In this guide, you will learn what Litecoin (LTC) is, why you might consider investing in it, some of its pros and cons as well as where to buy LTC coins easily (step-by-step tutorial).
When Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin blockchain in 2009, it didn’t take long before other developers attempted to replicate its success with their versions of cryptocurrencies. However, it took two and a half years to see the first successful cryptocurrency outside Bitcoin, or alternative currency as they were (and still are) referred to. That term has since evolved into ‘altcoin.’
Litecoin (LTC) was launched in October 2011 as a lite version of Bitcoin. Its founder, Charlie Lee, described his creation as “a coin that is silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” Litecoin was created to be faster and more cost-effective than Bitcoin while encouraging more decentralization.
More than a decade after its launch, Litecoin still exists and is among the largest altcoins by market capitalization. It’s available for purchase and trading in some of the leading crypto exchanges and can be stored in most cryptocurrency wallets.
What is Litecoin (LTC)?
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency used for value transfer on the Litecoin blockchain a derivative of the flagship crypto network Bitcoin. The two decentralized networks are similar in several respects but Litecoin developers implemented a few minor changes to ensure that the resulting blockchain offers something different in the marketplace. Some of these changes include::
- Hashing algorithm – both Bitcoin and Litecoin employ the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, but they use varying hashing algorithms. Bitcoin uses SHA-256 while Litecoin uses Scrypt. What this means is that you cannot use Bitcoin’s specialized ASIC machines to mine Litecoin and vice versa;
- Block production – with Bitcoin, blocks are created every 10 minutes, while Litecoin’s blocks are created four times faster at roughly every 2.5 minutes;
- Coin supply – another area of distinction, is in the total supply of coins where there is only a maximum of 21 million Bitcoins preprogrammed to be released into circulation while Litecoin is four times higher at 84 million coins;
- Difficulty adjustment – mining difficulty is the measure of how hard it is to solve arbitrary puzzles to earn the right to create the next block and therefore be rewarded with brand new coins. The more miners there are in the system, the harder it should be because this way, the system self-regulates itself to maintain a constant block production rate. Both Bitcoin and Litecoin adjust their mining difficulties every 2,016 blocks; however, since blocks are generated at different rates, Bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment happens every ~15 days while Litecoin adjusts its difficulty automatically every 3.5 days (4 times faster.)
Aside from these few but significant differences, Bitcoin and Litecoin are virtually interchangeable function-wise.
Why invest in Litecoin?
Given that it is similar to Bitcoin, why would any investor seek to buy Litecoin, which is a less popular alternative cryptocurrency? Here are a few reasons why investors tend to buy LTC:
- Widely supported – Litecoin is among the few cryptocurrencies that are available in almost all major crypto trading platforms and is supported by most wallets, making it easy to buy, sell, trade, and store;
- Bitcoin alternative – Litecoin mirrors Bitcoin in terms of functionality which means that you can use Litecoin to make and receive online payments as you would with BTC;
- Fast transaction speeds – compared to Bitcoin, the Litecoin network is much faster because block production happens four times faster, and also the Litecoin network is less congested due to its lower popularity;
- Lower transaction costs – It is significantly cheaper to make payments using Litecoin than most other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum;
- Well established – Litecoin has been in existence for almost as long as Bitcoin. It is one of the oldest altcoins in the market, with a long history desirable by active traders seeking multi-year price action charts. Another benefit to investing in a well-established coin is that it reduces the risk of buying into a rug pull or exit scam.
Where to Buy Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin can be easily bought on most cryptocurrency exchanges, both large and small, but there are inherent risks to using obscure marketplaces or brokerage platforms such as poor service, costly transactions, or even being scammed of your hard-earned cash.
To reduce these risks, you can opt for more established and trustworthy exchanges. In this guide, we have chosen Uphold as one of the few fully-regulated brokerage and exchange platforms to buy Litecoin.
Uphold is a multi-asset trading platform with support for stocks, precious metals, national currencies, and cryptocurrencies. More than 80 cryptocurrencies are available on this platform, including Litecoin, which can be bought, sold, and exchanged for gold, Bitcoin, stocks, and fiat currency, among others.
How to Buy Litecoin (LTC) on Uphold
In the following section, we will cover a step-by-step process on how to buy Litecoin using Uphold.
Step 1 – Visit Uphold.com and Log in
Uphold maintains a separate user interface for informational purposes and another for account use. For the former, visit the main website at Uphold.com, while the latter can be accessed through wallet.uphold.com. The easiest way to access the account interface is to visit the main website then click on the login link on the right side of the main navigation bar.
Alternatively, if you are new to Uphold, you will need to sign up for a new account and verify your identity to proceed. Here’s a full guide on how to create an Uphold account.
Log into your Uphold account using your username/password combo or connect with a GlobalID.
Step 2 – Access the Transaction form
Uphold makes it easy to buy, sell and exchange assets within the same category or across varying categories. For instance, you can buy Bitcoin and trade it into Litecoin effortlessly or trade gold for Litecoin. The platform offers vast flexibility in investing in both conventional and digital assets.
To buy LTC coins, use the third column to the right with the title “Anything to Anything,” meaning to convert any supported asset to another supported asset.
This column offers all the tools to make your order. Here you will specify which assets you will be trading from and to which you will be converting. If you do not have any balances within Uphold, you will specify which external source you will use to facilitate a purchase.
There are three tabs to be familiar with at this stage: Transact, Repeat, and Limit.
- Transact is the normal order form where the transaction is executed immediately;
- Repeat is a recurring order that is scheduled to occur at future predetermined times and dates. You can set up a purchase, sell or exchange order to recur every day, week, or month according to your investment goals;
- The limit tab is used to place a limit order that executes when the desired price is realized in the marketplace.
