Litecoin (LTC)–Aliant Payment Systems, a leader in providing small businesses and other companies with payment processors, has announced an “official” partnership with the Litecoin Foundation. The news first surfaced in early February that Aliant would be offering merchants a solution for accepting Litecoin payments, allowing companies greater access to the crypto-community and the ability to transact in LTC. Aliant has already established itself as a figure in the cryptocurrency industry, offering merchants the option of accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum since 2017. CEO Eric Brown has been positive on the future of crypto and the value his company can offer in terms of getting ahead of innovation:
“Our merchants look to us for innovative ways to transfer money safely, securely, and cost-effectively. Cryptocurrency allows us to move money in all of these ways, while also offering consumers more payment options.”
While Aliant does not represent a novel figure in the cryptospace–having offered Bitcoin-based payments since last year–it’s a step in the right direction for LTC and the Litecoin Foundation in filling the void left by the failed LitePay project. Aliant views the Litecoin partnership as an enticing offer to smaller merchants looking for fast transactions, a feature that LTC is particularly suited for over the better-known, but bulky Bitcoin, “While Bitcoin payments are more commonly seen on bigger ticket items, Aliant expects the higher number of Litecoins to make it more attractive to buy small-ticket items using the cryptocurrency.” The partnership with Aliant gives further evidence to the blending of currencies in the cryptosphere and the fact that market adoption does not have to be mutually exclusive competition: the payment processor seeks to offer crypto-payments to clients based off of their specific need. While it’s possible for a merchant to implement all three forms of payment for transactions (Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin), there is also benefit in targeting based off the need of the merchant. A small, fast purchase-based vendor, such as a food truck or coffee shop, will benefit from LTC integration. Whereas an online based marketplace, where projects take time to commission and ship, can afford the longer confirmation times of Bitcoin, while still gaining exposure the to market of cryptocurrency.
Litecoin and the Litecoin Foundation suffered a blow in adoption last month when it was announced that the anticipated launch of LitePay was being scrapped. This followed on the heels of news that the LitePay debit card, a feature that would allow Litecoin investors to spend their currency with the ease of traditional debit, had been put on hold indefinitely. Many news sites were quick to jump on the Litecoin FUD-wagon, blaming the Litecoin Foundation for essentially “tricking” investors into thinking LitePay would be a reality. As we pointed out several weeks ago, the collapse of LitePay represented an unfortunate setback for LTC growth and adoption, but one almost inevitable in the process of technological improvement. Without taking risks on innovation and market improvements, cryptocurrency as an industry is destined to a slow withering in interest. Litecoin, through the efforts of Charlie Lee and the LTC Foundation, has established a community and development base that is open to innovation. So far, this emphasis on improvement has benefited the currency, with Litecoin implementing segwit ahead of Bitcoin, and likely to lead the market in atomic swap–and possibly BTC’s trump card, lightning network.
While other payment providers have partnered with Litecoin in the past, Aliant is the first “official” company to complete the registration requirements outlined by the Litecoin Foundation. The partnership with Aliant, in addition to the failed LitePay project, demonstrates a commitment by the Litecoin community in growing the availability of LTC transactions. Litecoin, like all cryptos, is a ready-made currency that can be bought, swapped and sent as a digital form of traditional tender. However, there is a disconnect for merchants and stores looking to accept cryptocurrency as apart of transactions: not all companies want to expose themselves to crypto-related volatility. Purists in the industry, of which there are many with valid arguments, would prefer these companies to deal solely in crypto. These enthusiasts argue that intermediary payment processors are irrelevant to crypto: the currencies can be exchanged as-is, and come with built-in wallet properties for storage and sending. While sole-crypto transactions are a feature of the technology, they also limit the exposure and potential for adoption. Rather than forcing merchants to adopt cryptocurrency for buying and selling, payment processors open the door for greater adoption in crypto-related transactions. Even if one side of the commerce equation exchanges for fiat, cryptocurrency is still being used as a vital piece of the exchange.