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What is Litecoin?

By Alex Nimoy Oct. 12, 2019, 10:33 a.m.

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. Litecoin is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities. Mathematics secures the network and empowers individuals to control their own finances. Litecoin features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than the leading math-based currency. With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.

Open Source Software

Litecoin is an open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license which gives you the power to run, modify, and copy the software and to distribute, at your option, modified copies of the software. The software is released in a transparent process that allows for independent verification of binaries and their corresponding source code.


The Litecoin blockchain is capable of handling higher transaction volume than its counterpart - Bitcoin. Due to more frequent block generation, the network supports more transactions without a need to modify the software in the future.
As a result, merchants get faster confirmation times, while still having ability to wait for more confirmations when selling bigger ticket items.

Wallet Encryption

Miners are currently awarded with 25 new litecoins per block, an amount which gets halved roughly every 4 years (every 840,000 blocks).
The Litecoin network is therefore scheduled to produce 84 million litecoins, which is 4 times as many currency units as Bitcoin.

Getting Started

Do not download Litecoin clients from any web sites other than https://litecoin.org.
You should see a security certificate in your browser:


Use bootstrap.dat to reduce blockchain download time (from about two days to one hour).

    • Encrypt your wallet with a passphrase. Make sure it is something you will remember!

    • Join the Litecoin forums or log on to IRC and introduce yourself.

    • Start with what interests you: Mining, Development, Trading or use of Litecoin as a currency.

Purchasing litecoins


Some deposit options for Bitcoin are not yet available for Litecoin. Depending on your preferred deposit option you will need to obtain bitcoins before exchanging them into litecoins.


You can buy Litecoin instantly with Bitcoin at BTC-e, Coinomat, ShapeShift, HolyTransaction, and 247exchange.


The easiest way to find people buying/selling litecoins for cash is LitecoinLocal.net. Other ways are the Local Litecoins subreddit and this Facebook group. expresscoin supports cash deposit at Credit Unions participating in Shared Branching. 247exchange supports cash deposit for buying Litecoin in Europe and express cash transfers (via MoneyPolo and its partners) all over the world.
CoinTouch finds people buying and selling Litecoin in your extended social network, for cash trading (or other means)

Personal checks

expresscoin supports personal checks.


expresscoin and 247exchange support INTERAC bank payments in Canada

ACH Transfer

Harborly allows you to buy and sell litecoins by hooking up any US bank account and debiting/crediting it directly though the Automated Clearing House banking network.

Wire transfer

International wire transfer and SEPA payments


• Kraken

• OKPay

• 247exchange

SEPA payments

• Belgacoin

• Coinimal

International wire transfer

• 796 Xchange

• expresscoin

Money orders

expresscoin supports USPS money orders.


You can directly purchase litecoins at OKPay or Coinomat. Depositing OKPay and buying litecoins at BTC-E, 796 Xchange and 247exchange works too.

Perfect Money

BTC-E and Coinomat support Perfect Money deposits.



SOFORTÜBERWEISUNG allows you to instantly transfer money from your bank account to a site that accepts it. The site will never have access to your bank login information, so SOFORTÜBERWEISUNG may be safer for the buyers.


Coinimal accepts GIROPAY/EPS.

GIROPAY/EPS allows you to instantly transfer money from your German or Austrian bank account to a site, similar to SOFORTÜBERWEISUNG. The site will never have access to your bank login information, so GIROPAY/EPS may be safer for the buyers.


Since there is a huge risk to the seller when buying crypto-currency with PayPal, you have the option to use VirWox in order to obtain Bitcoins with PayPal and then transfer them to your desired Litecoin exchanges. The process includes buying Second Life Lindens (SLL) with PayPal and then convert your SLL to Bitcoins. You will be charged transaction fees of around 11% but will let you purchase bitcoins pretty quickly as opposed to a wire transfer. The reason this method works is because you do not buy bitcoins with PayPal directly, you only buy SLL with PayPal (which is acceptable by PayPal's TOS) and then exchange your SLL to Bitcoin.
It is also possible to purchase litecoins using a peer-to-peer exchange such as Litecoinlocal.net--this means that you will be buying from a seller on that website with much lower fees than if you turned to one of the few PayPal accepting exchanges.

Credit card

Credit cards are also eligible for chargebacks so it is difficult to use them for purchasing crypto currency. You can fund your BTC-E account with MasterCard/Visa via Payeer. The same method that worked for PayPal can be implemented here as well. Credit/debit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Visa Electron, Maestro) are accepted by 247exchange.

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