Litecoin Launches Privacy-Focused Mimblewimble Upgrade After Years on Testnet

Updated by Kyle Baird
In Brief
  • The Litecoin Foundation has announced the imminent launch of its privacy-focused Mimblewimble upgrade.
  • MimbleWimble was first touted as an improvement for the Litecoin network as early as 2019.
  • Litecoin founder Charlie Lee noted that while MWEB is already released users may yet have to wait a little while to enjoy the privacy features.
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The Litecoin Foundation has announced the imminent launch of its privacy-focused Mimblewimble upgrade. The integration comes as part of the Mimblewimble Extension Block (MWEB); the product of years of work from development lead David Burkett.

Mimblewimble was first touted as an improvement for the Litecoin network as early as 2019, with the testnet launching in October 2020. Now that work has come to fruition, Burkett was quick to espouse the benefits.

“MWEB is a crucial next step in Litecoin’s evolution,” said Burkett in the official corporate announcement on Jan 31. “The optional confidentiality MWEB provides gives the user notable and needed protections for small everyday items, to salaries, or even buying a home.”

While cryptocurrencies are mistakenly believed by the general public to be anonymous, crypto insiders know that on-chain data held on networks including Bitcoin and Ethereum can be freely viewed by anyone.

Mimblewimble is a privacy-protecting protocol developed by the pseudonymous ‘Tom Elvis Judesor’ and named after the tongue-tying spell in Harry Potter. It comprises a number of technologies and builds on concepts floated by Gregory Maxwell, Adam Back, and Andrew Poelstra.

A true Litecoin community effort

Litecoin co-founder Charlie Lee took the opportunity of Mimblewimble’s launch to thank the main players who have been instrumental in delivering privacy features to the network.

“The planning, development and now activation of MWEB has been a true community effort, beginning with multiple years of donations from Litecoin supporters all over the world, and culminating with the dedication and attention to detail of David Burkett; who led the project,” said Lee. “It also involved key contributors like Andrew Yang who helped with the original Litecoin Improvement Proposal, Hector Chu’s essential code reviews, and the countless others who audited, advised, and ran testnet nodes. This project is a true testimony to the resiliency and continued growth of the Litecoin community”

Lee notes that while MWEB is already released users may yet have to wait a little while to enjoy the privacy features, as the network waits for miners to switch to the upgraded version.

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