Ever since Litecoin was created back in 2011 it was considered as Bitcoin’s younger brother. In this guide I will review the various ways you can buy Litecoin online and offline and also how to store it.
How to buy Litecoin is 3 simple steps
- Get a Litecoin wallet (e.g. Exodus, Ledger, Jaxx)
- Find an exchange that sells Litecoin (e.g. Coinmama, CEX.io)
- Deposit money and make the trade
- Withdraw the Litecoins to your wallet
If you want a deeper explanation about the various methods available for buying Litecoin and wallets to store it in, keep on reading.
1. What is Litecoin in a Nutshell?
Litecoin is a Bitcoin spinoff created by former Google employee Charles Lee in October 2011. Litecoin has taken the general idea behind Bitcoin, but changed a few key component:
- The block time is 2.5 minutes on average versus 10 minutes for Bitcoin.
- The mining algorithm has changed from SHA-256 to Scrypt. This makes mining hardware for Litecoin harder and more complicated to create.
- The total number of Litecoins available is 84 million, as opposed to Bitcoin’s 21 million.
2. Get a Litecoin wallet
Before you go off to buy Litecoins, you will first need a wallet to store them in. There are many Litecoin wallets available today, so instead of going over all of them I’ll just quickly review the best ones in my opinion.
Litecoin hardware wallets
The best option for storing any cryptocurrency would be to use a hardware wallet. These are pieces of hardware that store your coins offline. Today there are two leading wallets to choose from – the Ledger Nano S and the TREZOR One. Both hardware wallets are great and will get the job done.
Litecoin software wallets
The downside with hardware wallets is that they cost money. If you’re not sure how serious you are about cryptocurrencies and just want to get a taste of what they feel like, perhaps you would be better off to start with a software wallet. A software wallet is a free program that allows you to store your coins on your computer. For a complete explanation about hardware wallets, software wallets and additional types of wallets make sure to watch our Bitcoin Whiteboard Tuesday episode about wallets.
The easiest Litecoin software wallets to get started with are undoubtedly Exodus and Jaxx. Both wallets are very intuitive. Exodus works only on desktops, while Jaxx has a mobile version as well.
Now that you have a Litecoin wallet you can move on to actually buying your Litecoins.
3. Buying Litecoins at an exchange (most popular method)
As Litecoin becomes more and more popular the number of cryptocurrency exchanges that sell Litecoin increases. In this post I’ll focus on the easiest exchanges to get started with, that also supply the widest variety of payment methods.
Buying Litecoin through eToro
Pros: Easy to get started with, various payment methods
Cons: You don’t get access to the actual coins.
Overall rating: 4.5
eToro is a popular and well established cryptocurrency investment platform that allows you to buy and sell Litecoins (and other coins) for fiat currency (i.e. Dollars, Euros, etc.). In other words, eToro allows you to invest in the coins rather than give you actual access to your coins. .
Even though you can’t withdraw coins or send coins from eToro to other people, it is still a good option for price speculation. That is thanks to its user friendly platform that offers great customer support and the widest options of payment methods.
If you use eToro you don’t actually need a Litecoin wallet as they don’t supply you the actual coins. eToro also allows you to short a certain currency if you think its price will drop. If you do decide to use eToro for speculation purposes, please remember that cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. So keep in mind that your capital is at risk.
Buying Litecoin through Coinmama
Pros: Simple buying process, reliable company
Cons: Relatively high fees
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
Coinmama allows you to instantly buy Litecoins with your credit or debit card. They accept users from most countries around the world (excluding several states of the US). The company has been around for a long time (since 2013) and is considered trustworthy.
Coinmama won’t hold your Litecoins for you, which means you’ll need to make sure you have a Litecoin wallet and address before starting the buying process. Coins are sent almost instantly once the buying process is completed.
