Litecoin (LTC): Choosing The Right Wallet
In order to protect your LTC and make safe transactions, you must transfer them from the exchange platform where you bought them to a wallet. This process also allows you to take control of the private keys associated with your investment, ensuring you permanent access to it and the ability to carry out transactions in all circumstances, without authorisation or limitation. There are many Litecoin wallets out there. This article aims to weigh the pros and cons of the most popular options to help you make the choice that best suits your needs. If you want to know more about this cryptocurrency before investing in it, you can take a look at our handy guide (link).
What is a Litecoin (LTC) wallet?
Have you just bought some LTC on an exchange platform? The purpose of a Litecoin wallet is to allow you to store and use your LTC securely and without having to go through an intermediary. Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies, as it was launched just two years after Bitcoin. It is therefore very popular and is supported by a very large number of wallets.
Definition of a wallet
Litecoin works using asymmetric cryptography, combining a private key (that gives you full access to your LTC) with a public key (the address associated with your wallet that you can share safely to receive payments). Protecting your private key is of paramount importance if you want to keep your crypto safe. For this, it is necessary to use a reliable and reputable Litecoin wallet.
The advantages of using a wallet
Using a Litecoin wallet allows you to keep hold of your own private key, guaranteeing you permanent access independent of any external party. In essence, transferring your Litecoin to your cryptocurrency wallet makes you your own banker, able to access and transfer your funds at any time and without authorisation.
Thus, a wallet gives you both the possibility and the responsibility of managing the security of your LTC. It is, therefore, vital to keep yourself informed on the options available to you and to follow the wallet developer’s instructions to the letter.
The different types of wallets
There are several kinds of wallets. However, they can basically be divided into two main categories: online wallets (also called ‘hot wallets’), and offline wallets (or ‘cold wallets’). While online wallets work relatively similarly, offline wallets can come in many forms. Here are explanations of how each one works.
Online wallets are, as the name suggests, wallets that exist online and are constantly connected to the internet. Still, there are several varieties: those integrated into cryptocurrency exchanges or available for download on dedicated sites. They are easy to use but do not necessarily give you access to your private key and force you to trust an external entity. In addition, with ‘web wallets’ (wallets directly on a site), your investment is lumped together with those of other users of the site, making them an attractive target and a potential prey for hackers. If you want to use an online wallet, however, do your own research and make sure you’re using a reputable site.
Wallet applications (or simply ‘wallet apps’) must be installed onto your smartphone. These hot wallets are great because they allow you to access your cryptocurrencies from anywhere. They allow transactions to be carried out with ease but offer a limited level of security. They are therefore to be reserved for only small amounts that you want to be able to spend at any time.
Hardware wallets are physical cryptocurrency wallets, designed to store your private key in a highly secure manner using encrypted chips. Hardware wallets allow you to access your LTC and make transactions while protecting your private key from malware potentially present on your computer or smartphone. An essential purchase if you have a significant amount of cryptocurrency and want to keep hold of your LTC for an extended period of time while waiting for the price to rise.
Paper wallets, ‘brain wallets’, and so on are simple solutions that let you save your private key on a piece of paper, a metal etching, or even by memorising it with your brainpower! They are generally considered to be archaic, offering a low level of security, and are very annoying when it comes to transacting. Their only real advantage is that they are free.
And finally, know that there are still many more high-security methods. There are multi-sig wallets, which require several private keys to sign a transaction. They require thorough technical knowledge to use and are not designed for conducting regular transactions, but rather to provide your Litecoins with maximum security. This should be considered if you have a very large amount of Litecoin.
The three best Litecoin wallets
Among a wide selection of wallets supporting Litecoin, the following three options are affordable, reliable and popular among cryptocurrency users.
Ledger Nano S or Ledger Nano X
Available in two versions, these cryptocurrency wallets are developed by the French start-up Ledger and are compatible with many cryptographic currencies including Litecoin. Here are the main features:
- The Ledger Nano S model is one of the most affordable cryptocurrency wallets on the market.
