Throughout the first quarter of 2020, Litecoin (LTC) has kept its spot among the ten most popular digital coins on the crypto market. A proof of its popularity is the fact that Litecoin is the seventh-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization.
If you’re looking to make your first Litecoin investment and want to know more about the company and their mission, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you all about buying Litecoin in the UK.
As you probably know by now, regardless of the cryptocurrency in question, they’re all bought online on crypto exchanges. Sometimes, choosing the right exchange can be quite a challenge and depends on your investment plan and strategy. Maybe you want to exchange your BTC for LTC, or you’re a beginner who needs a fiat to crypto exchange to get started.
To satisfy the needs of both, we chose CEX.io as the model platform for purchasing Litecoin in the UK.
Where to Buy Litecoin
Headquartered in London, CEX.io is the perfect platform for UK residents. Founded in 2013, it’s been part of the crypto industry for more than 7 years. The fact that it has withstood numerous challenges for so long, and without any security breaches, is a testimony of the platform’s reliability.
CEX.io was registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and performs KYC checks on every new customer. The platform uses two-factor authentication for any account action and keeps the majority of customers’ funds in offline wallets or cold storage.
The platform supports the most lucrative cryptocurrencies: Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Tron, Stellar, Dash, BitTorrent, MetaHash, and ZCash. You have the option to buy LTC with other cryptocurrencies or deposit GBP to fund your account. Both bank transfers and credit/debit cards are accepted.
Our team found that CEX.io appeals to both beginners (the fiat to crypto exchanges and the user-friendly interface) and experts alike (advanced trading options like margin trading with up to 10x leverage). The only disadvantage is the high 7% service fee, including in the coins’ prices.
What is Litecoin?
Ever since blockchain technology made its debut as the driving technology behind Bitcoin’s ledger, computer scientists around the world have been trying to find additional uses for it. This was the case with Charlie Lee, a computer scientist who used to work for Google.
His keen eye was quick to spot some of Bitcoin’s shortcomings. The more he read about the technology, the more he wanted to try and make those improvements himself. In order to change the existing Bitcoin blockchain, he had to perform a “hard fork” and create a completely separate one for his payment system.
After working on the project for some time, and mining the first 150 coins, he launched Litecoin and its currency (LTC) in 2011 as an open-source digital ledger. Compared to Bitcoin, Litecoin is a lighter version, perfect for small transactions and purchases. Rather than competing with Bitcoin, Lee proved that both of them can function in unison and be used to different ends.
What are Their Future Goals?
As of April 2020, 1 LTC is worth 32.28 GBP according to CoinMarketCap. It’s the sixth cryptocurrency in the world judging by its market capitalization. Right now, it’s the number one method for making cheap and fast payments!
What makes Litecoin so successful is the great term of experts that is constantly working on improving the system and adding new features. For example, the company is currently developing its own version of the “atomic swaps”. This will allow users to make instant currency swaps.
Imagine having 10 BTC that you want to exchange for 1,000 LTC. If you choose to make an atomic swap, you’ll just directly exchange your bitcoins with another user who already has 1,000 LTC but needs bitcoins instead. It’s quicker, and you don’t have to pay service fees.
Moreover, Litecoin’s team is making an effort to implement MAST technology to its blockchain in order to improve the scalability and speed, plus save up some memory. This technology filters some unnecessary data and stores it on a separate blockchain layer.
Who is Litecoin for?
The crypto industry is a highly volatile one and it’s mostly based on speculation. A common beginner’s mistake is investing in some cryptocurrency just because you’ve heard it was a major hit and its price is supposed to go up.
Always do thorough research on your target cryptocurrency and analyze its price chart and liquidity. Looking into Litecoin’s statistics, we can see that although it shows high liquidity, the coin frequently changes its price. High volatility means that the coin might not be a good long-term investment. Just as the price can climb up, it can just as easily plunge down.
On the other hand, Litecoin can be kept short-term and used in daily purchases as Charlie Lee himself had envisioned when creating the coin. The crypto community uses the gold-versus-silver analogy to explain the difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin.
In the past, people used silver as a commodity to buy things they needed on a daily basis, whereas gold was put aside for bigger purchases and trades. Similarly, traders hold onto Bitcoin and spend Litecoin when they need to make small transactions.
Litecoin vs. Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s silver, Bitcoin-Lite… Why is the crypto community always comparing these two? What are the major differences and similarities between them? After all, they do come from the same blockchain.
The first thing that Lee noticed about Bitcoin’s blockchain is that it’s quite slow at verifying transactions. To get one confirmation, you have to wait around 10 minutes! When you’re paying in BTC, usually you need around four confirmations for your transaction to be considered reliable. That means you’ll be waiting for almost an hour!
On Litecoin, your transaction is verified in just 2.5 minutes. Even if you need four confirmations, you’ll still be done in less than 10 minutes! Impressive, right?
Next, Lee didn’t like the fact that Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second. He realized this is due to low scalability, a problem many other blockchains were facing too. Take Ethereum, for example. The second most popular cryptocurrency still processes only 15 transactions per second on its blockchain.
Lee solved this problem too. Litecoin’s blockchain can process up to 56 transactions per second! Imagine what would happen if Litecoin becomes even half as popular as Bitcoin is nowadays. It seems like the network will withstand such a flow of transactions without a problem.
But that’s not all. Litecoin’s developer wanted to make some changes to the way Litecoin miners will mine the coins. Even though the blockchain uses the same Proof of Work consensus mechanism as Bitcoin, Lee included a different hash function.
Instead of applying the SHA-256 hash function that Bitcoin miners use, which gets more difficult to solve as the number of mined blocks increases, Litecoin uses a script algorithm that consumes less computing power to generate coins.
In effect, litecoins can be mined with cheaper mining hardware such as GPUs. On the other hand, to mine bitcoins, you need very expensive gear like the ASICs. That’s why mining BTC is not available to retail traders but only happens in huge mining pools.
But why would you want to mine coins yourself instead of just purchasing them on crypto exchanges? Well, blockchain networks reward their miners for the hard work they’ve done and the computing power they’ve spent by giving them cryptos. At first, both Bitcoin and Litecoin gave 50 coins to the miners, but Bitcoin’s halving has set its reward at 12.5 BTC, while Litecoin miners still earn 25 LTC.