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Litecoin (LTC) hit a fresh high of 143.19 USDT on Binance on June 12, reaching its highest level since May 21, 2018. The price has seen an approximately fivefold increase since the beginning of this year. The rising price has pushed the coin to fourth place among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, with a market value of more than $8.5 billion, followed by BCH and EOS.
Considering the recent performance of LTC, its scheduled August halving may stir waves in the crypto world. In an exclusive interview with CoinNess, Litecoin Foundation board member and core developer Wang Xinxi sheds light on probable price and hashrate changes of LTC as well as the current situation of the Litecoin Foundation, which was co-founded by Wang and Charlie Lee in 2017.
Wang was doing a Ph.D. program when he first learned about Bitcoin. It was only until 2011 that he began investing in the then-novel digital asset, diving into the crypto world. Two years later, Litecoin drew his attention with a faster speed and lower cost of transfer.
LTC, together with BTC, constituted Wang’s early investment portfolio, the majority of which remains unsold.
Wang made his decision to join the Litecoin community in 2016 while he could have become a Bitcoin developer.
“I think the Litecoin community was more focused on meaningful things, and that’s what I want to do. The Bitcoin community, on the other hand, always found itself drown in political struggles and conflict of interest. People have already been tired of the tricks of Wu Jihan and Craig Steven Wright, not to mention the BCH and BSV drama,” Wang explained.
Compared with Bitcoin, the Litecoin team was fairly small, but Wang believed the latter had a more promising future, making him more willing to contribute.
Road to Success
Litecoin is considered the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. To some, however, this popular and impressive slogan was the only reason for the coin’s success. But was it?
“Charlie Lee defined Litecoin as a daily payment tool as it has a faster speed of transfer yet costs less. Bitcoin, with its security and stability, is more suitable to be a store of value. Instead of competing with each other, this means the two coins will develop in a complementary fashion based on their own sphere of competence,” according to Wang.
The lack of innovation is a prevalent gripe of Litecoin. Its core code was forked from Bitcoin except for adjustments to partial parameters and the adoption of Scrypt in its proof-of-work algorithm, a sequential memory-hard function requiring asymptotically more memory. This, in turn, brings Litecoin undebatable value as a test net of Bitcoin.
May 11, 2017 saw the activation of SegWit at the block height of 1201536 on Litecoin’s mainnet, which spurred the Bitcoin community’s activation of SegWit at the block height of 481824 in over three months on August 24 of the same year, according to Liao Xiang, CEO of Litecoin mining hardware manufacturer Lightning ASIC and founder of BTG.
“Litecoin’s piloting nascent technologies like SegWit actually means a lot for not only itself but also Bitcoin. The Lightning Network and Atom Swaps will even build a stronger and seamless connection between them. In other words, where a Lightning Network-powered Bitcoin payment is supported, Litecoin works in the same way.”
Wang also pointed out that Litecoin is much more than a test net, which should never have a market cap, and it is these multiple use cases that have pushed its market cap to billions of US dollars.
Do Something Meaningful and Make a Difference
Charlie Lee previously revealed that the annual budget of the Litecoin Foundation is no more than $100,000, with a large portion from donations and commercial incomes.
“In fact, I had to pay the registration fee for the Foundation by myself. In addition to donations, we have been trying a couple of methods to raise money to maintain operations, for example, selling T-shirts and hardware wallets,” Wang said, adding that the Foundation once raised tens of thousands of US dollars, which turned into millions in 2017 as the LTC price spiked but shrank quickly last year during the crypto winter.
Having spent more than $100,000 on 2018’s Litecoin Summit, Wang admitted that the Foundation has less than $200,000 in its pocket.
The scale of the team largely depends on the capital it holds. The more funds it raises, the bigger the team could be, and vice versa. Litecoin is no exception. Most of the team members require nothing from the Foundation or earn a low wage at most, except for two full-time workers – chief operating officer Keith Yong, with half of his original wage, and developer Loshan T., Wang said.
When asked whether a low wage level will disappoint team members and cause a negative influence on the Foundation’s operations, Wang firmly stated,
“No one in the team really cares about their wages regardless of being a full-time or part-time worker. We are here because we believe in Litecoin and that what we are doing is interesting and significant. My colleagues and I talk about the Foundation in a merry and light-hearted atmosphere every day.”
Since the beginning of 2019, the Litecoin Foundation has been reaching out to a range of possible collaborators and has signed agreements with the K-Pop production company C&U Entertainment Global, premier kickboxing league Glory, and leading crypto-friendly accommodation booking platform Travala.
Currently, Wang is working with Rebecca Yang, the Chinese ambassador of the Foundation, on building a Litecoin community in China to deepen their engagement with Chinese LTC holders.
While stepping up efforts to make LTC serve more use cases, Wang mentioned, in particular, some big upcoming Litecoin news within the next two months.
“But not now. We will make official announcements in due time,” Wang added.
LTC Price Striking Year-High, Is It Overrated?
With the price of LTC recently reaching its yearly high, rumors have it that the coin has been overpriced.
Wang gave his reply as follows,
“We can’t control what other people think of us. Apart from the price, we are eyeing Litecoin’s long-term performance.”
He further explained that the BTC investor count is four times greater than LTC’s. According to the network effect, the LTC market cap should have reached one-twenty-fifth of BTC.
“If the BTC price seems to be appropriate, how is the LTC price exaggerated?”
Much is expected of Litecoin halving’s contribution to the LTC price, as history has taught us that such an event always tends to push up the price to a new record high.
Although prices are unpredictable, the Litecoin halving in two months will impact the LTC price for sure, Wang said.
He further elaborated on three factors expected to influence the LTC price. First of all, the halving leads to a change in the inflation rate and breaks the balance between supply and demand, resulting in a price surge. Besides, a majority of the Litecoin community is eager to overweigh LTC in their investment portfolios, having looked forward to the hype surrounding the halving.
Community sentiment, in Wang’s eyes, is the most essential point. Positive sentiment could push the LTC price to a sky-high; neutral or negative sentiment may cause nothing drastic. The price could grow in an irrational and unpredictable way, Wang stressed, adding that the current price might have peaked considering how much it has gained in the past months.
Besides the price, the hashrate change is worthy of attention. Litecoin will see its mining reward halved from 25 to 12.5 coins per block, which might lead miners to cease operations, thereby increasing the risk of 51% attacks.
Wang, however, has never worried about that. The last halving in 2015 did lead to a decrease in hashrate, but the attack did not happen. Moreover, launching attacks on Litecoin, the fourth largest cryptocurrency, has not been easy. The halving, together with the LTC price, the miner price, mining technologies, and many others, will all play a role in Litecoin’s hashrate change. The launch of new mining machines such as Antminer L5 and Innosilicon A6 + with high hashrates may push up the network hashrate of Litecoin. In general, the hashrate may not necessarily decline, and there will be little chance for a 51% attack, Wang said.
Crypto enthusiasts are desperate to witness the upcoming event, and most of them want to “make a killing”. Wang, as a main figure behind Litecoin, cares more about the coin’s further development. Throughout the interview, his words revealed a firm belief in Litecoin.
As he puts it,
“Litecoin is a promising coin, and we want to do something meaningful, making a difference in the world.”
Translation by Yang Yanan
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