Litecoin (CCC:LTC-USD) has had a rough three months since it hit $294.56 on Nov. 10. As of Jan. 6, 2022, it was trading at $137.06, giving it a loss of around $157 in the last two months. That is a significant decline of about 53% during this short period of time. It goes to show that LTC crypto can be just as volatile as some of the smaller cryptos.
As it stands now, Litecoin still has a market capitalization of $9.25 billion. This puts it at a rank of number 24 among the top cryptocurrencies in the world. It is just behind Algorand (CCC:ALGO-USD), which I just wrote about, as well.
Litecoin is a secure peer-to-peer-crypto focused on payments transactions. Right now, Litecoin is accepted at 3,183 merchants worldwide. This is up from 3,111 in October 2021 when Cointelegraph wrote on the subject. At the time, the site said LTC was at an “all-time high.”
Recently, Litecoin has been going through an upgrade and it appears to be nearing the end of that process.
For example, a recent article in Medium described the mechanics of a “testnet” version of the distributed ledger technology, i.e., the blockchain. The net result is that Litecoin will be much more secure as a payment and transaction closing mechanism.
Where This Leaves LTC Crypto
As I pointed out in a previous article, LTC crypto now has a virtual debit card. This will help it gain more acceptance with more merchants.
Litecoin indicated at the time that this will give it exposure to 50 million merchants around the world. This can allow many people to use Litecoin to buy, sell, and trade assets and transactions. It could also help to raise the value of LTC crypto tokens.
However, in the long run, Litecoin suffers from one great drawback, limiting its ability to rise much further. This is its lack of smart contract functions of cryptocurrency blockchains like Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD), Polkadot (CCC:DOT-USD) and Solana (CCC:SOL-USD).
As a result, Litecoin has a limited appeal to a certain type of investor in cryptocurrency that wants to invest in DeFi (decentralized finance) apps and related cryptos.
Until Litecoin can upgrade its status as having more uses cases other than just payments and related technology, its value will be limited. It can grow vertically, i.e., with more payment outlets, but not horizontally, with more applications and use cases.
However, that does not mean Litecoin uses cannot access DeFi applications and opportunities in other cryptocurrencies, especially Ethereum. For example, a new network called pNetwork, which uses pTokens, allows Litecoin users to access Ethereum-based apps.
Moreover, in June, a new crypto called WanChain (CCC:WAN-USD), with a market value of $109.97 million, figured out a solution to allow Litecoin to integrate with various DeFi apps.
What to do With LTC Crypto
Nevertheless, the path forward for Litecoin seems to be mainly with adding in more merchants and payment outlets such as debit and VISA cards for Litecoin.
However, that leaves it behind in the huge movement towards all things DeFi and alternative decentralized finance. That could be a serious hamper for LTC crypto to rise much further than its present market value, other than for the growth in its payment side.
So, at best, I think the LTC crypto has maybe 20% to 30% more to rise unless it can show that its usefulness extends to more than just payments. The reason is that Litecoin will never be a replacement for Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) as a store of value.
But even as a decentralized payment mechanism, it could become popular. But this could be hampered by market share from some other cryptos like Solana, which also offer payment mechanisms and DeFi applications.
On the date of publication, Mark R. Hake did not hold any position (either directly or indirectly) in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.