How to Buy Litecoin
Best places to buy litecoin
If you are looking to buy litecoin then check out the prices at these exchanges which all accept customers from United States. Prices can vary quite significantly between exchanges and are constantly changing so the below is just a guide from the last few minutes. For more information on these exchanges and other exchanges for buying litecoin or other cryptocurrencies in United States then please scroll down to the Exchanges Info Section which highlights the differences between them.
Buying litecoin in United States
The United States is progressively regulating the crypto sphere. However, there seems to be some split in approach to cryptocurrency. On one hand, some states continue to pass laws which aim to stimulate the economy, attract investment, or encourage tech development, while others have either passed restrictive crypto asset and investment regulations, or have suggested to do so. The state of New York, for example, requires companies to acquire "BitLicenses" in order to operate virtual currency businesses, and even issued a "greenlist" of accepted virtual currencies. On a federal level, there is a large amount of crypto regulation from various bodies, meaning lots of overlapping jurisdictions and different opinions on crypto. Although U.S. crypto banking seems undeveloped, it is making slow progress. A large crypto exchange, Kraken, stated that it became the first U.S. digital asset company with a bank charter, recognized under both federal and state law, in 2020.
As of 20/03/2021
Mkt Cap $
An early alternative to Bitcoin, LTC aimed to be a coin for easy, fast, low-fee spending. LTC offers a faster block time and a higher transaction capacity in comparison to Bitcoin.
These exchanges all accept customers from United States. While they broadly offer the same services and you can buy litecoin at all of them, there can be differences in transaction fees, security, verification requirements, deposit methods and features, as shown below
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- Fees (spreads) are high
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Kraken has a good reputation for security and protection of your funds and operates across the USA (except NY), Canada, the EU and Japan
- Not a very beginner-friendly interface.
- No card deposit options
As one of the first altcoins ever created, Litecoin is a popular peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and an open-source software project. Essentially, Litecoin is a Bitcoin fork, which means it uses Bitcoin’s source code at its core. In that way, Litecoin is crafted out of Bitcoin, although there are slight differences between the two.
Both Litecoin and Bitcoin are open-source digital currencies. However, they differ in transaction capacity, fees, and mining processes. We will get to the similarities and differences between Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies in the Technology section of this review. For now, let’s focus on how it all started, however, some basic differences are mentioned in the below picture.
The Litecoin Foundation
Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate and former Google engineer who saw a need for an alternative cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin. Launched in 2011, this open-source project has over 500 contributors. The Litecoin Foundation plays the most significant role in keeping the system up and running.
The Litecoin Foundation is a non-profit organization responsible for updating and promoting Litecoin. Although the foundation is based in Singapore, its members are scattered all around the globe, each having their own role in developing, maintaining, and further marketing this digital cryptocurrency.
The Litecoin Foundation provides funds for engineers and developers in charge of further advancing this open-source project. They work along with the Litecoin Core team, which consists of Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, as well as several other members.
The Litecoin Core Team
The Litecoin Core team consists of the following members:
- Charlie Lee - This former Google engineer became one of the most famous names in the crypto industry by launching Litecoin and becoming the Managing Director of the Litecoin Foundation.
- Xinxi Wang - Wang is Litecoin’s Foundation Director and the founder of Coinut, a well-known crypto exchange platform.
- Zing Yang - Lastly, Yang is another one of Litecoin’s Foundation Directors with background and experience in investments and venture capital. Hence, his role in the foundation revolves around financial questions and investment challenges.
Brief History of Litecoin
Back in 2011 when Litecoin was first launched, it was listed on a few market places with a rather low price of 30 cents. It wasn’t until 2013 that this alternative coin began to grow in value and, even though it had its ups and downs throughout the years, it remained one of the most popular Bitcoin alternatives in the industry.
As one of the very first altcoins on the crypto market, Litecoin carries some historical significance. Its prices began to grow tremendously in 2017 when the coin was first listed on Coinbase. Developers around the world saw this coin as a convenient tool. Namely, they were interested in testing new features with Bitcoin by running them on Litecoin first.
