How to buy Litecoin online
This guide gives you the lowdown on Litecoin’s history and the links that still exist between it and Bitcoin. Find out its pros and cons and check out our step-by-step guide explaining how to buy Litecoin online.
Compare where to buy Litecoin, and open an account
If you already understand how to buy Litecoin and want to invest right away, you can use one of the brokers below. We’ve reviewed all the top options to help you feel confident when deciding where to buy Litecoin. Keep reading to learn more before you invest.
What is Litecoin?
Litecoin is a cryptocurrency just like Bitcoin. It styles itself as ‘the silver to Bitcoin’s gold’ and is essentially the little brother to its more famous sibling: younger, similar, and not as prized. That’s not to say Litecoin has no value at all, though, and it’s one of the leading cryptocurrencies by market cap and has long been one of the most famous coins around.
Formed all the way back in 2011, Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee, who is an alumni of Google and Coinbase and still runs the show. It was created out of a fork from Bitcoin: where a fork comes from copying the original code and then altering it to create something new.
Despite being so similar, it improves on the original Bitcoin in a number of ways. The most notable are with faster transaction speeds and new, innovative features that see it act like a test centre for ideas that could improve Bitcoin itself.
How does Litecoin work?
Litecoin works by using a blockchain, or public ledger, in place of a bank. Every time a transaction is made, it’s added as the next block on the blockchain, which then cannot be changed. This creates an irrefutable proof of ownership for every coin so that it’s impossible to spend money you don’t have.
Generally, this is the same process as Bitcoin. The differences between them are minor and technical, things like the fact Litecoin can perform more transactions per second (56 to Bitcoin’s 7) and there is a greater total supply of coins (84 million to 21).
The other main difference is that Litecoin tends to be more open to development. This has led to new features like a ‘lightning network’, allowing for near-instant transactions, that may ultimately improve Bitcoin as well.
How to buy LTC online – step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find an exchange
The best way to buy Litecoin in the UK (or anywhere else) is by using a crypto exchange. These are effectively online marketplaces for cryptocurrencies that offer a variety of different features, so you should choose one based on what is most important to you (you can use our reviews to help). It shouldn’t be difficult to find one that supports Litecoin since it is one of the oldest and biggest cryptos around.
Here are two top ones to try:
- Binance: Once you understand how to buy Litecoin, Binance is the most popular exchange platform that you can use. It sees millions of trades made every day, and you can trade hundreds of different crypto pairs. Sign up for Binance now >
- BitMEX: BitMEX is a platform for trading with Bitcoin and offers lots of advanced trading options like leverage, futures trading, and much more. It is a strong option if you want to buy LTC. Join BitMEX now >
Step 2. Sign up and fund your account
You need to create an account before you can start trading on an exchange. This is usually simple, just make sure you have your contact details and a copy of some photo ID to hand. After that, you need to fund the account. Most top exchanges accept deposits in fiat currency, although a few might only accept them in cryptocurrency.
Step 3. Buy Litecoin
To invest in Litecoin, you should search for its ticker – LTC – on your chosen exchange. Then, look for the relevant pair, which is LTC/BTC if you have funded your account with Bitcoin, and then you can execute the trade.
Furthermore, if you want to buy Litecoin in the UK and your account has been funded with fiat money, look for the LTC/GBP pair. The exact same applies for other countries too.
Step 4. (Optional) Get a suitable wallet
Now that you have your coins, think about getting a wallet to store them. This is only an optional step because you can leave them in your exchange account without too much trouble. But there’s no doubt that wallets are the safest way to keep them. Here are two of the top wallets around:
- Infinito Wallet: Infinito is a mobile wallet, meaning that it’s software based and all your wallet information is stored on your phone. The wallet packs in lots of other features too, like trading and staking, all from within your mobile app. Sign up with Infinito Wallet now >
- Trezor: Trezor is the world’s first hardware wallet. By storing your coins in a USB-like device that’s completely offline, you’re protected even if it connects to an infected computer. Get Trezor now >
How to trade Litecoin – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find a broker
If you want to trade, you need to buy and sell Litecoin quickly to take advantage of market fluctuations, and using a broker is the best way to achieve this. Ideally, opt for one with low fees, because high fees can really eat into your margins if you have to pay every time.
