Litecoin has had a quite good public image in 2017, adding to the phenomenal rise from around $4 to a peak of $370. However, as the digital asset came into the spotlight, and the Litecoin Foundation tentatively started to promote Litecoin more, criticisms appeared. Popularity came with closer scrutiny, and a previously drama-free coin acquired its own negative points.
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With a lot of newcomers to the world of cryptocurrency, Litecoin would not be seen as a staple, but as just another coin deserving renewed scrutiny. And while older investors may be used to Litecoin, the renewed popularity brings the spotlight to the flaws.
1. Litecoin was artificially inflated: Litecoin was added to Coinbase last spring, and some see the move as artificial, mostly due to the influence of Charlie Lee as the technical director. From then onward, Litecoin quickly appreciated, and Charlie Lee became one of the most influential voices in the crypto community. In November and December, Litecoin saw another rapid appreciation, breaking above $100, coinciding with an appearance of Charlie Lee on CNBC TV. Without the accidental publicity, Litecoin had a rather negative image among traders, being called a “chicken” for its short-lived flights. Some believe the current values of Litecoin are not fair and the coin was pushed to the front without too much merit, being simply a copy of Bitcoin.
2. Litecoin is not actually used that much: Last month, active Litecoin addresses spiked to an all-time high of around 500,000. This spike was related to using Litecoin as a speculative asset, and for offloading from exchanges. While Litecoin has a niche usage in online shops, transaction volume and active wallets remain near their baseline.
3. The Lightning Network is still missing: While Bitstream employed a limited use case for the Lightning Network, Litecoin is still working on its version. The latest news see the development coming in months, not years, but with so many promises in the past, the slow development is becoming more noticeable. Litecoin has promised big news – but at least during the January sell-off, the Lightning network is not a factor, and mentioning it no longer boosts the market price.
I’m excited to see progress made on Schnorr Signatures. (That’s a mouthful. How about SSigs?) SSigs are coming to Bitcoin and Litecoin! For more info on what makes SSigs so awesome, read this: https://t.co/oF7xUA3sfw https://t.co/pizupW0BFD
— Charlie Lee [LTC] (@SatoshiLite) January 18, 2018
4. Charlie Lee has abandoned the project: While this is an arguable opinion, the move of Charlie Lee to sell off all of his Litecoins still attracts negative views of Litecoin. Especially after all the LTC have been exchanged for fiat, in effect liquidating the holdings, instead of remaining within the cryptocurrency market. For some investors, this move, along with the general reluctance of Charlie Lee to openly promote the coin, is seen as a negative factor. At least the Litecoin Foundation is still keeping the coins:
Thanks to Singapore banks for not opening a bank account for us, we had to store all our assets as Litecoins, which makes us much richer now than converting the donations into fiat and saving them in our bank account.
— Litecoin Foundation (@LTCFoundation) January 20, 2018
5. Litecoin is boring, but not boring enough: Compared to other up and coming assets, Litecoin seems to promise very little. Price movements in the past few months either offer a relatively long-term stagnation or significant volatility and deep corrections. Compared to newer projects with more up-to-date technology, Litecoin is a dinosaur. With anonymity features still under construction, Litecoin is not a digital asset aiming for supremacy. In fact, Charlie Lee still believes it would always exist as an addition to Bitcoin. This makes projects claiming to be “the next Bitcoin”, or “The Next Ethereum” appear far more exciting, at least to new investors.
Litecoin still has usability as a widely-distributed asset and a way to move from fiat into cryptocurrency. But with criticism thickening, the position of the digital asset is in no way bullet-proof. As always, it is up to investors to decide whether a project is worth buying, and avoid using funds they cannot afford to lose.