Category Archives: Litecoin Guides

Linux Live with Blockchain on different USB, Hard Drive or Location

Many people ask me if they can open their wallet (Litecoin-Qt or Bitcoin-Qt client etc) within Linux Live Ubuntu without having to download the whole blockchain each time. So here is a how-to guide for setting up your wallet in a secure environment without having to wait for the blockchain to download.

First off, if you already have a copy of the blockchain, copy it to a folder called ‘litecoin‘ on a Hard Drive or USB stick. See my guide on how to copy the blockchain  which shows how to do this. Note, it does not have to be up-to-date. If you’re starting from scratch, then you can just create a folder called ‘litecoin‘ on a hard disk or USB storage device.

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What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin and the second largest (by market cap) of all the alt coins . If you’re completely new to the cryptocurrency world then please take a look What is Bitcoin? first.

Bitcoin is open source, which means it can be used and modified by anyone to create other cryptocurrencies. Many other cryptocurrencies have since been launched with Litecoin being one of them.

Litecoin was created by Charles Lee in 2011. Charles describes Litecoin as being “more abundant & lightweight and as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold”. Technically Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin but has several key differences, see below.

Key Differences Between Litecoin & Bitcoin
Bitcoin Litecoin
Date Created 3-Jan-2009 7-Oct-2011
Created By Satoshi Nakamoto Charles Lee
Coin Cap 21 Million 84 Million
Algorithm SHA-256 Scrypt
Block Time 10 Mins 2.5 Mins
Difficulty Adjustment Every 2016 blocks Every 2016 blocks
Initial Reward 50 BTC 50 LTC
Current Reward 25 BTC 50 LTC
Block Reward Halved Every 210,000 blocks Every 840,000 blocks
Block Explorer blockchain.info block-explorer.com
Transaction Fee 0.0001 BTC 0.02 LTC

Advantages

  • Litecoin can confirm transactions faster than Bitcoin, this makes it attractive to merchants and recipients as there is less time to wait for payments.
  • Litecoin can handle a higher volume of transactions due to the faster block time.
  • Faster block times also reduces the risk of double-spending.
  • Mining is accessible to more people because Litecoin uses a different Proof Of Work hashing algorithm. Bitcoin uses SHA-256 whilst Litecoin uses Scrypt. SHA-256 favours raw processing power, whilst Scrypt favours memory – this basically means that custom made ASIC and FPGA hardware, which is now used for Bitcoin mining, has no advantage for Litecoin mining. This allows mining to be performed with powerful graphic cards rather than super expensive custom made hardware.

Litecoin Wallets

The most common wallet available for Litecoin is Litecoin-Qt. Built for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. It is based on Bitcoin’s Bitcoin-Qt wallet.

See my post on Securing your Litecoin wallet – for Litecoin-Qt.

Buying and Selling Litecoin

There are numerous cryptocurrency exchanges where you can purchase Litecoins. I have written a guide explaining how to go about buying Litecoin with one exchange – Please see my post on How to buy Litecoins for more info.

After purchasing Litecoins you can freely move them to your wallet and back and/or to other exchanges to trade them.

 

How Long Do I Have To Keep My Wallet Open After Sending Coins

After sending coins in your Litecoin-Qt client you should leave your client open until there is one confirmation.

When you send coins, your client will send an initial broadcast to peers. If the transaction does not receive a confirmation your client will send subsequent re-broadcasts. The subsequent re-broadcasts will happen within an hour of the initial broadcast and continue indefinitely until the transaction gets a confirmation. Without leaving your client open, these re-broadcasts will not occur.

If other nodes have just started up (e.g. no blockchain yet) or have flushed your transaction due to it not receiving a confirmation after an extended period of time, only the re-broadcast will get the transaction back into that node’s memory pool.

Once a transaction has at least one confirmation though, there is no further need to leave your client open. There are some corner cases where that’s not true (e.g. a block reorg occurs and that transaction confirmation no longer is valid, etc.) but in almost every instance once a transaction has a confirmation it then no longer needs to be re-broadcast.

How To Use Your Wallet & Send / Spend Litecoins Securely

In a previous post we discussed how to secure your wallet by taking it offline (cold storage & paper wallet), but how do we send / spend our Litecoins without compromising our wallet.dat file? This tutorial will show you the steps…

Step 1. Download the Litecoin-Qt (wallet) for Linux

Continue reading How To Use Your Wallet & Send / Spend Litecoins Securely

How To Buy Litecoin

**UPDATE Jul 2017 – NOTE: BTC-e is no longer trading, it was shut down in July 2017.**

There are numerous cryptocurrency exchanges where you can purchase Litecoins, but this guide will focus on the BTC-e exchange, as at the time of writing it has the best LTC/USD currency pair rate and the highest LTC/USD trading volume.