Some of the most popular projects that were implemented on Litecoin first include the Lightning Network, SegWit, and AtomicSwaps. You can learn more about each project on their respective sites.
As of right now, the maximum possible supply of Litecoin is 84 000 000, which is far more than Bitcoin’s maximum supply of 21 000 000. Moreover, 62 000 000 Litecoins have already been mined, meaning the coin is nearing its maximum supply quickly. Learn more about Litecoin as an open-source cryptocurrency here!
The Digital Silver
If you’ve been around the cryptocurrency world long enough, you know that Bitcoin is referred to as digital gold. That is because Bitcoin’s maximum supply is limited, just like the amount of gold available on Earth. However, Litecoin’s maximum supply is limited as well, although this altcoin is called digital silver.
The reason behind this is the historical parallel between Bitcoin and Litecoin and the switch in the monetary system from the gold standard to gold/silver bimetallism. Since gold wasn’t able to match the economy’s requirements in terms of value transfer, silver was introduced as a more functional alternative. Similarly, Litecoin became an alternative that compensates for some of Bitcoin’s tech limitations, which gives it the nickname “digital silver.”
Purpose and Vision
The Litecoin Foundation - Mission
The founder of Litecoin saw the need for a more flexible digital currency that would outperform Bitcoin in terms of capacity. Hence, Litecoin was born as one of the first altcoins on the market. The question is, why do we need Litecoin and what exactly is its role in the world of cryptocurrencies?
The sole mission of the Litecoin Foundation based in Singapore is to develop and improve blockchain technologies for its benefits to society. State-of-the-art blockchain solutions such as Litecoin can aid in eliminating corruption, redistributing wealth in society, and providing access to financial assets to people of different social status.
Based on a decentralized system, Litecoin is not managed or controlled by the government. Hence, users who cannot access financial assets through the traditional banking system can seek solutions in blockchain-based currencies. Moreover, the Litecoin Foundation has a goal to make this digital currency alternative more mainstream so people could use it for daily payments instead of handling fiat money.
"The benefits of cryptocurrency are many and profound. We’ve heard how it’s going to solve problems across the current financial system that nothing else could – everything from the truly significant, such as banking the unbanked, to the seemingly trivial, such as providing a more efficient way to buy a car," said Marcus Swanepoel, the CEO of the cryptocurrency education company Luno.
What Makes Litecoin Special?
To further dive into the reasons why the world needs this particular coin, we will look into some of the features that make Litecoin special compared to other alternatives. For starters, Litecoin is unique in its way of balancing advanced technology with adoption and liquidity.
While Bitcoin still stands as the number one cryptocurrency in terms of liquidity and adoption, Litecoin is quite close to it on top of the ladder. Even though merchants don’t accept Litecoin as often as they accept Bitcoin, this alternative coin has more advanced tech features that give it more potential as a day-to-day currency. There is no doubt that there are other third-generation cryptocurrencies that are more flexible in terms of scalability (Cardano, for example). However, they don’t come close to Litecoin in terms of liquidity and adoption.
The Litecoin Community
Another factor that makes Litecoin very attractive to beginners and new users is the fact that there is a whole community behind it. We’re talking about one of the largest altcoin communities in the industry with thousands of members scattered around the world. Users can find community members on Litecoin’s Reddit pages, Twitter hubs, Telegram chats, dedicated Litecoin forums, as well as IRC FreeNode network channels for users and developers.
This kind of access to a larger community allows new users to find support easily and adopt new knowledge from peers and individuals of higher skill level. To a cryptocurrency beginner, it is comforting to know that there are resources and users they can access easily in case they need help with any Litecoin-related issue or inquiry. This is what makes Litecoin one of the best options for new users who are just getting started in the world of cryptocurrencies.
Litecoin Solving Problems
When compared to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Litecoin solves one of the major issues in the digital asset world - the lack of adequate transaction speed. Namely, Litecoin can confirm large transactions much faster than Bitcoin, which already puts it above other altcoins on the market.