Two of the top options are:
- eToro: On eToro you can trade CFDs on all the leading coins as well as a wide variety of stocks, commodities, and other assets. All with no trading fees. Sign up for eToro today >
- Plus500: Plus500 is another platform that lets you trade cryptocurrencies along with a variety of other assets, including stocks, ETFs’, commodities, and a lot more. Join Plus500 now >
Step 2. Deposit money
You can fund your broker account with fiat currency but note that you might need to pay a deposit fee. Brokers make their money with fees like this, so keep an eye out for withdrawal and trading fees too.
Step 3. Decide how you’d like to trade
Contracts for difference (CFDs) are the most popular way to trade cryptocurrency. CFDs are a way of speculating on a coin’s price without having to own it, and tends to be a good way to make quick trades that try to benefit from swings in price. There are other ways of trading too, like spread betting: a way of predicting how entire markets will move.
Step 4. Start trading
If you’re new to trading a demo account can be the best place to start. These are usually a feature of your account you can just switch on to trade with fake money rather than putting your own capital at risk. If you want to learn without the danger of jumping straight into the real market, these accounts are the way to go.
When you start trading, you have to decide whether to go long or short on a coin. If you go long, you believe the asset will rise in value, whereas if you go short, you believe the opposite.
Once you get more experience you can use alternative trading strategies to try to get more of an advantage. One of these is leverage. Leveraged trading means putting up a small percentage of a trade as a deposit and borrowing the rest from your broker to make much bigger trades. We don’t advise this for beginners as your losses can escalate quickly if the market moves the wrong way.
If you still need more information before you make a decision, you’re in the right place. Here’s a summary of the pros and cons, followed by some more things to think about before take the plunge.
- A cheaper alternative to Bitcoin with many of the same features
- Actually improves on Bitcoin in lots of ways
- Can be used as a means of payment with hundreds of merchants
- Never likely to outperform Bitcoin
- Doesn’t offer anything radically different from Bitcoin either
Finally, here are three questions for you to think about before you invest in Litecoin.
1. Is now a good time to buy Litecoin?
As ever, it depends on what your goals are. If you plan on spending Litecoin, then now might well be a good time to get involved. If you want to invest long term and expect the price to grow over time, then again you probably want to acquire some coins now.
For short term traders, it’s better to wait for the right opportunity. Cryptocurrency can be volatile, so maybe you want to wait for Litecoin’s price to drop before you invest. You can use our market analysis to help you get the timing right:
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2. What problem does Litecoin solve, and what are the coin’s investment prospects?
Litecoin solves some of the problems inherent in Bitcoin, most notably its slow transaction speeds. It also solves many of the same problems as its elder brother by creating a currency you can spend without the need for a bank.
As one of the oldest and most popular cryptocurrencies, Litecoin has established itself as a market leader. While it doesn’t have much to differentiate it, it can already be used to pay for goods and services with many merchants and that’s only likely to grow as crypto becomes more widely accepted.
Litecoin is unlikely ever to become the top coin around but it is a cheaper alternative to Bitcoin with similar upside, at least in terms of the features it offers. Do your research though, keeping an eye on new cryptocurrencies and the overall state of the market. Here is the latest news to help you:
You won’t believe how much this signed football card is worth
ETC Group plans to list the first-ever LTC ETP on Deutsche Borse’s XETRA
Litecoin’s Mimblewimble code completed to go Live this year
3. Do you want to hold Litecoin for the long term?
If you want to spend it, then yes. Otherwise, it depends on your trading strategy and how confident you are in its future success. We’ve pulled together a couple of final thoughts for you to consider before investing, depending on how long a time frame you’re looking at.
Considerations for a long term investment strategy
If you plan on holding Litecoin for the long-term, the immediate question you should ask yourself is ‘how do I buy Litecoin?’ To answer your question, the best place to buy Litecoin is through an exchange. You can then store them in a crypto wallet to keep them secure.
Considerations for a short term trading strategy
Short term investing is about taking advantage of volatility in the market to make a little bit of money quickly and often. For this method, you should sign up to a broker with low trading fees, and think about using CFDs and leverage to trade.