On Dec 29, 2018, Litecoin (LTC) sponsored UFC232 : Jones vs. Gustaffson. During the event, a new version of Litecoin’s logo was placed on the canvas of the Octagon. It was named LTC’s official logo on Jan 23, 2019.
The following day, Ilir Gashi, Community Manager of Litecoin, announced that the company’s brand guidelines had been amended to include the design changes to the logo.
The Litecoin Foundation partnered with The Tokens Agency to create the new logo. It was released by the Foundation without democratic participation from LTC users and investors. Some have suggested that the centralized Foundation has far too much authority and power over Litecoin, which is supposedly a decentralized cryptocurrency.
However, while the Foundation is pushing for users to begin using this logo, they stress that they may choose to use the old one if they want. Neither the old nor new logos are registered by trademark or copyright and are open-source — free for public use.
Why Change the Logo?
There are two main reasons why the new logo was introduced. First, a blue background was determined to be more visible on the gray UFC canvas. Up to that point, the LTC logo included a gray background.
Litecoin — A refined Logo and Vision
“The payment choice for the world” https://t.co/XWG1Z7Qqzz
— Ilir Gashi [LTC ] (@mrilirgashi) January 24, 2019
It is claimed that a survey on the LTC Reddit thread showed that users wanted a new logo that suggested ‘speed’ and ‘trust.’ To accomplish this, a variety of changes were made to the primary and stacked logos as well as the coin icon, typemark, and logo suites to incorporate the alleged desires of the users .
Threats of Centralization
Some people are more skeptical of the new logo design. While such alterations may seem insignificant, they were largely made without the input of LTC users. Furthermore, the Litecoin Foundation partnered with an outside digital marketing company which was hired to create the logo. Ultimately, the final decisions for the logo were determined by the Foundation.
This seems to expose the centralized authority of the Foundation to make decisions affecting LTC without the democratic participation of its users. While the blockchain technology which allows LTC to operate may be decentralized, LTC may not be a truly decentralized cryptocurrency. If the influence or authority of external powers is accounted for in the diagnosis of centralization, LTC may be at least partially centralized by the foundation.
Discussions about decentralization within the crypto industry may have to account for political, economic, social, and other factors in addition to technology.
I was very sceptical about the blue logo change; any centralised action like changing the logo across the network (exchanges, etc) is pretty serious.
If you oppose these changes now is time to voice your opinion, email the Litecoin Foundation.
— Edin (@oasace) January 24, 2019
Gashi and others have tried to assuage fears of decentralization by reminding users of a few things. The first is that the new logo is not registered as a trademark or logo. While it is the official logo according to the Foundation, the old logo may still be used. This is because the logo remains open-source and free for public use and alteration.
Nonetheless, even if other logo designs can be used in lieu of the new one, the Foundation has exhibited centralized authority. It chose to define this new logo as the ‘official logo.’ Furthermore, it is openly encouraging users to sacrifice the old design for the new one. While users may use non-official logos, the Foundation is pushing them to adopt their officially defined variety.
The issue of centralization is at the center of the new Litecoin logo. The Litecoin Foundation is said to have conducted a survey and acted on it with the authority of centralized power.
It chose how to interpret the information gathered from the survey and how to act based on that interpretation. Outside help was hired by the Foundation, and the final decision on the official Litecoin logo was left up to its discretion. Users, on the other hand, have been forced to accept the Foundation’s decisions with little choice otherwise.
Is blockchain technology alone sufficient to qualify a cryptocurrency as decentralized? Are there other factors which must be accounted for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.
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