprised.
Since Litecoin isn’t as 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 or Changelly with a disposable email.
How Many Litecoins are Left?
As of June 11, 2020 65,214,075 Litecoins have been mined. This means that 18,785,925 Litecoins are left to mine.
Can you Mine Litecoin?
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 Litecoin remains a close second to Bitcoin, following it in its ups and downs.
Have you found any other interesting ways to purchase Litecoins? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.