February 2018 was an active month for Charlie Lee’s cryptocurrency project, Litecoin. The “silver to bitcoin’s gold” experienced the Litecoin Cash hard fork and a steep climb in price leading up to the February 26, 2018, LitePay announcement. Yesterday, however, the affiliated firm failed to deliver on the market’s hopes and retreated to the statement that “Offering LitePay card registrations at this time is imprudent.”
BitPay, but for Litecoin
While not officially affiliated with the Litecoin Foundation, LitePay looked to make merchant adoption of Litecoin smooth for interested parties. Naturally, the initial announcement of the project was met with strong communal support.
Seamless onboarding for merchants to use specific cryptocurrencies is always coupled with a price climb, increased transactional volume, and ultimately even wider adoption of said virtual currency.
We started because the people asked @Bitpay to accept LTC. They wouldn’t, so we took the challenge. Infrastructure for LTC February 26 🚀#PayWithLitecoin #LitePay— LitePay, Inc. (@LitePayInc) February 13, 2018
Though they were never explicit in the definition of “infrastructure” for LitePay, by incorporating reference to BitPay, followers were not incorrect in hoping for the best. At current, BitPay allows merchants to accept bitcoin payments, offers a secure bitcoin wallet, and the added convenience of the BitPay card that “lets you load dollars anywhere using your bitcoin wallet.”
As such, the announcement on February 12, 2018, came with a glut of green candles and a price move from $154 all the way to $232 the day before the proposed launch.
Unfortunately, this massive upward boil was met with somewhat temperate results by LitePay. On February 26, 2018, the San Francisco-based startup explained that while “Registration for Merchant Payment Processing accounts were open,” they decided to postpone the LitePay card registrations due to “hostile actions by card issuers.”
The price of Litecoin now sits at roughly $216 at time of press and shows no signs of any bullish returns. But how is the speedy cryptocurrency’s community expected to respond?
Bag Holders Grumble
Those with large holdings of Lee’s virtual currency, including this author, are naturally befuddled by the failure to launch. However, it seems all too relevant in the world of crypto to push anticipations higher than deliverable products. Among the mist of “Vaporware” technologies, foreign partnerships, and outright fake news, the world of cryptocurrencies is far from firm ground.
In the case of LitePay’s less-than-thrilling announcement, it was common knowledge that the company was a separate entity to the digital currency is was hoping to promote. Even Lee made clear this distinction back in December. That being said, the founder was certainly enthralled by the fact that his production would soon see mass adoption. He also recently pointed out that LitePay’s failure to deliver on debit cards may actually be a blessing in disguise.
Secondly, and in light of WaveCrest backing out from cryptocurrency-enabled credit cards in 2017 and a handful of other large banks forbidding crypto transactions with credit cards, can we really blame LitePay? If anything, spectators should simply chalk their failings up as typical of the sector.
On the bright side, another burgeoning company LitePal will be offering relatively the same advantages as LitePay along with bitcoin. As of February 24, 2018, they confirmed the completion of “all the necessary development and progressed into rigorous security and load testing.” Litepal also outlined how they would allow integration plugins for “existing e-commerce solutions” and “a number of companies have already reached out to [them] regarding integrating and/or testing cryptocurrency payments with their businesses.”
All of which sounds very promising in the way of LitePay’s shortfallings, but don’t get your hopes up, this is crypto, remember.
Author: Liam Kelly