Note: BTC-e are currently not accepting international money wire transfers from US bank accounts or US citizens, you can however use other payment methods, such as OKPay.

Step 1. Open a BTC-e account

  • Go to btc-e.com and click Sign Up.
  • You’ll need to supply your email, a username and a password (choose a password you don’t use anywhere else).

btc-e-signup

 

Step 2. Secure your account with two-factor authentication

  • Install and open the Google Authenticator application on your mobile device (phone, tablet).
  • Go to Finances > Security in BTC-e.
  • Click the ‘Create a Key‘ button.

btc-e-create-key

  • Take a screenshot and/or print the QR code, Private key and Base32 Private key (this will ensure you can use them again, should you need to install the Authenticator on a different device).

btc-e-qr-code

  • Using the Google Authenticator go to Add Entry > Scan Barcode and scan the QR code. When successful, you will see a number that changes every 30 seconds – this is your one-time password.
  • Enter the one-time password into BTC-e.
  • Tick all 3 boxes to apply the two-factor authentication to Login, Withdrawal and Security settings and save the settings.
  • Important, save the screenshot file offline (USB stick) and delete it from your computer.

Step 3. Send funds to your exchange account

  • From the Finances section, go to USD, Deposit.
  • Choose a payment method and follow the instructions carefully.

btc-e-USD-deposit-methods

  • If you’re going to send cash via ‘International Wire Transfer, ensure your bank does not truncate any of the information. The ‘Details of Payment’ is your unique reference and must be sent complete.

btc-e-wire-transfer

Step 4. Trade (buy some Litecoins)

Once your funds are showing in your account (can take up to 10 days depending on the deposit method), you can place  a buy order…

Step 5. Remove the money hold (optional)

To prevent fraud, BTC-e will normally place a withdraw hold on your account (prevents you from making a withdrawal within a certain time frame after the deposit). The amount of time the money hold is in place depends on the deposit method used. Follow the guide below to remove the money hold.

btc-e-submit-ticket

  • Complete the form and attach the following:
    • Photo ID; and
    • Utility bill

Note, they only accept scans, not photos. Make sure the name on the documents matches the bank account holder name.

How To Copy/Transfer The Litecoin Blockchain To Another Computer

You want to have the Litecoin-Qt client on another computer (maybe you’re helping someone out with a slow internet connection) and you don’t want to have to have to wait for the blockchain to download again – that’s OK, you can copy it from one computer to another…

This example is for Windows and assumes that Litecoin-Qt has already been installed.

Step 1. Locate the blockchain folders

  • Go to the following folder:
C:\Users\[YOUR USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Litecoin

Step 2. Copy the folders that contain the blockchain

  • Copy the ‘blocks’ and the ‘chainstate’ folders to a portable device (USB stick, DVD, Hard-drive).

blockchain location

Step 3. Update the other computer

  • Connect the portable device to the computer you want to copy the blockchain to.
  • Locate the same folder and copy & paste the the 2 folders in.

That’s it – you can now start Litecoin-Qt.

How To Import Your Private Keys Into Litecoin-Qt

If you don’t have a copy of your wallet.dat file, but you have the private keys, you can follow this guide to get your Litecoins out of your paper/offline wallet and into a new wallet in Litecoin-Qt.

Note: After you do this, your paper/offline wallet will be empty. Any Litecoins you want to keep in a paper/offline must be sent to a different paper/offline address.

Step 1. Sync Litecoin-Qt

  • Open Litecoin-Qt and wait for it to sync with the network (synchronize the blockchain on your computer with the current one on the network).

sync-wallet

Continue reading How To Import Your Private Keys Into Litecoin-Qt

How To View Your Litecoin Balance In Your Offline Wallet

This post applies to Litecoin-Qt client (wallet).

You can also check your balance with a blockchain explorer.

Assuming you have already secured your wallet and taken it offline, this guide shows you how you can view your balance within the Litecoin-Qt client offline.

Step 1. Synchronize your wallet with the network

  • Open Litecoin-Qt and wait for it to sync with the network (synchronize the blockchain on your computer with the current one on the network).

sync-wallet

  • Close Litecoin-Qt.

Continue reading How To View Your Litecoin Balance In Your Offline Wallet