Sometimes referred to as the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” Litecoin (LTC) is an open-source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency designed for payment processing at scale. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin has a maximum supply. Litecoin's maximum supply is capped at 84,000,000, which is 4 times that of Bitcoin's maximum supply. Litecoin offers distinct features when compared to Bitcoin. Litecoin’s network is based on the technology behind Bitcoin, but with a few changes to allow for higher throughput.
Litecoin’s network batches transactions into blocks every 2.5 minutes, instead of 10. This means lower transaction costs and faster transfer speeds when compared to Bitcoin's mainnet. This comes at a cost, however, as the Litecoin ledger grows in size 4x quicker than Bitcoin's. A larger blockchain can become a problem down the road if storage doesn't scale to match: making the network incredible centralized and therefore insecure.
It’s never been easier to invest in crypto than it is right now. Our guide will teach you how to buy Litecoin, how to decide when to sell your coins and a few of our favorite platforms that currently support Litecoin trading.
How to Buy Litecoin
- Open an online account.
The easiest way to purchase Litecoin (and most cryptocurrencies) is to open an account with a cryptocurrency exchange that supports the direct purchase and sale of Litecoin. A cryptocurrency exchange is similar to a stockbroker — you’ll open your account and place buy orders to purchase cryptocurrencies. After your order closes, you’ll see your Litecoin in your exchange wallet. If you're looking to make an account with a cryptocurrency broker with extremely low fees, then Interactive Brokers is your best option. Other great options for new investors are eToro and Webull.
Like opening a bank account or a stock brokerage account, you’ll need to supply a bit of personal information to your broker before you can access trading capabilities. Some of the information you might need to provide may include:
Your full legal name and address
Your email address and phone number
Some information on your income and experience trading cryptocurrencies
Bank account information or data for another payment method (like PayPal and credit card info)
A copy of your driver’s license, passport or another form of photo ID
Your Social Security Number
- Buy a wallet.
While most exchanges offer built in custodial wallers, you should choose a private wallet to hold your coins. There are 2 major types of cryptocurrency wallets: hardware wallets and software wallets. Hardware wallets are typically "cold" which means the private key needed to unlock your Litecoin wallet will never touch the internet. Software wallets are made for convenience and storing smaller amounts dedicate to spending. Software wallets are internet-enabled, meaning that using your software wallet over an unencrypted network could result in the loss of your funds.
The best practice when it comes to crypto wallets is to purchase a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano X and download a software wallet like ZenGo. Your ledger will act as a home vault, while ZenGo acts as an everyday wallet with smaller amounts in it.
- Make Your Purchase.
After you’ve opened your account, funded the account and decided where you want to store your coins, it’s finally time to place your order. You’ll place an order to buy Litecoin using a buy order. There are multiple types of buy orders — let’s take a look at a few of the most common order types you might run into.
Market order: A market order is a buy order that you want to purchase a set amount of Litecoin at the current market rate. Market orders are filled immediately as long as someone is selling their Litecoin when you place the order. Market orders are much more likely to be filled than other order types but give you less control over the price that you pay per coin.
Limit order: A limit order will buy a specific amount of Litecoin but only at a set price. When you enter a limit order, you’ll choose both the number of coins you want to buy and the maximum price you’re willing to pay per coin. Say you set an order to buy 5 Litecoin at a limit price of $80 per coin, your order will only be filled if Litecoin reaches $80 or less. Limit orders give you more control over the price you pay per coin.
After you place your buy order, you can finally relax. You’ll see your coins in your account when the order is complete.
Best Crypto Exchanges for LTC
Not every crypto broker offers access to the same coins. If you aren’t sure where to start your search, consider a few of our favorite brokers currently supporting Litecoin trading below.
Interactive Brokers (IBKR)
On most brokerages, you must consider the spread that the platform charges. Spreads are represented in the price of an asset, so these fees can be sneaky. Spreads leave you paying more than you should for your crypto. For example, an exchange that charges a 1% spread will charge you an extra $50 for every $5,000 invested on the platform. Luckily, Interactive Brokers is one of the few platforms that doesn't charge a spread, so you won't have to put up with any hidden fees.
Trading fees on IBKR are also considerably lower than its competitors, making it a great option for those looking to trade cryptocurrency frequently.
Another one of our favorite features of IBKR is that it's an all-in-one platform where investors have access to stocks, funds, bonds, futures and other investment vehicles –– no more needing to worry about managing your portfolios across separate exchanges!
If you’re new to the cryptocurrency market, you might want to start your investing career with Gemini. Gemini is a straightforward broker that focuses on providing investors with a simple trading platform they can use to buy and sell some of the most popular digital currencies in just a few clicks. Gemini’s platform gives you 24/7 access to your coins, and you can track how your investment is changing over time with a glance. In addition to its desktop platform, Gemini also offers comprehensive mobile trading and more advanced tools for users who prefer to have access to expert-level charting and analysis tools.
Another popular cryptocurrency broker for beginners, eToro offers both desktop and mobile Litecoin investing. One of eToro’s most unique features is its CopyTrader functionality, which allows you to start trading cryptocurrencies by “copying” the trades made by professional crypto investors. Simply choose a user who you want to copy, enable CopyTrading and eToro will match your moves to the experts.
Interested in testing out your crypto trading skills? Consider starting with eToro’s practice account functionality, which provides you with $100,000 worth of fake virtual currency to hone your trading skills. With a clean interface and a number of unique tools, eToro can be an ideal option for intermediate investors and experts alike.