- Both wallets generate and store your private key on an encrypted chip, whose data is inaccessible outside the device. You then have a multi-word sentence to restore your wallet in the event your Ledger device is lost or stolen.
- Connect to your computer or smartphone using a simple USB cable, and also via Bluetooth in the case of the Ledger Nano X.
- Accompanied by Ledger Live, an easy-to-use application allowing you to manage the various cryptocurrencies on the device including Litecoin, and to carry out transactions.
- All transactions are displayed on the screen of the chosen wallet and must be confirmed using their physical buttons, providing additional security against malware potentially present on your computer or smartphone.
Ledger combines ease of transport, ease of use and a high level of security at a reasonable price. These are the most popular hardware wallets on the market, making them a reliable choice for protecting the private key of your investment. To buy your Ledger, you can go through this link.
Trezor is also a hardware wallet available in two versions, one entry level and one offering more features and a colour touch screen. Often compared to Ledger’s products, Trezor’s products mainly differ in the following:
- The Trezor One and Trezor Model T cryptocurrency wallets are both fully open source, which means that their component and application codes are fully public and have been verified by hundreds of independent developers.
- You can generate your private key and store it in a specialised environment established by the devices, inaccessible by any other computer programme for maximum security. They allow you to recover the contents of your wallet using a mnemonic phrase that should be copied onto a sheet of paper ready for use in the event of loss or theft.
- Its screen displays the amounts and addresses associated with each transaction, which you have to confirm manually using its interface and physical buttons, offering additional security against malware and other threats aimed at stealing your LTC.
- The device works with an official application that allows you to carry out your transactions in complete security, but is also compatible with a large number of software wallets such as Electrum-LTC, giving you more control.
The Trezor One and Trezor Model T are great choices for wallets from a reputable manufacturer. In addition to supporting a very large number of cryptocurrencies, they are also able to save and encrypt all your passwords.
Just like at Ledger, be sure to buy your Trezor wallet from the official website or from an authorised reseller to avoid the risk of losing your LTC to counterfeiting.
LiteWallet is a wallet specifically designed for Litecoin. It is available for free on Android and iOS and was developed by Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, making it one of the best-suited wallet applications for securing this cryptocurrency. It’s actually an upgraded version of an older Litecoin Foundation app called LoafWallet. Here are its main features:
- Created and run by the developers of Litecoin while being open-source, ensuring reliable and trustworthy code.
- Free, easy to install and use – even for less experienced users.
- A backup mnemonic phrase is used to recover the contents of your wallet in the event that you no longer have access to it, for example if you format your phone.
- Compared to hardware wallets, LiteWallet stands out for its ease of use, allowing you to carry out transactions seamlessly. The fact it is free to use makes it attractive even for small sums. LiteWallet is a straightforward way of withdrawing your LTC from an insecure exchange and to take control of your private keys.
Note, however, that since it is on an operating system and in an online environment, your private key will not be as well-protected as with a hardware wallet or other more complex options. It is a good idea to use LiteWallet for small amounts of Litecoin, which you are planning to spend.
What should you remember when choosing the wallet for your Litecoin?
There are a huge number of wallets compatible with Litecoin, each offering a large number of different features. The choice of your wallet depends on the amount of LTC you own, your interface and UX preferences and the device and OS you use (PC, Mac or mobile).
In the cryptocurrency world, you are solely responsible for your cryptocurrencies, and your choice of cryptocurrency wallet must be carefully made in order to protect your private key. You must take special care to select a recognised Litecoin wallet that is reliable and suited to your needs.
Nothing is stopping you from using more than one wallet. Don’t hesitate to separate your full investment into different wallets. For example, use a hardware wallet to secure the majority of your LTC, and a wallet app for a small amount that you want to be able to spend at any time. In addition, you can rest assured that your choice is a good one, because the Litecoin foundation itself establishes partnerships with wallet providers so that all its LTC holders can benefit from an ultra-sophisticated protection system.
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