The problem with Bitcoin’s transaction rates is the massive amount of electricity the blockchain uses. As shown in a study by Digiconomist, each transaction on Bitcoin uses around 236 KWh of electricity, which is enough to power 8 households for an entire day. If you take into consideration that there are over 300 000 transactions on Bitcoin performed daily, you will get an idea of how much electricity is used to make this possible.
For the sake of comparison, we can safely say that one day of Bitcoin transactions requires as much electricity as the entire country of Nigeria. This is where Litecoin comes in with much faster transaction speed and lower electricity requirements. Hence, it is a better option for the environment and the cryptocurrency community in general.
Moreover, Litecoin provides users access to their money 24/7 and it doesn’t have any waiting periods or limitations like other altcoins. Litecoin is special because it puts the user first - it allows full control over your money and gives everyone an equal opportunity to use a faster, safer, and more convenient payment method on a daily basis.
How Does It Work
Based on blockchain technology, Litecoin operates quite similarly to other cryptocurrencies and altcoins, although there are some key differences that make it stand out. For starters, the supply of Litecoin is fixed, which is not the case with traditional currencies as we know them. The maximum amount of Litecoin that will ever be put into circulation is 84 million. The coin has not yet reached its maximum supply and is still being mined regularly.
The way the mining process works is quite simple. When it comes to Litecoin, its network generates a new block every 2.5 minutes (compared to 10 minutes it takes Bitcoin to create a new block). You can already see the difference in speed between these two currencies. Once a miner verifies the block, a brand new block enters the chain and the process continues. Since we won’t go in-depth on how blockchain technology works, you can learn more about it here.
The Mining Process
As we’ve already explained, Litecoin is built on the same fundamentals as Bitcoin. Therefore, both Litecoin and Bitcoin use the Proof-of-Work algorithm. However, it is important to address that Litecoin is far more ASIC-resistant. What this means is that Litecoin’s mining process is available to users with ordinary computers.
Every decentralized peer-to-peer network has certain fees as a means of obtaining funds for further development. Therefore, as you start using Litecoin, you will come across small transaction fees which are usually not significant enough to cause any major fuss. Since the fees are susceptible to frequent change, there is no point in discussing actual numbers here. The costs can change depending on current coin value and other factors.
However, one thing that is certain is that Litecoin is far more affordable than Bitcoin however fees are still higher than some altcoins such as XRP or feeless altcoins such as Iota and Nano.
What makes Litecoin’s technology stand out is the transaction speed it provides. Namely, the Litecoin network can perform 56 transactions per second. If we compare that to Bitcoin, which can only perform 4 to 7 transactions per second, it is clear that Litecoin takes a big victory. While there are other blockchains that can make far more transactions than Litecoin, it is Litecoin’s advantage over Bitcoin that has put it on the market. The confirmation time for each transaction on Litecoin is around 2.5 seconds, which is much faster than Bitcoin as well.
If we take into consideration Litecoin’s great transaction capacity, it is safe to say that this is one of the more scalable altcoins out there. While there is no word of Litecoin increasing its capacity in the near future, we can always expect improvements in the field of blockchain technology. With the Litecoin Foundation team working hard to further develop this altcoin, there is no doubt that scalability will be one of the items on their list in the upcoming periods.
It is safe to say that Litecoin has one of the most secure technologies in the world of cryptocurrencies. Throughout 9 years of its existence, there have been no major security incidents or hacks that would make you think twice about using this altcoin. While Litecoin was involved in certain security-related incidents, in all cases the issue was caused by third-party service providers such as wallets and centralized exchanges. Other times Litecoin was the subject of security topics involved the mismanagement of the private key, which is completely the user's fault. Therefore, the Litecoin technology has never been the cause of a security threat, which allows us to refer to this network as a very secure Bitcoin alternative.
As a peer-to-peer network, Litecoin is fully decentralized. This means it is not governed by any central authority. Historically, governments were the main and only entity in charge of handling money in the society. Without a central governing body, decentralized networks are the untraditional route to handling financial assets. Decentralization does not only make Litecoin more secure but it also makes it more accessible to users of all social statuses.
