By the end of year 2013, Litecoin looked like the only alternative to its popular counterpart Bitcoin. Traders, who missed the chance of boarding the latter’s quick-buck train, hugely looked upon its next-best to repeat the $13-to-$1,100 magic. Everything was working in Litecoin’s favor – from favorable media coverage to booming merchant and user adoption. 2014 was indeed supposed to be a smoother ride for the silver coin.
But as soon as this year is approaching its end, it is leaving behind quite a daunted version of Litecoin – a complete opposite of what we encountered in 2013. Take the coin’s value for instance. On December 29th last year, Litecoin was valued somewhere around $30, but now – on December 29th 2014 – it is being traded at around $3.22. The coin therefore fell around 90% in over the last 365 days, subsequently questioning its survivability in the upcoming year 2015.
In the meantime, over 500 new alternative cryptocurrencies (or altcoins) entered the market, among which more than 90% are currently being speculated to be scams. While the rest are altcoins getting developed to offer a number of additional features to merchants and users. For instance, Darkcoin has gained popularity for offering transaction obfuscation features, or Ripple, whose much-appreciated payment protocol is gradually being adopted by businesses and users from all around the world. Litecoin, on the other hand, lacks such a hype. This might be one of the major reasons why traders are drifting away from it.
A few days ago, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee cleared that their cryptocurrency didn’t need any development, as he believed such practices to be nothing but gimmicks to attain fake media attention. Traders and miners however are very focused at investing in altcoins that don’t put a negative sign on their bank balance. They are indeed short-term profiteers, trading on the top of hype bubbles, which, of course, seems to have been burst in the case of Litecoin.
The Other Side of the “Coin”
Even with too-much negativities, Litecoin still holds the position of the most popular altcoin among all. It is not pre-mined; it is fairly released; it records the second largest daily trading volume till date; it has a comparatively huge merchant adoption; it offers speedy transactions; its hash rate is booming; companies are spending millions to build its mining hardware; and it also has one special feature an average altcoin still lacks – trustworthiness.
Though at one point, Litecoin fears of being left out if any of the altcoins delivers even 90% of what is claimed. At that point, all this silver-coin needs is better marketing for itself to reach the target audience. It needs to better educate newbies about its simplicity as a mode of payment – the only reason why Bitcoin was designed in the first place. A balanced merchant and user adoption, like I have always mentioned in my previous articles, is the key to everything. The focus should be on forming an ecosystem.
“Reasonable block times make it better than Bitcoin for day-to-day transactions without as much risk of a successful 51% attack,” says one of the coin users. “Litecoin has very little media exposure here in the US compared to the other members of the Big 3 (Dogecoin and Bitcoin). We need something to spread the word among merchants who already accept or are presently looking into Bitcoin as a payment option. Possibly advertisements from our largest payment processor?”
Litecoin still has the advantage of being one of the earliest altcoins. 2015 will be the year to see whether it doesn’t lose out to the infant ones.