Buying Litecoin through CEX.io
Pros: Low fees when using the trading platform, wide variety of payment methods
Cons: High fees on the brokerage service
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
CEX Allows you to buy Litecoin in a fast & secure way, using your credit card. The site offers two methods for buying Litecoins:
- A brokerage service (the company sells you Litecoins directly) – An easy process at a premium price
- A trading platform (you interact with buyers/sellers from around the world) – A cheaper, but relatively complex process for beginners
Like Coinmama, CEX has been around since 2013 and has gained a very good reputation since. If you’re just starting out, it will probably be better if you use the brokerage service since it’s simpler than the trading platform. Keep in mind that the brokerage service fees are around 7% while the trading platform fees are around 0.25%. If you’re buying a small amount, that shouldn’t make that much of a difference and sometimes it’s better to pay a little extra for an easier process.
Buying Litecoin through Bitpanda
Pros: Multiple payment methods supported, relatively low fees
Cons: Not available worldwide,
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
Bitpanda is a cryptocurrency broker that specializes in buying and selling cryptocurrency within the Eurozone. The company was founded in late 2014 and has since grown to become one of the more popular options to purchase cryptocurrency around Europe.
Bitpanda Allows you to buy Litecoins using your credit card, Skrill account, SEPA transfer or SOFORT transfer.
Buying Litecoin through Coinbase
Pros: Low fees on ACH/SEPA transfer
Cons: Horrible support, not available worldwide
Overall rating: 4 Stars
Coinbase – Allows you to buy Litecoins using your credit card or bank account. Coinbase accepts buyers from 33 countries around the world and the fees on the exchange are relatively low (mainly for ACH transfers inside the US).
The bottom line for Coinbase is this – if they are supported in your country they are probably the cheapest option for buying Litecoins. The company is well established and has been selling cryptocurrencies since 2012. On the downside, don’t expect anyone from their support to answer if you encounter any issues (they created a name for themselves in that field).
Buying Litecoin through Bitstamp
Pros: Reputable exchange, relatively low fees and exchange rate
Cons: Complicated for beginners
Overall rating: 4 stars
Bitstamp is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchange out there. Bitstamp allows you to buy Litecoins through a credit card or a wire transfer of USD, EUR. Alternatively you can change Bitcoins to Litecoins on the exchange.
Aside from a pretty confusing trading platform, Bitstamp also offers a direct buying service for cryptocurrencies via a credit card at premium.
Always withdraw your Litecoins to your wallet
Once you decide on an exchange, open an account and buy the Litecoins. Make sure to withdraw the Litecoins from the exchange to your personal wallet. Never leave coins in an exchange, as you risk losing them all if the exchange gets hacked or shuts down.
4. Additional options for buying Litecoins
If you own Bitcoins and wish to exchange them for Litecoin, you can do that on a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance. Also, if you get stuck with any of the methods described above, you can always buy Bitcoin and convert them to Litecoins using Binance.
If you’re looking to buy Litecoins with Paypal there is no direct option. You’ll need to buy Bitcoins with Paypal through Virwox and then exchange them to Litecoins on a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance or Changelly.
The process goes as follows:
- Sign up to Virwox
- Deposit money via Paypal
- Convert USD/SLL (this is a virtual currency known as Second Life Lindens)
- Convert SLL/BTC (Bitcoin)
- Withdraw your Bitcoins to a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance
- Convert BTC to LTC
Important – This process hold within it A LOT of fees due to the many conversions, deposits and withdrawals. Make sure you’re aware of all of the fees beforehand so you won’t be surprised.
Buying Litecoins without ID or verification
Since Litecoin isn’t a popular payment method as Bitcoin is, it’s hard to find a credible way to buy it without any verification. The best way to buy Litecoin anonymously would be to buy Bitcoins anonymously and then trade those Bitcoins for Litecoins on Binance.
Throughout the years Litecoin has proved itself to be a coin that’s here to stay with a strong community and development team behind it. The question of “will it play a role in the future monetary system?” is still unanswered, but for now if Bitcoin is the closest there is to digital gold. Still, Litecoin is the closest there is to digital silver.