Bitcoin may still be having the largest market cap of any cryptocurrency in the world, but it’s also a sad reality that with growing adoption its transaction times and fee have also grown significantly, making it less attractive as a means of payment for businesses as well as users. Bitcoin Cash was created to solve this problem, but it is still an experiment at this stage. However, one other cryptocurrency seems to be emerging as a viable alternative: Litecoin.
Litecoin was created specifically for providing a payment option that is cheap, fast and reliable at the same time. Its founder Charlie Lee foresaw the problems of Bitcoin and created Litecoin while keeping them in mind. His creation earned him the nickname of ‘SatoshiLite’, and then he went on to work at Coinbase. After quitting from Coinbase last year he quietly sold his Litecoin holdings to be able to focus more freely on the goals of cryptocurrency that he had created. And his efforts combined with Litecoin’s functionality now seem to be paying off.
In the recent days businesses as well as individual users both are paying more attention to Litecoin. Two months ago in February one of Czech Republic’s largest retail shop chains Alza.cz announced on Twitter that they will start accepting Litecoin for payments. The first Lightning Network transaction between Zurich and San Francisco was also done with Litecoin by sending 0.00000001 LTC. And this week one of the world’s largest crypto debit card providers Wirex also announced that it will start offering Litecoin based cards. Pavel Matveev, the CEO of Wirex, said while announcing the move:
“Wirex keeps growing as a platform so it’s natural for us to add new services and currencies. Litecoin has huge potential and a big community, so there is a lot of demand for this service in the market”.
Another crypto debit card maker TenX is also considering to launch a Litecoin debit card soon. The company recently announced in a blog post:
“We have reached out to, and are working with the Litecoin Foundation to introduce a co-branded card for which more information will be available soon.”
Litecoin was released on Github with an open-source license on October 7, 2011. Major features that distinguished it from Bitcoin were decreased block generation time (2.5 minutes vs. 10 minutes), more maximum number of coins (84 million vs. 21 million) and a different hashing algorithm (scrypt vs. SHA-256). The recent interest shown by major players of industry is a sign that perhaps we’re headed towards a wave of Litecoin payments.