One of the many critiques about Bitcoin is the virtual currency’s troubles offering timely and cost-effective payments.
Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, saw Bitcoin’s future payment issues and took steps by designing a more payments-friendly blockchain.
After earning the nickname, ‘SatoshiLite’, Charlie Lee earned a job at Coinbase, the San Fran-based crypto-exchange. Charlie Lee left Coinbase last year. He sold his Litecoin so that he could act more independently as a champ for the virtual currency he founded and not be accused of pumping and then dumping.
After a tough few years for Bitcoin in the headlines when it comes to its payments weaknesses attention might finally be turning to Litecoin – which admittedly has existed under the shadows of the modern ICO craze as well as the Bitcoin Cash (Bcash) experiment.
Last week, an article in Business Insider discussed how $99 million worth of Litecoin was sent for just 40 cents worth of fees. In February of this year, the E.U online retailer Alza.cz began accepting Litecoin as a payment method. Alza is one of the largest Czech retail shops. They made the announcement via their Twitter.
Furthermore, the first Lightning Network transaction was completed through Litecoin, when 0.00000001 LTC was transferred from Zürich to San Fran in under a second.
This week, long-time provider of cryptocurrency debit cards, Wirex, announced it would begin supporting Litecoin for its cards.
Wirex’s full Litecoin integration allows consumers to spend Litecoin with the blockchain company’s payment card. Users can even exchange dozens of altcoins into Litecoin, potentially simplifying the process of cashing out of an ICO or cryptocurrency in general.
As the company wrote in its blog: “Customer polls last year revealed the popularity of Litecoin as a rival cryptocurrency to Bitcoin…It is faster than Bitcoin, has lower blockchain fees and may become a global payment option available on dozens of big brand websites in coming months.”
Wirex joins a limited number of payment cards that make this possible.
TenX, another crypto-debit-card provider, recently announced on their blog plans in the future for a Litecoin debit card.
“We are working with the Litecoin Foundation to introduce a co-branded card for which more info will be available soon.”
A peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and fork of the Bitcoin Core client, Litecoin was released via an open-source client on GitHub on October 7, 2011 by Charlie Lee. Key differentiators between Bitcoin and Litecoin were a decreased block generation time (two and a half minutes), an increased max number of coins (84 million), a different hashing algorithm (using scrypt instead of SHA-256) and a modified GUI.
These reasons combined make Litecoin an intriguing payments option not only for individuals but businesses, as well. Just as Mr. Lee intended.
The Lightning Network, Alza.cz and Wirex might be a sign of a coming wave of businesses exploring Litecoin for payments.