How to buy Litecoin

Litecoin is a big bitcoin alternative. Here's how to buy some

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As one of the most popular alternative cryptocurrencies out there, Litecoin shows a lot of potential as a store of value and a potential investment option — especially since its price fell towards the end of 2017. But in order to be in with a chance of enjoying any rise in Litecoin’s value in the future, you need to know how to buy Litecoin. That’s what this guide is all about.

As with other cryptocurrencies, there are different ways to acquire them. You can mine them yourself, but if you want to buy Litecoin, these are the best ways to do so.

Buying through an exchange

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Bitstamp

For those just getting started with buying cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, or for anyone who wants to buy in the most straightforward manner, buying from an exchange is probably the best way to go. Although they are far from perfect, they do a lot of the legwork for you and give you the quickest and easiest access to a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, without you needing to be hands-on for the trade itself.

Picking an exchange might seem complicated, but it needn’t be too much of a headache. There are a lot of them out there and as with buying cryptocurrencies in the first place, you want to pick the one that’s right for you. Some of the more established trading platforms include Coinbase, Kraken, and Bitstamp, but Bitcoin.com has a list of all major exchanges that you can sift through. Whichever one you pick, make sure it’s well-established, has insurance to cover any potential losses — and most importantly in this case — actually supports Litecoin trading.

When you’ve locked in which exchange you want to use, your next step should be to sign up. Most exchanges operate from a web address, though some also offer smartphone app compatibility if you prefer. Depending on the exchange, signing up may require you to provide some form of identification, but that’s merely to comply with anti-money laundering laws. You’ll then need to pair your bank account or debit card with the exchange — and in some cases transfer funds directly to your account. Once you’ve done so though, you’re ready to begin trading.

The actual method for buying Litecoin will depend very much on the exchange you use, but most of them will boil down to a few simple options. You’ll be looking to make a “buy order.” When you do, a certain amount of your fiat currency (USD, etc.) will be transferred out of your account, with the requisite amount of Litecoin then sent to your exchange wallet.

Basic buy orders, sometimes called market orders, make the purchase for you automatically at the best market rate. If you want to only buy at a set price, you can in some cases place a “limit” order instead, which allows you to specify a value.

If you plan to hold your Litecoin for a while or have purchased a particularly large amount, we’d recommend you transfer it out of your exchange wallet into something more secure. Although most established exchanges are well protected, DDOS attacks, busy trading periods, and hacks can cause problems with accessing your cryptocurrency. Making sure you have a firm grasp on it, whether you use a software or digital wallet, is a good idea.

Buying through direct trade

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Cointal

The other main way to buy cryptocurrencies of any type is directly from the owners. It’s a little more off-the-grid than exchanges, but ultimately just means that you can have a firmer grasp of price and the timing of the trade. It does mean being actively present for the trade and manually sending the funds, but it also keeps your currency (of all types) away from any platforms which may become inaccessible for whatever reason.

Direct trading with Litecoin isn’t as easy as it is with bitcoin — there just aren’t as many platforms that support it. Fortunately, Cointal handles peer-to-peer transactions for everything from bitcoin, to Litecoin, to Ripple. It also supports a wide array of payment methods, so you can buy Litecoin with Paypal, gift cards, or a direct bank transfer, among others.

To use Cointal, head to the site’s homepage and input either how much USD you’re willing to spend, or how much Litecoin you want to purchase and click the “find an offer,” button. You will then be presented with a list of available offers which you can list by buy/sell or payment method. You can also peruse sellers and look at their reputation, feedback, and location.

When you have selected a deal you like the look of, click the “buy” button on the right-hand side and you’ll be taken to the relevant deal page. Double check the details of the transaction and then hit the “Buy Now” button, and you’ll be taken to the login page, at which point — if you haven’t already — you’ll need to make an account.

The actual specifics of the transaction will be down to you and the seller, but suffice to say, it will involve you sending them a payment, which will be held in escrow while they send you the Litecoin. When everyone is happy, your new Litecoin will be sent straight to your chosen wallet.

Buying with other cryptocurrencies

The only other way to get hold of Litecoin is to trade it for another cryptocurrency like bitcoin. If you do have some alternative tokens you want to trade, you can use asset exchange websites like ShapeShift or Changelly for a more automated experience. You can also use Paxful or indeed Cointal, to make direct trades with one cryptocurrency for another.

For a full look at that process, check out our guide on how to trade bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies.