How to trade litecoin

Discover how to trade litecoin, as well as how litecoin works, what moves its price and whether you’ll need to buy and sell the cryptocurrency on an exchange.

Are you ready to start litecoin trading?

Litecoin (LTC) is often referred to as the silver to bitcoin’s gold – and with silver often the more volatile of the two precious metals, that could make litecoin an intriguing prospect for traders. To start speculating on litecoin’s price movements, follow these three steps:

  1. Decide how you’d like to trade litecoin
  2. Discover how litecoin works
  3. Explore the factors that influence its price
  4. Open your first position

Ways to deal litecoin

Litecoin spread betting

Bet a certain amount of pounds per point on the direction in which its price is headed.

So if you bet £5 per point that LTC is headed up in price, then you’ll make £5 for every point of upward movement. For every point it moves down, you’ll lose £5.

Find out more about spread betting

Litecoin CFDs

Open a contract in which you agree to exchange the difference in price of LTC from when you open your position to when you close it. If you ‘buy’ a CFD, then you’ll pocket any upward price movement as profit, but have to pay any downward movement as loss. If you ‘sell’, then the opposite is true.

Find out more about CFD trading

How does litecoin work?

But litecoin is different to bitcoin in a few important ways. Firstly, it is mined much faster, with the average block being verified and added to the blockchain in just 2.5 minutes, compared to ten minutes for bitcoin. That makes transactions faster, and should make it cheaper to transfer LTC.

There is also a cap of 84 million litecoins that can ever be mined. That is four times bitcoin’s cap, and combined with the faster transactions times has some people – including litecoin’s founder Charles Lee – claiming that LTC could be a better payment solution than bitcoin.

Finally, litecoin is based on a different algorithm to bitcoin: scrpyt to BTC’s SHA-256.

What moves litecoin's price?

Considering its many similarities to bitcoin, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the factors affecting litecoin’s price are fairly similar to those for the world’s first cryptocurrency.

However, there are some unique things to watch out for as well:

Litecoin supply

Many point to litecoin’s wider supply as a key reason for its lower price point than bitcoin. Despite launching two years later, there are far more litecoins available on the market – and faster transactions ensure that supply remains fluid.

Bad press

Negative headlines surrounding litecoin – or negative headlines surrounding cryptocurrencies in general – will tend to play out on its price in a big way. 

LTC’s value is entirely down to its public perception, which makes it even more dependent on favourable news.

Industry adoption

People may claim that litecoin has many benefits over bitcoin as a payment solution, but until it is accepted by businesses across the globe that will remain an unsubstantiated claim. So a major company adopting the cryptocurrency could see its price spike.

LTC market cap

It may be touted as a new currency, but investors buying and holding litecoin are the biggest reason for its rises in price. And those investors will pay attention to its market cap when deciding whether to buy more or sell.

Bitcoin’s price

It may not have been Charles Lee’s intention, but one way in which litecoin is similar to silver is in the price relationship it shares with its more illustrious cousin. Where gold goes, silver often follows; where bitcoin goes, litecoin often follows.

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Steps to trading litecoin

1. Open an account

You’ll need a leveraged trading account to start speculating on litecoin via CFDs or spread betting, or an exchange account to buy it in the open market. Getting an exchange account can be problematic – sometimes taking days to open, and without the infrastructure needed to respond to support requests quickly.

Opening an IG trading account takes minutes, and you can chat to one of our dedicated experts 24 hours a day Monday to Friday if you have any problems. Once your account is open, there’s no obligation to fund or trade.

2. Develop a trading plan

A comprehensive trading plan is a great way of taking the emotion out of your decisions, setting out the trades you should make as well as when to take profit or cut losses. Here are five steps that you can follow to create a trading plan:

  1. Define your trading goals, split into short and long-term targets
  2. Decide which markets you want to trade, if you aren’t sticking solely to litecoin
  3. Choose an acceptable level of risk from each trade, and use it to set out your risk-reward ratio
  4. Start a trading diary so that you know what is working, and what isn’t
  5. Consider which trading strategy you might want to employ

3. Do your research

Before you open your first position, you’ll want to make sure that you are up to date with all the latest litecoin developments. Take a look at what our dedicated team of market experts has been saying about cryptocurrency in our news and analysis section – or if you’ve opened an account, read the latest updates in My IG.

You might also want to consider running some technical analysis on litecoin. The charts in the IG Trading platform come equipped with a range of indicators to help you identify trends, and plan your first trade accordingly.

Read more about cryptocurrency trading strategies here

4. Place a trade

Now it’s time to open your first position. With IG, you can trade litecoin using a variety of platforms, including:

Whichever platform you use, you can select the size of your position in deal ticket, which will determine your profit or loss. Then if you’d like to open a long litecoin position, hit ‘buy’. If you’d like to go short, hit ‘sell’.
To close your position, simply make the opposite trade to the one you made to open. So if you bought £10 per point to open, then you’d sell £10 per point to close. If you sold five LTC CFDs to open, you’d buy five LTC CFDs to close.

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Do I need an exchange account to trade litecoin?

No, not if you trade via CFDs or spread betting. Neither option involves taking ownership of any cryptocurrency, so you never need to deal directly with an exchange.

Instead, we source prices from multiple exchanges, and offer our own buy and sell prices. So all you’ll need to get started is a free, easy-to-open IG trading account. 

What are litecoin’s trading hours?

With IG, you can trade litecoin 24 hours a day from 4am on Saturday to 10pm (London time) on Friday.

Market holidays may change these hours.

What other cryptocurrencies can I trade with IG?

As well as litecoin, you can trade:

What is litecoin’s ticker symbol?

The ticker symbol for litecoin is LTC.

Can I add trading alerts to litecoin?

Yes, you can get notified when litecoin:

  • Moves a certain number of points
  • Hits a certain level
  • Fulfils a particular set of technical conditions

To set an alert, log in to the platform, open litecoin’s deal ticket, and choose your parameters. Click ‘set alert’ to save your settings.

Can I trade litecoin on mobile?

Yes, all of our 15,000 markets are available on mobile as well a desktop. Find out more about our mobile apps.

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Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.