How to buy Litecoin (LTC) in the UK
Learn how to buy Litecoin on 6+ exchanges in our step-by-step guide.
As one of the earliest altcoins, Litecoin (LTC)'s reputation as a low-cost payments crypto steered it to an all-time-high price of £336.41 in May 2021.
While this has helped make LTC the #15 crypto by market cap, Litecoin is still a highly volatile asset capable of major price swings in a single day.
Today LTC is trading for £53.01, which is slightly up from yesterday's trading price of £52.86. Litecoin's seen an increase of 22% over the past year.
So before you buy Litecoin, make sure you understand these unique risks as well as its legal, regulatory and tax status here in the UK.
If you're ready to get started, read on for step-by-step instructions and a list of platforms you can use to buy Litecoin in the UK.
How to buy Litecoin in 4 steps
To buy LTC all you'll need is a smartphone or computer, an internet connection, photo identification and a way to pay.
Compare crypto exchanges
The easiest way to buy Litecoin is from a cryptocurrency exchange. Comparing in the table helps you find a platform with the features you want like low fees, ease of use or 24-hour customer support.
Create an account
To create an account on an exchange, you will need to verify your email address and identity. Have some photo ID and your phone ready.
Make a deposit
Once verified, you can deposit GBP using the payment method that best suits you – cryptocurrency, bank and card payments are widely accepted.
You can now exchange your funds for Litecoin. On beginner-friendly exchanges, this is as simple as entering the GBP or LTC amount you want to purchase and clicking "buy". If you like, you can then withdraw your Litecoin to a personal wallet.
Beginners & instant purchases
Where to buy Litecoin in the UK
If this is your first time buying cryptocurrency you'll need to look for a platform that accepts pounds, like Revolut or Coinpass.
Don't worry too much about extra features or coins for now – you can always sign up with another exchange later.
Use the table to choose a platform that meets your needs and click the Go to site button to get started.
What is Litecoin?
Litecoin (LTC) is a cryptocurrency built for payments. It enables near-instant, low-cost peer-to-peer transactions.
One of the earliest altcoins, Litecoin was launched in 2011 and was created from a copy – not to be confused with a fork – of Bitcoin's source code. Sometimes referred to as the silver to Bitcoin's gold, Litecoin's software is similar to Bitcoin's. However, compared to Bitcoin, it has:
- A simpler mining hashing function/algorithm
- A faster block generation time
- A larger max supply
The simpler algorithm that governs Litecoin's network allows for faster transaction processing. Transactions on the Bitcoin network can take up to hours. Depending on network congestion, transactions on Litecoin are completed within seconds.
For this reason, some think of Litecoin as a complement to Bitcoin, not a competitor. Litecoin and Bitcoin have many of the same properties, but Litecoin is often considered more of a payments technology and Bitcoin a store of value.Read our beginner's guide to how Litecoin works
What will I need to buy Litecoin?
To create an account with your chosen crypto platform, you only need an email address or mobile number. This will usually allow you to deposit cryptocurrency, but not GBP.
If you want to buy Litecoin with pounds, you'll need to pass a Know Your Customer (KYC) check.
This is a standard security procedure for most exchanges in the UK and requires you to upload some photo ID, and in some cases a selfie with today's date.
KYC is usually approved instantly, but in rare cases, you may have to wait a few hours or days.
What are the best ways to buy Litecoin?
Once you've set up your account, you'll need to deposit funds to buy Litecoin with. We've listed out some popular ways to buy LTC and what you should know about each payment method.
What is the cheapest way to buy Litecoin?
Most exchanges let you buy as little as £5 worth of LTC, if not less. Just type in how much you want to spend in GBP and let the exchange work out the rest.
Some platforms only offer 1 way to buy Litecoin, while others provide several choices. The 2 most common ways to buy LTC are on the spot market or with an "instant buy" feature.
If it's your first time buying Litecoin this will be the fastest method – but also the least cost-effective.
You'll usually find the instant buy section under a "Buy now" heading on the platform you've chosen.
It should feature a simple interface that lets you enter the amount of Litecoin you want to buy, or pounds you want to spend.
This is usually the only option available for credit or debit card purchases, but you may also be able to make an instant buy if you've pre-funded your account with a bank transfer.
Be prepared to pay a markup on LTC's market rate in exchange for the convenience.
If you see colourful charts with a range of prices, you're probably in the spot market.
The spot market is where buyers and sellers come together to place bids for LTC on the open market. It's usually the cheapest way to buy Litecoin because it lets traders set their own price.
You'll find the spot market under a "Trade" or "Spot" heading on the site or app menu of the platform you've chosen to use.
There are several different order types that you can make on the spot market.
- Market order. This will buy you the amount of Litecoin you specify at the lowest possible price available. This makes it like an instant buy order, but with much lower fees.
- Limit order. This is the most common order type and lets you purchase Litecoin at the price you specify. Traders use this to time the market and capitalise on price dips or increases.
