While all eyes might be on the ETh2 testnet, Litecoin has launched one of its own. Charlie Lee, in his quest to add fungibility and greater privacy to Litecoin, has moved the project closer to the implementation of Mimblewimble via extension blocks.
The Mimblewimble protocol for confidential transactions obfuscates the transaction address and amount, providing a level of privacy for users. It was thrust into the spotlight by projects like Grin and Beam, and Charlie Lee announced Litecoin’s intentions to add it the better part of a year ago.
In fact, Litecoin’s Lee tapped Grin ++ main developer David Burkett for its confidential transaction ambitions. Burkett announced in an update that the testnet has launched, which they’re calling Mimblwimble Extension Block, or MWEB.
— Litecoin.com (@LitecoinDotCom) October 5, 2020
The latest announcement didn’t do much to buoy the Litecoin (LTC) price, which has shed 2% in the last 24 hours. It’s taken investors on a roller-coaster ride over the last three months, much like its “big brother” bitcoin has done of late.
Litecoin’s fundamentals, however, remain intact as it nears its ninth anniversary. So far in 2020, Litecoin has achieved several milestones, including –
- a new Visa card
- Grayscale added a Litecoin trust to its lineup
- Hashrate is up 50%, as of August
- Transactions doubled this year through August
- The number of LTC addresses has skyrocketed by 400% in the last three years.
In 8 days, Łitecoin will be 9 yrs old and running flawlessly for 3285 days STRAIGHT.
— 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧𝐊𝐢𝐦𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 (@johnkim77) October 5, 2020
So what can users expect with Mimblewimble? Litecoin maintains that the protocol is more about fungibility than it is privacy. Fungibility ensures that one coin or unit of a coin is identical to the next and is therefore interchangeable. But the technology does lend itself to “greater privacy” via confidential transactions.
With Mimblewimble now in test mode on Litecoin, the real deal could be rolling out on the network soon. But there is still much work to be done, with developers looking to lasso in non-technical users to the testnet, which involves building wallet support, Burkett stated. Charlie Lee seems hopeful and has even revealed a new logo for the occasion.
— Charlie Lee [LTC
] (@SatoshiLite) September 30, 2020
This could be only the beginning. Litecoin Foundation Project Director David Schwartz tweeted a poll in which he asked the Litecoin community if they would be interested in seeing the network perform a “velvet fork” that would lead to smart contract capabilities. So far, the “yesses” are in the lead with 43% of the vote.