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How to Buy Litecoin

First there was Bitcoin (BTC), then there was Litecoin (LTC). Bitcoin allows individuals to transfer value in a trusted transaction without a middleman. Litecoin was created in order to make digital coin transactions faster and less expensive.

Litecoin launched in October of 2011, two years after Bitcoin, and remains one of the top ten cryptocurrencies by total market value.

Litecoin was intended to be mined without specialized hardware like ASIC chips, but with off-the-shelf personal computers using ordinary graphics cards. Litecoin quadrupled Bitcoin’s block production from one block every ten minutes to one every 2.5 minutes.

Since it was four times as fast, Litecoin allowed for production of four times as many coins—84 million, rather than the 21 million limit for bitcoin production. Litecoin was the quarter to the bitcoin dollar. Litecoin participated in the first rapid run-up in price for cryptocurrencies and traded as high as $50.27 in late 2013.

That trend ended when the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange was hacked in February of 2014 and lost 850,000 of its customers’ bitcoins. Bitcoin, Litecoin and the other altcoins that survived declined in price and their trading went dormant until 2017.

Litecoin traded as low as $3.76 in early 2017 but rose to a high of $234.33 by December. Since December, the Litecoin price has fallen by 80 percent, but is trading above the high it made in its first run in 2014.

How Litecoin is traded

When Bitcoin, Litecoin and most cryptocurrencies were trading at all-time highs, insiders started to sell. One of those was Charlie Lee, the creator, inventor and founder of Litecoin.

Lee sold all his Litecoin in December of 2017. He said it was an emotional decision, but maintains it was the right decision. He did not want to feel conflicted as an owner of the appreciating asset he was helping to develop. Lee decided to resolve that conflict just as Litecoin was approaching its all-time high.

Litecoin is traded on most major cryptocurrency exchanges by virtue of its position in the top ten digital coins by market value and its tenure as the second-oldest cryptocurrency available. Coinbase, where Lee worked until last year, will accept fiat currency (dollars, euros, yen) for deposit and sells Litecoin as well as Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) and others. Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, trades most cryptocurrencies available as well as Tether (USDT), its stablecoin.

As its name and symbol imply, Tether is locked to the U.S. dollar—one USDT equals $1. Trading to Tether from Litecoin or bitcoin can simulate trading out of a stock and into cash in a brokerage account. Some exchanges accept credit cards, more accept deposit by wired bank funds or automated clearinghouse (ACH) and most will accept deposits of either BTC or ETH.

Exchange 30 Day Trading Volume in Millions of Dollars Deposit Bitcoin and/or Ethereum Deposit Fiat Credit Card Withdrawal Fiat Stablecoin Open an Account
Coinbase $2,606 Yes
  • ACH
  • Bankwire
  • Debit
  • Visa/Mastercard
  • ACH
  • Bankwire
N/A Open a Coinbase account
Binance $26,041 Yes Via Coinbase N/A Yes USDT Open a Binance account
OKEx $15,127 Yes
  • Bankwire
  • Epay
  • Bankwire
  • Epay
USDC Open an OKEx account
Bitfinex $9,378 Yes Two-week application   N/A N/A N/A Open a Bitfinex account

Final thoughts

Litecoin as a store of value has survived and held among the top ten cryptocurrencies. If Bitcoin, like gold, is here to stay; then like silver, so is Litecoin.

Want to learn more about cryptocurrency? Check out our guide to Litecoin vs. Ethereum, the best cryptocurrency exchanges and the best cryptocurrency wallets.

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