How to find the best place to buy Litecoin in the UK
There are dozens of different trading platforms to choose from when buying Litecoin in the UK, so to help you find your best option, keep these factors in mind:
- Where it's registered. Using a locally registered exchange is a good idea. It's more likely to accept pounds and local payment methods like , which helps avoid foreign exchange fees. Choosing from UK-based exchanges also means it's likely to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which means it has to comply with local laws in the UK.
- Security. Look at the security features the platform has to offer, like 2-factor authentication and PGP-encrypted emails. Cold storage of user funds is considered industry standard, but insurance funds are less common and indicative of good security practices.
- Fees. Check the fine print to find out exactly how much your transaction will cost. Depending on the platform you choose, these could include spreads, trading fees and deposit and withdrawal charges.
- Transaction limits. Are there any minimum or maximum limits on the amount of Litecoin you can purchase? Does the exchange restrict the amount of funds you can withdraw from your account in any 1 transaction or 24-hour period?
- Other platform features. Look out for other features that suit your investment or trading needs. For instance, many exchanges now let you earn yield on your holdings, while some issue crypto debit cards to help you spend your coins.
- Customer support. If you ever have a problem with a transaction, will you be able to quickly and easily get in touch with the customer support team? Are they based in the UK? Check what contact methods are available and find out how quick the team is at responding to enquiries.
- Insurance fund. A small number of exchanges now insure user funds. Beware that policies vary greatly between exchanges, so you'll need to research this thoroughly if insurance is important to you.
- Reputation. As a young industry, reputation can provide a lot of clues when choosing an exchange. For instance, who are the founders? Have there been any controversies? Are their business practices transparent? If you can't find any of this information, that may be a red flag.
- Range of coins. If you're thinking about adding other cryptos to your portfolio in the future, check to see what other coins you can buy through the platform.
- Read reviews. Finder's crypto exchange reviews include user feedback, which helps you get a better idea of what the exchange is like to use for other people starting out just like you.
Using FCA-registered exchanges
There are plenty of places to buy Litecoin, and people in the UK can choose from platforms registered here at home or in locations all around the world. Opting for a locally registered LTC exchange typically offers more convenience, but may have some downsides depending on your goals.
- UK-based exchanges must comply with FCA Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Counter-terrorism Financing (CTF) reporting obligations.
- You can usually buy Litecoin with GBP.
- Exchanges in the UK typically support local payment methods, such as .
- You may be able to access local customer support.
- Subject to local laws.
- You'll need to provide your personal details and proof of ID – a disadvantage if you want to trade anonymously.
- Overseas trading platforms may provide better liquidity.
- GBP-to-crypto prices are often slightly higher than USD-to-crypto prices, meaning you sometimes pay a premium for buying directly with pounds.
- Some features are simply not available on FCA-registered exchanges. For example, high leverage margin trading, DeFi features and some altcoins.
Recent Litecoin developments
4 July, 2023: Litecoin price reaches a 12-month high of $114.
2 June, 2023: Litecoin has rallied by 7% over the past 24 hours as activity on the network increases just two months before its scheduled halving in August.
May 02, 2023: The next Litecoin halving is approximately 90 days away. The halving will reduce block rewards from 12.5 LTC to 6.25 per block.
Is Litecoin safe to invest in?
You shouldn't invest in any asset, including LTC without doing plenty of research first. Before you buy Litecoin, make sure you understand and weigh up these risks:
- Price volatility. Litecoin's price is largely based on speculation, which means it can rise or fall in a short time. It's not uncommon for LTC to lose more than 10% of its value in a single day.
- Perceived value. LTC is a unique asset that does not have any tangible value. It derives most of its value from utility and speculation.
- Exchange vulnerabilities. Leaving your Litecoin on a crypto platform exposes you to several counterparty risks, including:
- Scams. Scammers frequently try to trick exchange users into handing over their username and password, often by phishing with malicious emails or fake website links. Use 2FA and encrypted emails to help protect your funds.
- Hacks and theft. Exchanges are vulnerable to hacks and theft, so choose one with good security practices and a track record of safety.
- Fiscal mismanagement. In mid-2022 a number of crypto platforms froze user funds after it was revealed they had engaged in irresponsible funds management.
- Insurance. Unlike stocks, only a small handful of exchanges provide insurance on your cash deposits.
- Regulatory uncertainty. The regulatory environment for Litecoin and other cryptos is constantly changing. It's important to understand how international rulings have the potential to impact Litecoin's future – for better or worse.
- Novel technology. Litecoin was created in 2011 which makes it relatively new as a form of technology and as a currency. LTC doesn't yet have the same track record or performance history as some other asset classes.
- Technical learning curve. Evaluating the tech behind LTC before you invest is important, but requires a deep understanding of the blockchain and other aspects of decentralised finance. You should be prepared to do plenty of research.
