Webinar: a non-techie’s adventures with cryptocurrencies – a step-by-step guide to setting up a wallet and trading in Litecoin

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Posted Feb 2 2018 by Dave Darby of Lowimpact.org

This is the first of a series of webinars on specific aspects of the money system and various alternatives to it.

If like many people, you feel that computers are tedious tools you’d rather not invest all your life in, you might not have paid much attention to cryptocurrencies. Much of the discussion is highly technical and uninviting. Yet we at Lowimpact.org strongly believe that monetary innovation is critical if we are to create a low-impact world, and we think it’s important to get a grip on cryptocurrencies and understand their uses and the kind of world they portend.

That’s why our next webinar will be a hands-on introduction to a popular cryptocurrency, Litecoin. We’ll cover

  • what a cryptocurrency is
  • why it’s different to normal money
  • how they might be used towards creating a more sustainable economy

Before attending the webinar we invite you to create a Litecoin wallet (instructions below) and make a donation (in ‘normal’ money), some or all of which we’ll give you back in Litecoin (depending on how much you’d like to donate for the webinar). Do register in advance as places are limited to 15.

The webinar will be run by Matthew Slater, a software developer for complementary currencies. He co-founded Community Forge, which free hosts software for collaborative credit schemes; he co-drafted the Credit Commons white paper, a proposal for a global solidarity economy money system, based on mutual credit principles.

Why Litecoin?

We recently posted an article explaining the environmental problems associated with the enormous amounts of energy involved in mining and transacting with Bitcoin; and Arthur Brock recently said about it:

‘It seems like it would be hard to design a cryptocurrency to more faithfully reproduce all the same problems as national currencies as well as bitcoin has. It’s almost like it was a virus to lead everyone who might pose a threat to the current systems away from actual viable alternatives and trap them in an energy and hardware consuming contest, competing to centralize a “decentralized” system.’

So why is Litecoin different? Well, it’s not completely different. It’s still a cryptocurrency. But cryptocurrencies do take power and money away from banks, which as far as we’re concerned is a step in the right direction (although ultimately, perhaps not the answer). Here are some benefits of using Litecoin:

  1. It’s a well-established cryptocurrency (since 2011)
  2. It’s very quick and easy to set up an account
  3. It’s ‘greener’ than Bitcoin – i.e. it doesn’t use so much electricity per unit
  4. It isn’t used for so much speculation as Bitcoin
  5. Transactions fees are much lower than Bitcoin
  6. Quick transaction time
  7. Takes power from banks – you can avoid their transaction fees, and they can’t access your (valuable) data

Visit Litecoin.com for more information.

Setting up a Litecoin wallet

I did this – so believe me, you can do it. You can have a go before doing the webinar. That way you’ll have some very specific questions to ask.

First, let’s set up a Litecoin wallet. It’s very simple, and takes about a minute.

Go here – https://www.litevault.net/ – click ‘register’ and do what it says. You’ll be sent a Login ID.

You now have a wallet, and an account that you can login to using the Login ID you received, and password that you used to register.

When you login, you can see your wallet address, which looks something like this (this is mine):

LPNgKLiQ1LgLvX4tGzTAi7pRAhTgH8AMvv

You give that address to people so that they can make payments to you, or you can put it on your website, so that people can make payments to you in Litecoin – like this.

That’s how to get set up with a Litecoin wallet – easy, no?

When you’re in your account on Litevault, your balance is shown at the top right of every page, and there are tabs at the top that allow you to see your transactions and to send payments. This screenshot shows my transactions – I received one payment of 0.1 Litecoin and another of 0.29 Litecoin, so that my balance at the top right shows 0.129 Litecoin.

A view of an online Litecoin account

During the webinar we’ll talk more about how to purchase Litecoin and how to send and receive payments.

If you’d like to practise making payments, then when you make a donation for the webinar (see below), add an amount that you’d like us to pay back to you in Litecoin, and let me know via email (dave at lowimpact dot org). We’ll then send you that amount in Litecoin and you can check that you’ve received it in your wallet.

There’s a transaction fee of $1, regardless of the amount transferred (sometimes fees can be $20 for Bitcoin).

You can do an online search for Litecoin Block Explorer, like this one: http://explorer.litecoin.net/

Then you can put my wallet address in and see my balance and my transactions. Everything is totally public and accountable with Litecoin (and all cryptocurrencies), but, if you don’t make your wallet address public, it’s totally anonymous. You can’t see who made those 2 payments to me, for example.

To register

  • Donate here to secure your place. We’ll use all donations to reach more people / provide information / attempt to change the money system. Pay what you like (as mentioned above, if you donate, say, £20-50, well pay as much of it as you like back to you in Litecoin; anything left over will be your donation to us).
  • Also, email me – dave at lowimpact dot org – to register. More details will be emailed after registration.
  • The webinar will take place in a Zoom room. You just click on the link we send you at the specified time, and you’ll be in the webinar.
  • This webinar will take place on Saturday, Feb 10th, at 11am GMT.

Please share this amongst friends who you think might be interested.

Also if you want to go deeper, watch out for the next run of the free “Money & Society” MOOC which starts on Feb 18th.