*obligatory not financial advice*
Litecoin used to be one of the biggest players in the crypto market. Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin were the golden trio that towered over all their smaller siblings. But now LTC is far behind BTC and ETH and the gap keeps growing and growing. Recently a verified Litecoin Twitter profile even lied about a partnership with Walmart in a desperate attempt to bring some attention to the cryptocurrency. Will LTC ever make a comeback and become relevant again? What will the future bring for LTC?
What is Litecoin?
First lets recap what LTC even is. In 2011 Bitcoin mining was mostly done with GPUs instead of CPUs like intended, this made the entry barrier for new miners higher because most miners were already using ASICs making it unprofitable to mine with a normal computer. Litecoin was founded by Charlie Lee as an alternative to Bitcoin that is easier to mine with CPUs.
Many people think that LTC is a fork of BTC but this isn't true. Litecoin was always its own blockchain, but its code is a copycat of Bitcoins code. It has some differences, the main one other than mining, is that Litecoin processes a new block every 2,5 minutes, which is 4 times faster than Bitcoins 10 minutes. The total supply is also 4 times higher with 84 million coins.
Due to its popularity Litecoin was forked countless of times to create new cryptos. Dogecoin, DASH, Vertcoin and many more are forks of LTC. For a long time LTC has been a reliable, faster, and cheaper alternative to BTC, although it has underperformed it in price.
How is Litecoin doing now?
It is still faster and cheaper to use than Bitcoin, but there are now many cryptocurrencies that are technologically superior to Litecoin. Dash, Nano, Stellar and many more are even faster and cheaper to use. And although LTC was created to be ASIC resistant and easy to mine, there are now ASICs built for mining Litecoin, which makes it very expansive to mine as its now unprofitable to mine without special hardware. Monero and Vertcoin remained ASIC resistant, so LTC is behind its competition here too.
All in all, Litecoin is now outdated tech. The same can be said about BTC, but Bitcoin has some kind of brand awareness. Everyone knows BTC, it is not just any cryptocurrency, it is THE cryptocurrency. While Litecoin does have some fame too, it is nowhere near Bitcoin’s level.
Litecoin has kept a place in the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap, but many newer projects are performing better. Unlike BTC, it can still be used like a currency but more and more people primarily see it as digital silver while Bitcoin is its digital gold.
What is the future of Litecoin?
Really the only thing that LTC has going for it, is that its reliable. It has stood the test of time so far and it will likely not disappear overnight. This could be important for institutions that are starting to invest into crypto, in fact there already are plans for a Litecoin ETF. However, Bitcoin is without a doubt the better store of value cryptocurrency and will likely get much more institutional money.
The whole digital silver argument is just absurd. In real life we have gold and silver because they can be used differently and because it’s easier to trade if you don't only have gold coins but also silver coins that are defined to be worth a fraction of a gold coin. Digital gold, aka Bitcoin, can already be used in fractions, so there is zero need for a cryptocurrency that is defined by being a less valuable version of it. BTC will likely outperform LTC with institutional adoption and adoption as store of value.
One thing that would be likely very bullish for LTC is MimbleWimble, which is an update to its code that gives the currency a privacy feature. With it Litecoin would basically become a privacy coin, like Monero. This is great because LTC is already much more often used than Monero or Zcash just because it is easier available. With this feature it could become a strong competitor to them. This could also be bearish news because regulators like to target privacy coins, but since LTC is well established and supported by pretty much all exchanges it would take a while for it to take a hit.
Litecoin is kinda average, it is fast but not the fastest, it is cheap but not the cheapest, it is safe but not the safest. It has many competitors that beat it in multiple ways. I don't think that LTC will soon be dead or anything, in fact I think it will likely stay in the top 50 and will reach a new ATH in the next bull cycle, but I think it will keep falling in the ranks as many more promising cryptocurrencies overtake it.
ETH, BTC, XTZ, ALGO, ATOM, DOT, etc. The list of cryptocurrencies that will likely outperform LTC is sheer endless. Personally, I wouldn’t buy or hold Litecoin, I would rather buy other coins.
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