How to safely move Litecoin between SegWit P2SH (3) addresses and legacy (L) addresses - #CryptoTrading


Some exchanges don't support LTC withdrawals to P2SH wallets and other don't support legacy addresses. Here's how to convert between them.
P2SH address compatibility     · [technical]  · Author: KarlVonBahnhof

Back in 2017, some time before Bitcoin, Litecoin also upgraded their network to get SegWit support. Segwit, or segregated witness, makes transactions more efficient and cheaper, and also enabled atomic swaps between LTC and BTC.

This newer format is called P2SH (pay-to-script-hash).

Difference between P2SH and Legacy LTC address

  • Nested Segwit LTC address (P2SH): starts with M or more rarely3
  • Legacy LTC address: starts with L

The two Segwit formats (M and 3) are equivalent. Originally, the 3-addresses were implemented for Litecoin’s nested Segwit. This caused issues because Bitcoin also uses an address format that starts with 3. For that reason, with the next network upgrade, the Litecoin P2SH addresses were changed into a format that starts with M.

Hardware wallets and OG wallet apps got upgraded soon after the network upgrade. As a result, you will now often get Segwit-compatible addresses for LTC as the default.

However, for crypto exchanges the situation is different.

  • Some exchanges haven’t upgraded and only allow LTC withdrawals to legacy addresses.
  • Some exchanges (mostly DEX and dApp platforms) on the other hand only allow withdrawal to P2SH addresses because, that’s the only way a contract-based dApp can reach the LTC blockchain.

If you want to learn more about SegWit, head over to the ATNET Glossary.

Here’s just the practical info on how to move litecoins around without losing them.

How to withdraw Litecoin from Exchange to P2SH Address (Hardware wallets)

You will need a P2SH Litecoin address to withdraw LTC from non-custodial exchanges like LocalCryptos.

If you are using a hardware wallet like Ledger or Trezor, your default LTC addresses will be almost definitely P2SH, and they will start with the letter M.

If your exchange gives you an error that says an address starting with M is not a valid LTC address, you will still be able to withdraw into the P2SH address that starts with 3.

Litecoin addresses that start with 3 are equivalent to that starting with M, so the coin will show up in the same wallet, in the same address. Using the 3-address is just like using an alias.

  1. Copy your M-address where you want to receive the LTC
  2. Go to https://litecoin-project.github.io/p2sh-convert/ which is a public converter script recommended by Trezor to use for this purpose.
  3. Send a small amount of LTC to your 3-address and check that the transaction arrived well. There were reports of Uphold.com messing this up and sending bitcoins instead.
  4. If the test transaction went well, withdraw the rest.

How to withdraw Litecoin to a legacy address (Wallet Apps)

In Trezor and Ledger wallets, you can still generate a new legacy account and get an L-address.

Alternatively, you can use the Exodus.io wallet app - Exodus only supports L-addresses for Litecoin.

Once your LTC is transferred and confirmed, hardware wallets will send the LTC from the legacy account into the P2SH account. (This is not automatic, you have to do it manually.)

Wallet apps like Jaxx and Exodus won’t send LTC to a P2SH address, you will need to get an L-address too if you are moving Litecoin from there.



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