Adoption and Community
Many businesses are adopting cryptocurrencies into their ecosystems lately. Even though Litecoin does not even come close to Bitcoin in terms of adoption, it is still one of the most popular altcoins in the industry. Litecoin’s integration with Flexa has helped push the network’s adoption in the right direction. Thanks to Flexa, Litecoin is now being accepted by over 40 000 merchants. Litecoin can be used to pay for many goods and services, both online and offline. You will even find ATMs that accept or provide Litecoin, which says enough about its popularity these days.
Projects with Litecoin
Litecoin’s name is tied to hundreds of projects out there, the most popular ones being the Lightning Network, SegWit, and Atomic Swaps. To briefly cover each of these projects, we’ll start off with the Lightning Network, which is a layer 2 payment protocol that uses blockchain-based technology in its operation. The more popular project known as SegWit or Segregated Witness deals with the process of limiting block size on blockchains. Lastly, Atomic Swaps are a form of smart contracts that allow decentralized exchanges to switch between different currencies without needing centralized intermediaries.
The Litecoin Foundation has made dozens of significant partnerships throughout the years, including partnerships with the following companies and organizations:
- BlockFi - Provider of wealth management products for crypto investors.
- Celsius Network - A blockchain network that allows you to buy coins, earn interest, or borrow dollars without extra fees.
- Cred - A platform that provides monthly interest on cryptocurrency investments.
- Nexo - An organization that helps people better manage and use their digital assets.
As we’ve already mentioned, Litecoin has a large community behind it with thousands of people in online groups and forums discussing their thoughts and experiences related to this altcoin. It is this easily accessible community that makes Litecoin so attractive to new users. Namely, people can find answers to all their questions in one of the network’s community locations that include Reddit pages, Twitter hubs, and Telegram chats.
The Litecoin Wallet can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. It is one of the most convenient and user-friendly wallets in the industry, as it is geared toward beginners. Thanks to such a simple and straightforward wallet, Litecoin can be used by anyone, including users who don’t know a thing about LTC mining.
What the Fans Say
There are plenty of fans of Litecoin, especially when comparing to FIAT or Bitcoin:
“LTC is my go to coin for a crypto transfers. Volume is good, price is non-volatile, and transaction speed is excellent. It typically moves with Bitcoin and the rest of the market, but lately--2020--its been relatively stable. This isn't a bad thing when you are transferring large amounts and don't want high volatility. I think LTC will be around a long time in the cryptospace.”
“Litecoin is a fast and affordable means of exchange in the cryptocurrency world. In addition to having a long history in it blockchain, the Litecoin foundation and creator Charlie Lee are planning many interesting improvements to Litecoin in the near future. Privacy features, the lightning network, atomic swaps, etc. are all positive things in Litecoin’s future. For better or worse, Bitcoin seems to be drifting more towards a “store of value” more than a “medium of exchange,” which is positioning Litecoin to fill that role. I see massive upside potential for Litecoin, and, at least in mid 2019, I believe that Litecoin is very much undervalued.”
- Speed - Litecoin is 4 times faster than Bitcoin as it only takes 2.5 minutes to confirm a transaction (compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes).
- Transaction capacity - Litecoin has a much higher transaction capacity than Bitcoin, as it is able to perform over 50 transactions per second, which also makes it the more scalable version.
- Low transaction fees - Litecoin users only have to pay minimal transaction fees, which makes this altcoin favorable for everyone.
- No middlemen - As a decentralized system, Litecoin removes the need for a middleman in your transactions, thus allowing you to get more value for your money.
What the Critics Say
Critics point to the technology being superceded now by more scalable, cheaper alternatives using Proof of Stake or DAGs
“Litecoin came with the same idea as bitcoin and is a blockchain-based digital currency. In my opinion, it would have been better to present this project with more special features and characteristics than Bitcoin. But they offer the same features and benefits of Bitcoin with a slight upgrade.”
