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Litecoin: What it is and How to Buy Litecoin

Litecoin: What it is and How to Buy Litecoin in Canada

Designed for both beginners and experienced digital asset traders, this guide will provide an overview of the popular digital currency, Litecoin. It will answer questions like what Litecoin is and how to buy Litecoin.

What is Litecoin?

Much like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Litecoin (LTC) is a virtual currency. Essentially, it is a way of facilitating transactions online, serving as a digital version of money. Instead of using an intermediary to handle your transaction (like a bank or government entity), Litecoin allows users to send money directly to one another through the use of blockchain technology.

Who created it?

Litecoin is part of the ongoing wave of digital currencies that were released after the advent of Bitcoin. While Bitcoin remains the world’s most popular digital currency in terms of market cap, many innovative thinkers within the industry have come up with their own solutions to current issues within the platform.

These thinkers include Charlie Lee, a former Google employee. Lee is the creator and released the digital currency through an open-source client on GitHub in October, 2011.

Since digital currencies like Bitcoin make use of an open-source client, anyone can create their own version of the platform through a process known as a “hard fork.” This is how the currency was created, and split from the widely popular Bitcoin chain in order to make changes that Lee deemed appropriate.

Largely, these changes looked to improve scaling, as Bitcoin is currently prone to higher transaction fees and slower transaction speeds as adoption grows.

How does it work?

Since Litecoin began as a hard fork of Bitcoin, it functions through very similar methodology. It makes use of a distributed public ledger to record transactions. These transactions are chronologically added in blocks of information to the chain.

Known as blockchain, this technology serves as the basis for currencies like Litecoin. Transactions are verified through the use of all network-connected devices, making it virtually impossible for fraudulent transactions to occur. Further, because transactions are stored on a public ledger, anyone can easily track and verify each transaction that has taken place since the currency’s launch.

Is it legal in Canada?

It is completely legal to hold, mine, and trade Litecoin in Canada.  

Why should I use Litecoin?

Thanks to blockchain technology, transactions are secure and take place without the risk of being interrupted by a third party. In this way, currencies like Litecoin serve as a trustless system for payments, as neither party in the transaction can behave fraudulently.

It is often thought of as an alternative to Bitcoin, causing it to fall under the title of being an ‘altcoin’. However, there is room in the digital currency landscape for multiple currencies to co-exist, and many proponents use both Litecoin and Bitcoin.

Factors that attract proponents often involve the platform’s speed in comparison to Bitcoin. Bitcoin currently faces scaling issues due to its immense popularity, resulting in delayed transaction speeds and higher transaction costs.

Litecoin attempts to combat these issues in a few ways. The platform was quick to adopt SegWit, a scaling solution that increased the platform’s block size, allowing each block to store more transactions. The platform also adopted various anti-spam measures, which currently make its transactions times much quicker than Bitcoin’s.

How to buy Litecoin

For newcomers to cryptocurrency, and those looking to diversify assets, there are several ways to easily buy Litecoin.

Using an Online Exchange: Digital currency exchanges like Coinsquare are a quick and effective method of purchasing currencies like Litecoin. Exchanges permit the sale and purchase of Litecoin (LTC) directly through CAD at the best available rate.

In order to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) obligations, cryptocurrency platforms require information to verify your identity.

Through the use of exchanges, users can easily trade currencies like Litecoin through placing buy or sell orders, making them an attractive option for those looking for a hassle-free experience.

Using a Bitcoin/Litecoin ATM: Litecoin ATMs allow the purchase of digital currencies in-person, attempting to mirror traditional cash withdrawals. While Litecoin ATMs are not yet as popular as Bitcoin ATMs, digital currency ATMs are becoming more widespread in Canada.

Further, users have the option to purchase bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM, and then purchase Litecoin online, in exchange for bitcoin. Traditionally, ATMs tend to have high transaction fees.

Using Gift Cards or Vouchers: In Canada, Flexepin vouchers can be purchased at thousands of retail locations and redeemed on exchanges like Coinsquare for Litecoin. While purchasing vouchers typically results in high fees, sine favour the method due to its convenience.

How do I store Litecoin?

Once you figure out how to buy Litecoin, you need to store it. Just as you would likely store cash in your wallet, you have to store digital currencies in either an electronic software or hardware wallet in order to keep your funds secure. It is important to keep your wallet safe to ensure that you do not lose or misplace your funds.

To store Litecoin in a digital currency wallet, you’ll need to find one that supports the currency.  Luckily, due to its popularity, most options on the market currently allow users to hold Litecoin. Open-source wallets are an especially attractive option as users can see everything that’s happening on the technical backend. This means you know that you’re in control of your own wallet, limiting potential risks.

When you purchase a digital asset like Litecoin through Coinsquare’s exchange, you automatically get a web-based wallet that secures your funds. You can easily transfer funds from your web-based wallet to another digital currency wallet of your choice, or leave them as-is so that you don’t have to worry about setting one up.

Additional links for Litecoin

Downloadable forms on their website for technical information

Official Twitter

Charlie Lee Twitter

Official Wiki

Official GitHub


Image credit: Litecoin logo


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