- Performance. LTC barely surpassed its previous all-time high in price of US$366, which it hit in 2017, when it reached US$413 in 2021. A comparable asset like Bitcoin (BTC) gained 200% in value in the same time frame while LTC only gained 12%.
- Bitcoin's Lightning Network. Litecoin bills itself as a payment network as it facilitates faster transactions than the Bitcoin network. However, now that Bitcoin has the Lightning Network – a layer 2 that enables faster transactions – there might not be as much demand for Litecoin.
- Litecoin's founder has dumped his LTC. When Litecoin's price was at an all-time high in December 2017, the network's founder Charlie Lee sold all of his LTC. Bitcoin's founder – the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto – has never sold even 1 of their 1.1 million BTC. Founders selling their tokens often undermines investor confidence.
Today's Litecoin price versus ATH
Compare today's price of Litecoin ($64.65 USD) against its all-time high (ATH) price of $410.26 USD on May 10, 2021. The closer the bar is to 100%, the closer LTC is to reaching its ATH again.
How is Litecoin taxed?
Litecoin is treated as a capital asset by HMRC, which means if you sell, trade, spend or gift LTC during the tax year, you will need to report any taxable profit in your self-assessment return.
Investors will need to declare any profits as capital gains, while you may be able to use losses to reduce your tax bill or offset any future gains. If you mine or stake Litecoin, or trade it in large volumes, you may be required to pay income tax instead of capital gains tax.
You can learn more in our guide to crypto tax rules in the UK.
After you've bought LitecoinOnce you own some LTC, you have 2 options – keep it on an exchange, or move it to a personal wallet. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Keeping your Litecoin on an exchange
- Convenience. Keeping your Litecoin on an exchange is convenient because you can buy and sell at any time.
- Security. Holding Litecoin on an exchange does come with significant counterparty risks, but reputable platforms also invest heavily in security so you don't have to worry about the pitfalls of self-custody.
- Insurance. A small handful of exchanges now operate insurance schemes. These can range from insuring user deposits held in cold storage to reimbursing customers if a hack occurs.
- Phishing. Exchange users are frequently targeted by scammers trying to steal login information through malicious emails and fake website links.
- Hacking. Exchanges are major targets for hackers. While security practices have improved substantially, hacks still occur from time to time.
- Account freezing. Exchanges have been known to occasionally freeze user accounts, whether due to security concerns, technical issues or market turbulence. This could see you temporarily lose access to your crypto.
Moving your Litecoin to a non-custodial wallet
- Self-custody. A mantra repeated by crypto investors is "Not your keys, not your coins." This comes from the idea that the only way to guarantee ownership of your Litecoin is to own the private key — which isn't the case when you hold on an exchange.
- Security. Litecoin and cryptocurrency wallets vary greatly in their features and security. For the most secure experience, consider purchasing a hardware wallet, which is usually a small USB device that keeps your private keys offline at all times for an extra layer of security.
- Utility. If you plan to use your Litecoin for transactions, daily spending or decentralised finance (DeFi), then storing it in a wallet rather than an exchange will be more convenient.
- Learning curve. It's no secret that learning how to use a crypto wallet takes some time and effort. Spend some time learning how Litecoin wallets work before transferring any of your funds.
- Personal responsibility. Owning your own money can be liberating, but it also means the responsibility is all yours. If you lose your private key, the only way to regain access to your wallet is through the seed phrase. Make sure to store both of these privately and securely.
- Inheritance. A challenge presented by crypto wallets is how to pass access on in the event of death or disability. Several companies are experimenting with ways to solve this problem, like the Trezor Model T wallet's Shamir backup feature.
If you want to buy Litecoin, start by comparing a range of crypto brokers and exchanges available in the UK. Look at their features, fees, security and overall reputation to decide which platform is the right fit for you. Consider an exchange registered with the FCA for added peace of mind.
Remember that owning and using Litecoin is not without its risks. Carefully consider investing in LTC as part of a wider strategy, and talk to a financial advisor if you have any questions.
Once you've bought some LTC, think about what your short and long-term goals are. This will help you decide whether to keep it on an exchange, or move it to your own wallet.
What is the easiest way to buy Litecoin?
Where is the best place to buy Litecoin?
The best place to purchase Litecoin depends on your needs. A good place to start your research is with our top picks.
If you are buying LTC to speculate on its price in the short term, you might want to buy it on an exchange such as Revolut or Coinpass, platforms that custody the asset for you. This will let you sell your LTC at any time.
If you are buying LTC to hold it for the long term, consider buying it on an exchange and transferring it to a hardware wallet to keep the private keys safely offline.
Can I buy Litecoin on Coinbase?
Yes, you can purchase LTC and hundreds of other digital assets on Coinbase.
How to buy other cryptos
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Cryptocurrencies are speculative and investing in them involves significant risks - they're highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and sensitive to secondary activity. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content shouldn't be interpreted as a recommendation to invest. Before you invest, you should get advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
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