“Personally, It is better than Bitcoin when it comes to its block time of 2.5 mins on average, whereas Bitcoin sits on 10 mins per block on average, so you don't wait as much when comparing the two cryptocurrency. However, the price of Litecoin is not that high compare to bitcoin. Litecoin was intended to be used as a form of payment to services, and it was also used as an investment, other traders also speculate on the price of it. Litecoin's model is also deflationary, means its supply is finite just like bitcoin, but its total supply is 84 million whereas bitcoin has only 21 million supply.”
- Weaker Adoption - Litecoin is not nearly as adopted as Bitcoin, meaning you are more likely to see Bitcoin accepted as a payment rather than Litecoin or any other alternative.
- Not unique - There is no doubt that Litecoin is not the most unique Bitcoin fork/altcoin out there. There are many other anonymous cryptocurrencies around, although Litecoin’s special features add to its popularity.
While Litecoin is not necessarily a unique coin, it is one of the best altcoins you will find on the market because of its advanced technology that solves some of Bitcoin’s largest limitations. However, there is no doubt that even Litecoin has its weaknesses. For instance, there are other coins that are equally or if not even more advanced than Litecoin. It is the combination of Litecoin’s features and amazing story that put this altcoin on the map.
- Purpose / Vision - The Litecoin Foundation has the mission to make this digital currency widely accessible and far more advanced than bitcoin.
- Adoption - Litecoin is accepted by thousands of merchants worldwide, although there are other currencies (including Bitcoin) that outperform it in terms of adoption and popularity.
- Fees - Litecoin requires quite low transaction fees with no extra costs behind the curtain. All their fees and expenses are perfectly transparent.Speed - Litecoin is much faster than Bitcoin and its speed is considered one of its greatest features.
- Scalability - Even though it is not the most scalable altcoin out there, Litecoin does leave some room for scalability.
- Security - With absolutely no records of prior security incidents, the Litecoin network is one of the safest blockchains in the industry.
- Decentralisation - As a decentralized peer-to-peer network, Litecoin offers extra flexibility and security in daily use.
Is Litecoin Safe?
Security is one of the biggest benefits of using Litecoin for your online payments. The Litecoin network is decentralized and it comes with all the security benefits that blockchain technology provides. Therefore, the simple answer to your question is yes, Litecoin is completely safe to use. However, keep in mind that the security of your personal information also depends on third party platforms and exchanges from which you choose to obtain Litecoin. Not all crypto exchanges are 100% secure so we recommend doing some research before diving into new transactions.
How to Store Litecoin Safely?
After investing in Litecoin, it is important to store your assets safely to avoid any unwanted cybersecurity incidents. When it comes to storing cryptocurrencies, you have two options - online and offline storage wallets. While the security of your assets will depend on the third-party storage provider, it is safe to say that offline wallets are your best bet. These cold storage wallets are not always connected to the internet, which means your assets won’t be accessible to hackers and intruders lurking online. We recommend opting for offline storage for best safety results.
Will Litecoin’s Price Go Up?
It is no secret that the price of Litecoin has gone through many ups and downs throughout the last decade. Ever since it was first launched, Litecoin has displayed quite a lot of fluidity in its pricing. The price of this digital asset depends on multiple factors and, since the numbers change so often, it would make no sense to discuss the current pricing, as it might not be the same as the active price at the time you’re reading this. However, we can speculate that the price of Litecoin will most likely grow as months and years go by. This is due to the increase of popularity of digital financial assets, as well as the continuous development of this altcoin.
Can I use Litecoin to Pay for Goods?
Yes, besides investing into Litecoin and trading it for profit, you can use this digital asset to make payments and purchase goods or services. However, since Litecoin is not as widely adopted as Bitcoin, it might not be available in all stores and businesses. As of right now, this altcoin can be used as a viable payment method in over 40 000 merchant stores thanks to its integration with Flexa. As time goes by, we are expecting to see Litecoin become more popular and more widely adopted in the world, both for online and offline payments.