Let’s begin with the first order type – the normal order through the transact tab.
Step 3 – Add payment details
If this is your first time using Uphold, you will need to add a payment method to facilitate your Litecoin purchase. Available methods include:
- Bank accounts;
- Debit/credit cards;
- Cryptocurrency deposits.
To add a payment method, tap or click on the [From] field of the transaction form to reveal a drop-down list of options to use.
Choose either Bank Deposit or Debit card by clicking on the corresponding [+] symbols next to each option.
If you are adding a debit card, the appropriate form will be displayed where you will be required to add the card number, security code, and expiry date. You should also select the default currency supported on the card.
Once done, click the [Add Card] button.
Alternatively, if you wish to deposit funds from your bank account, you can connect it to your Uphold account by clicking on the [+] icon next to ‘Banks’ as shown above.
Specify which deposit method you want to use between direct bank deposits or wire transfers. The latter is preferable for large amounts above $5,000. Also, consider that it does take a few days for your funds to reflect in your Uphold account.
Next, choose which currency your account is set to operate in by default to ensure that the translation is processed seamlessly. There are three options: USD, GBP, and Euro.
Uphold will provide you with the bank account details to which you will send your funds and the identifying tags to include in the deposit form of your bank interface to ensure the funds are correctly credited to the right account.
Click [Done] to close the window and revert back to the transaction form.
Step 4 – Specify receiving asset
At this stage, you will need to specify which asset you wish to buy, and in our case, that will be Litecoin (LTC).
Click the [To] field to open a menu of options of the different assets supported by Uphold, including precious metals, cryptocurrencies, and stocks.
You can use the search feature to locate Litecoin easily or scroll to the cryptocurrencies section, click to expand the More assets link, and scroll further to find it.
Click on [Litecoin] to select it and revert back to the transaction form.
Next, you will specify how much LTC you want to buy using the [From], [To], or ‘Equivalent’ field. Whichever field you use, Uphold will automatically calculate the equivalent in the other asset and autofill the other blank spaces.
For simplicity reasons, use the middle portion to specify the amount in fiat currency and let the platform fill in the equivalent in LTC that you will get.
Step 5 – Confirm the transaction.
Click the [Preview] button to proceed to the next step, where you will confirm that the transaction details provided are correct. Here, you will be able to review the price or exchange rate for Litecoin against whichever asset you wish to use to buy it.
Click [Confirm] to authorize the transaction.
Note: If you opted to use a debit card or bank deposit as your payment method, you could expect to receive your LTC coins instantly. Only the wire transfer order will execute once the funds have been deposited in your account after a few days.
How to Setup Repeat Buy on Uphold
The repeat buys feature allows Uphold users to set up a regular purchase of the desired asset such as Litecoin. The feature is only supported with a credit/debit card payment method.
Step 1 – Activate Repeat Buy
On the transaction form, select the second tab labeled [Repeat].
You will notice the new options that have become available below the order form. To activate the repeat feature, click the first option labeled [Repeats] and choose the frequency of your recurring order. The available options are Daily, Weekly or Monthly.
Step 2 – Set up the repeat feature.
Once you activate the feature, specify the starting date, end date, and an optional label to identify the order.
There are two options to choose from when specifying when to cancel the repeat order. You can set to automatically cancel the order on a particular date or to have the order repeat for a certain number of times called occurrence.
The default display is the end date, but you can switch to the occurrence tab to select the number of times you wish the order to repeat.
Click [Set] to close the dialog box.
You will also have to specify the payment method and the asset you wish to buy. To do that, refer to our prior section on how to buy Litecoin using the ‘Transact’ order form.
How to set a Limit Order to buy Litecoin on Uphold
The last option to buying Litecoin on Uphold is using the Limit order form, which enables users to set a desired or target price in which to buy the asset. This feature is ideal in situations where you speculate that the price of the assets may fall to a lower level, thereby allowing you to buy it more cheaply.
Follow these steps to set it up.
Step 1 – Select the Limit tab.
Click on the third tab labeled [Limit] to reveal the options to enable you to set the desired price to execute your order.
You will notice that the order form is a little different with two new animated gray tabs with directional arrows sandwiched between the larger tabs. The one with upward arrows allows you to set up a sell order for the asset indicated in the [From] column, while the one with downward arrows allows you to place a limit buy order for the asset listed in the [To] area.
The [Duration] tab will allow the user to select how long the limit order will remain open before it is automatically canceled, assuming that the asset price does not hit the purchase target within the intended period.
Next click on the [Preview] tab to confirm the order. The transaction will either execute at the target price or get canceled automatically according to the settings. The user is also allowed to cancel the order manually before hitting the execution price.
Litecoin is easily accessible owing to its market position as a valuable crypto asset and its long history giving it an air of trustworthiness.
Tip: Anyone new to the cryptocurrency space may look up all of the supported crypto exchanges to buy Litecoin and other asset-related metrics on the largest cryptocurrency market aggregator Coinmarketcap.
Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.
FAQs on Litecoin (LTC)
What is Litecoin (LTC)?
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that can be used to make and receive payments on the internet without the need for an intermediary. The digital currency exists on the Litecoin blockchain, a derivative of the flagship Bitcoin blockchain.
Is Litecoin better than Bitcoin?
Litecoin was never intended to replace Bitcoin, according to its founder Charlie Lee. The cryptocurrency’s role as a peer-to-peer digital currency complements its older sibling. It, however, has some slight distinctions, such as cheaper and faster transactions.
Is Litecoin a good investment?
Litecoin may be a good investment depending on the investor’s goals and timing. Investors have varied aims, therefore determining whether Litecoin is a suitable investment is dependent on an individual’s targets.