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Introduction to Litecoin and trading LTC

Introduction to Litecoin and trading LTC

For beginners

LTC is silver to bitcoin’s gold. In other words, if you think BTC is volatile…

 

Litecoin was created in 2011 as ‘digital silver to bitcoin’s gold’. It’s faster than bitcoin, with 2.5 minute blocks, and it’s easier to mine. In the early days, that made a bigger difference, though now you’ll still need Scrypt ASICs to do the job properly. If you’ve got into bitcoin and are wondering what else is around, you could do worse than look at LTC.

 

What’s Litecoin good for?

The fact that Litecoin has shorter block times, and the fact that there’s more space in blocks, means that it’s excellent for small, fast, low-cost transfers. If you need to move small amounts of cash between exchanges, or different wallets or other services (like cloud mining services, for example), it’s a great option.

 

More broadly, Litecoin tends to implement features faster than Bitcoin (which is not surprising, since Bitcoin is glacially slow). Litecoin’s team implemented SegWit before Bitcoin, giving it a reputation at Bitcoin’s sandbox.

 

Trading LTC

Like physical silver compared to gold, Litecoin is incredibly volatile. As we noted on Saturday, it tends to move in step with BTC, but rises in BTC terms as BTC rises against the dollar, and falls against BTC when BTC drops in USD price. This gives an exaggerated effect to price swings. Look at where BTC and LTC bottomed: $3,100 and $22 respectively. And while BTC has almost doubled in price since then, LTC has almost quadrupled.

 

This makes LTC very risky to trade. It’s available on most large fiat exchanges now, including Bitstamp and Coinbase, making it easy to access. And it’s supported with many different wallets, including mobile ones, so it’s easy to store. But trade carefully: LTC can be hugely rewarding if you buy at the right time, but it can lose a large proportion of its value in a heartbeat if you get it wrong.

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