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Best Crypto Wallets
We recommend that you store your Litecoin in a cold storage wallet. Browse a few of our favorite options below.
Best Wallet for Litecoin: Exodus
One of the biggest complaints that cold storage wallet users have about cold wallets is that they tend to support fewer cryptos than hot wallets. This can mean purchasing multiple different wallets to store all of your tokens, which increases the chance that you’ll misplace a device.
The Exodus Wallet is among the most feature comprehensive cryptocurrency wallets we’ve seen. With support for desktop, mobile and cold storage, you're sure to have access no matter where you are. Exodus also has a built in exchange and supports over 150 different currencies. If you’re searching for a 1-stop-shop solution to store multiple cryptocurrencies offline, Exodus can provide you with a solution for all of your crypto wallet needs.
Is Litecoin a Good Investment?
While Litecoin does structurally improve upon Bitcoin’s technology, it still presents risks to investors. Litecoin’s rapidly aging infrastructure is no longer as unique as it was when the coin debuted in 2011, with many altcoins now offering the same benefits and efficiency. Litecoin’s founder, Charles Lee, also sold his stake in Litecoin in 2017, which has affected investor confidence.
Litecoin’s primary goal was to create a version of Bitcoin that is more scalable and aimed at small payments. While it does achieve this goal to a certain extent, newer blockchain innovations such as Stellar Lumens do a much better job than Litecoin. In 2022, Litecoin is officially a dinosaur coin, and presents especially high risk for a top 25 crypto project. For more modern altcoin options, see Best Altcoins in 2022.
Trade or Sell Your Litecoin
If you plan to take advantage of short-term price movements, it’s usually best to leave your coins in your exchange wallet. Convert Litecoin to an intermediary currency (like USD Coin or Tether) when you think the price is high, then convert back to Litecoin when you believe the price is low. This allows you to accumulate more Litecoin, which you can cash out when you decide to take profits.
If you plan to become a cryptocurrency day trader, it’s important that you open an account with a trusted, reliable exchange. Explore a few of our favorite cryptocurrency exchanges offering access to Litecoin trading below if you aren’t sure where to begin.
Current Crypto Prices
Keeping track of how Litecoin prices are changing can help you determine the best time to buy. Browse some of today’s market changes below.
Advantages of Litecoin Investments
As among the 1st altcoins on the market, Litecoin typically holds its value better than newer altcoins with lower market capitalizations. Let’s take a look at a few of the advantages of the Litecoin network and technology.
- Lower transaction costs. Litecoin’s technology offers a number of improvements on Bitcoin’s infrastructure, including lower transaction costs. When you send Bitcoin from wallet to wallet, you lose a bit of crypto as the transaction is verified on the blockchain. Though Litecoin operates in a very similar manner, its network is more efficient than Bitcoin, which means that you lose less money when you initiate or receive a transfer. This is a major benefit for users who turn to cryptocurrency for its benefits as a secure money transfer system.
- Faster transaction speeds. Litecoin’s improved network doesn’t only extend to processing fees — it also enables users to send coins much faster when compared to Bitcoin’s blockchain. The average Litecoin transaction takes about 2.5 minutes to complete, while the average Bitcoin transaction closes in an average of 10 minutes.
- Open-source platform. Litecoin is built upon a naturally open-sourced fork of the BTC Core Client. This makes it much easier for developers to adjust the system and implement new features to keep up with the changing needs of the market. Its flexibility also allows developers to implement software security patches on a regular basis to keep up with hackers’ changing methods of attack.
- Recognizability. Litecoin has been around for quite a while, and has remained one of the most well known altcoins despite its modern technological irrelevance.
Disadvantages of Litecoin Investments
Like any type of new technology, Litecoin also has drawbacks. Let’s take a look at a few of the cons that you should be aware of before you invest.
- Competing altcoins that offer similar benefits. Litecoin was very early to the market and among the first altcoins to expand upon Bitcoin’s network. While it still holds its own in speed and efficiency, many other more affordable cryptocurrencies operating on their own blockchain offer similar processing times and transaction security.
- Less Security. While Bitcoin remains the most decentralized cryptocurrency in existence, and therefore the hardest to 51% attack, Litecoin lags behind in hash power as the network struggles to attract new users in the ever more competitive altcoin space.
- Shaky faith in leadership. A major draw to Litecoin was its development by Charles Lee, a former Google software engineer and a respected name in the cryptocurrency industry. Lee sold all of his stake in Litecoin in 2017, citing a perceived “conflict of interest.” This has called leadership’s faith in the coin and its future into question.
Adding Litecoin to Your Investment Portfolio
With unique technology and affordable transfers, Litecoin can make an excellent addition to any investor’s portfolio. It’s important to remember that the cryptocurrency market as a whole is still largely unregulated. If you do decide to invest in Litecoin, be sure that this asset makes up only a small percentage of your overall investment landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions & Answers
Historically speaking, Litecoin has been a good investment. However, its core tech is arguably outdated, and many cryptocurrency investors view Litecoin as a cryptocurrency without a clear use case. Only time will tell whether or not Litecoin can find its place in the cryptocurrency markets.
By most metrics, Bitcoin is likely a better long term store of value. Bitcoin has more institutional adoption, better security and a much larger network than Litecoin. Litecoin was able to send payments faster than Bitcoin, but now Bitcoin’s Lightning Network makes Litecoin look quite heavy.
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