Litecoin launch the Mimblewimble upgrade sending LTC up by 5.5%

  • The Litecoin network has finally launched the Mimblewimble upgrade – an optional transaction confidentiality feature for concealing user transaction details.
  • The upgrade also brings fungibility and scalability to the network, and improves its status as “sound money.”

After two years of development, Litecoin (LTC) has now released its much-anticipated Mimblewimble upgrade. Mimblewimble is a privacy-oriented decentralized protocol that structures and stores transactions on the blockchain. Its most significant feature is improving privacy in user transactions on the network.

According to a Jan. 31 announcement by the Litecoin Foundation, Mimblewimble was integrated into Litecoin through the Mimblewimble Extension Block (MWEB). This makes the upgrade optional, meaning users’ utilization of confidential transactions on the network is completely under their discretion. 

Mimblewimble upgrade goes live on Litecoin

Interestingly, the term “Mimblewimble” is derived from the tongue-tying spell employed by magical characters in the famous Harry Potter series. The upgrade is named so due to its transaction blinding characteristic. Not only does it conceal such information, but it also provides a framework for other blockchains to enhance the usability of their cryptocurrencies. This is because it lays great emphasis on fungibility and scalability – two features most blockchains are deficient of. 

Litecoin first introduced the idea of the Mimblewimble upgrade as early as Oct. 2019, in a pair of Litecoin Improvement Proposals (LIPs). This happened after the upgrade’s anonymous creator, Tom Elvis Judesor, floated the idea in a Bitcoin developers’ chatroom. However, due to low community interest in the upgrade, it was not until a year later that the network launched the upgrade’s first testnet. 

Of note, the testnet’s launch time coincided with intense warnings on privacy coins by European regulator Europol. Their scrutiny came from the fact that they obfuscate digital ledger transactions and give users anonymity. Regulatory criticism heightened all the more in early 2021, causing several exchanges to withdraw their support for a number of coins including Monero (XMR) Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH).

Related: Europol confirms: Monero transactions cannot be traced

Further notes

Since the Mimblewimble upgrade improves Litecoin’s viability as a fungible currency, lead Litecoin developer, David Burkett, says it also makes it useful for daily transactions, salary payment, and even real estate purchases. The Litecoin Foundation, which sponsors Burkett, is confident the upgrade validates LTC’s status as “sound money.” The latter is a term that has been used to refer to currencies that are increasingly resilient to depreciation and immune to the influences of monetary policies.

MWEB has been released alongside the Litecoin Core 0.21.2 release candidate, which also includes the security and privacy-enhancing Taproot upgrade. Mimblewimble has also been audited and positively reviewed by Quarkslab.

Litecoin was released as a Bitcoin spinoff in Oct. 2011. But despite its early mover’s advantage, the cryptocurrency has struggled to remain relevant in the market. LTC now ranks 22nd in the crypto market with a $7.7 billion market cap. At writing time, the coin was trading at $110.86, having gained 5.5 percent in the past day.

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