Litecoin (LTC) is one of the first altcoins specifically created to provide cryptocurrency users access to quick, secure, and cheap payments. The LTC coin is a reward that is received by miners that contribute computing power towards solving cryptographic puzzles to validate blocks on the Litecoin blockchain.
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What is Litecoin?
Litecoin was founded in 2011 by Charles Lee, known by his alias “Chocobo,” who was also the director of engineering at Coinbase. Litecoin is built on the same fundamentals as Bitcoin. It is a Proof-of-Work (PoW) cryptocurrency, which requires miners to contribute computing power to solve complex cryptographic puzzles and confirm transactions.
Litecoin became popular because the transaction settlements on its blockchain are nearly four times faster than Bitcoin’s at 2.5 minutes per block. Litecoin is credited with introducing pioneering technologies such as the Lightning Network and Segregated Witness (SegWit), both of which were added to Bitcoin over time.
When Litecoin (LTC) launched in 2011, it was listed on a few marketplaces with a price of $0.30. At the time of writing, the token has a value of $250.78. This is an 83,493.33% increase in value since the token’s inception to date. Litecoin had a market cap of over $17 billion, with a circulating supply of 68.95 million LTC at the time of writing.
- Litecoin has a high level of liquidity with its market cap at over $17 billion.
- Litecoin is an open-source network, and anyone can see how it works, along with what changes are made to the protocol.
- Litecoin is a peer-to-peer network and a decentralized alternative to FIAT currencies.
- Compared to Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin is four times faster at 2.5 minutes per block and is limited to 84 million coins instead of 21 million.
- Many projects are moving away from the Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism to validate transactions and moving to greener alternatives, which could hurt the coin’s value over time.
- Litecoin has a history of controversy surrounding the withdrawal of the now-defunct LitePay service and its founder selling all his holdings near the all-time high value of the token in 2017.
How does Litecoin work?
To keep the network secure, Litecoin uses Proof-of-Work (PoW) as its consensus mechanism. Litecoin’s PoW variation implements a modification known as Scrypt, allowing miners to use affordable Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) to mine the cryptocurrency a lot more efficiently than Bitcoin (BTC). Litecoin (LTC) bumped up the limit of coins that Bitcoin (BTC) has from 21 million to 84 million.
In 2017, Litecoin was the first to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit), a solution proposed by the Blockstream co-founder Pieter Wuille that separates signatures from transactions and puts them into associated input instead of in the transactions. This result is a decrease in the transaction size, which allows more transactions to be added within each block.
Litecoin also adopted Lightning Network Transactions in the same year and transferred 0.00000001 LTC from Zürich to San Francisco in under a second. The Lighting Network is a Layer-2 payment protocol designed to work on top of the Litecoin blockchain network.
Ways to buy Litecoin
Litecoin (LTC) can be bought through different methods. The primary ones are cryptocurrency exchanges, peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces, and in-person trading.
- Cryptocurrency exchanges: Cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to buy LTC directly from them. Simply find an exchange that will provide you with fair fees, LTC trading pairs, and high liquidity.
- Peer-to-Peer (P2P) marketplaces: Peer-to-Peer (P2P) marketplaces connect you with LTC sellers directly. You will need to find a seller for the LTC token and simply initiate the process.
- In-person trading: This is a process where you arrange a meeting with the seller of LTC directly at a physical location and make the transaction at an amount you both agree upon.
Below is everything you need to know about buying Litecoin (LTC):
- Create an account for a cryptocurrency exchange or brokerage. Ensure that your choice supports Litecoin (LTC) pairs.
- Fund your account by using FIAT currencies if you do not already own any other type of cryptocurrency. Note that some brokerages will require you to complete KYC and AML documentation, a process that takes a few minutes to complete. Select your best deposit methods and enter the amount you would like to buy LTC for.
- Type LTC in the search bar of the exchange or brokerage. Click on “buy” to complete your transaction. Once the transaction is confirmed, you will find your LTC coins on your account balance.
How to trade Litecoin
When you purchase Litecoin (LTC), you have full ownership over the coins you buy. You can keep these in your exchange account or transfer them to a LTC wallet for an added layer of protection. You can spend LTC anywhere you want to, assuming they are an accepted form of currency. You can exchange the LTC coins in your wallet to any other currency that you want to, which can be both in FIAT and in crypto.
Trading LTC is usually a short-term investment strategy where you buy low with the intention of selling it when the price of LTC goes up in value. If you decide to deal with derivative products, you are essentially speculating on how the price of the token will move, either up or down in value, without owning the underlying asset directly. This way, you do not have to deal with cryptocurrency wallets or private keys, but you can gain benefits from the price swings of the LTC coin.
Additionally, you can utilize short-term and long-term trading and implement margin and leverage trading to your strategy. There are also entry orders, stop losses, profit-limit orders, and risk-management methods on offer at many exchanges and brokerages that might give you an advantage.
Here are some of the main ways to get started with Litecoin (LTC) investing today.
- Brokerages: Litecoin (LTC) is a cryptocurrency that you can invest in by using a cryptocurrency brokerage. This option is recommended for beginners because it’s simple, quick, regulated, and safe. All you need to do is deposit funds in the exchange, look up the Litecoin (LTC) token, and invest in it directly.
- Exchanges: Cryptocurrency exchanges are the preferred option by many traders because it provides heightened access to the open market compared to brokerages. You can get a wider variety of trading capabilities, charting tools, indicators, notifications, and pre-configure trading bots as an investor.
Is it safe to invest in Litecoin right now?
Volatility can affect the price of Litecoin (LTC), as with all other cryptocurrencies out there. This is a risk that any investor needs to know before buying Litecoin (LTC). There is a heightened interest in terms of the price potential of the LTC token. However, this can be subject to various factors.
Litecoin offers quicker transactions than Bitcoin and has pioneered many technologies that would eventually find their way to Bitcoin. However, it hasn’t really developed much throughout the past year. When you decide to invest in Litecoin, remember to consider the reputation, fees, and security of the platform you choose.