What is Litecoin?
Built by a former Google employee, Litecoin has taken the core concept of Bitcoin and tweaked a few of its components:
- The block time is 2.5 minutes
- The mining algorithm which blocks the use of powerful ASIC miners like you have in Bitcoin
- The total number of Litecoins available is 84 million compared to Bitcoin’s 21 million.
How Does Litecoin Work?
Litecoin supply is fixed and the amount in circulation will be limited to 84 million. Every 2 ½ minutes, the litecoin network generates a ‘block’ – this is a record of recent transactions throughout the world; this is where litecoin’s real value resides. The block is verified by mining software and made visible to any “miner” who wants to see it. Once a miner verifies it, the next block enters the chain, which is a record of every litecoin transaction.
How Can You Buy Litecoin?
Step 1 – Obtain a Litecoin wallet
Between some of the most popular wallets today for Litecoin are Coinbase, Exodus and Jaxx. If you’re looking for better security for your Litecoins you can use hardware wallets like TREZOR or Ledger to store them as well.
Step 2 – Source a Litecoin exchange
One of the challenges is that it’s difficult to buy Litecoins because most exchanges trade it only for Bitcoins (and not for USD or EUR). There are some exchanges that allow you to buy Litecoins directly. However, a more common option is to buy Bitcoins and then exchange them for Litecoins on exchanges like Polonix, BTC-e or Shapeshift.
You can buy up to $500 worth of Litecoins with a credit card. Higher limits can be obtained once you verify your identity. Coinbase accepts buyers from 33 countries and the fees on the exchange are comparatively low (mainly for ACH transfers inside the US).
Allows you to buy Litecoin using your credit card, Skrill account, SEPA transfer or SOFORT transfer. Buying on Bitpanda requires verification and buying limits are quite low (600 euros).
One of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges out there. Bitstamp allows you to buy Litecoin through a wire transfer of USD or EUR. You can also exchange your Bitcoins to Litecoins as well.
Step 3 – Buy Litecoins and withdraw them to your wallet
Ensure you withdraw Litecoins to your personal wallet. Don’t leave coins in the exchange as you risk losing them in the event of a hacking or termination.