The Litecoin Foundation announced in a post on its website on Monday that LitePay, a potential Litecoin merchant solution similar to BitPay, has abruptly terminated its operations.
LitePay – which also claimed it would offer a crypto wallet and “LitePay debit card” through which users could convert litecoin into U.S. dollars – was unveiled in December of 2017 and set to launch in February of this year. Data from OpenGovUS shows that LitePay Inc. started operating on February 1.
However, as of February 26, LitePay had only started to roll out its merchant service, according to a post on Twitter. The problems with LitePay had become apparent during an “Ask Me Anything [AMA]” Reddit post by Asare from March 16, where he was unable to provide answers for many of the questions concerning the company’s documentation, which Reddit users requested, the bulletin notes.
The notice, written by Director of Operations Keith Yong and addressed to the “entire LTC [Litecoin] community,” notes that the foundation is “greatly disheartened that this saga has ended in this way”:
“We are currently working hard to tighten our due diligence practices and ensure that this does not happen again. Litecoin was doing perfectly fine before the promise of LitePay and will continue to do so. The ecosystem is far bigger than one company and is continually growing with support from many others with market ready products joining the space and fulfilling their promises to make it easier for the world to use Litecoin.”
Litecoin founder Charlie Lee echoed the foundation’s sentiments in a Twitter post March 26:
“According to the bulletin, the Litecoin Foundation had recently refused LitePay CEO Kenneth Asare’s request for more funding for LitePay, citing a lack of transparency and explanation for how the previous money had been used.”
Both the Foundation and litecoin founder Charlie Lee expressed regret for their support of the project.
“Like everyone else, we got too excited about something that was too good to be true and we optimistically overlooked many of the warning signs,” Lee wrote on Twitter. “I am sorry for having hyped up this company and vow to do better due diligence in the future.”
In mid-February, Litecoin’s price had jumped 30 percent following LitePay’s Feb. 12 announcement that they would release their merchant service on Feb. 26, a promise that they were clearly unable to keep.
Litecoin has seen a drop in price since the Monday news of LitePay’s closure – although many of the top 100 coins on CoinMarketCap are also in the red. On Sunday, March 25 LTC was trading at a high around $162, and is currently at $144, down around 1.6 percent over a 24 period.