Litecoin has launched the new privacy-focused MimbleWimble upgrade. The changes have proliferated across the network for use by LTC wallets and nodes. Will it bring new enthusiasm to the flagging PoW coin?
Released earlier this month after a majority of nodes approved the MimbleWimble (MWEB) update, the upgraded implementation will be able to transact with new MWEB privacy features.
The upgrade was completed at Litecoin block height of 2 million.
Lower Fees, More Privacy, Throughput, and Scalability for LTC
In the wake of MimbleWimble’s release, the update’s lead developer, David Burkett, had an urgent announcement for Litecoin node operators:
“Anyone interested in using the MWEB, and especially those who installed one of the earlier release candidates, should upgrade to the official v0.21.2 before MWEB activates. If you wait until after MWEB activation to upgrade, you’ll unfortunately be required to resync the blockchain from scratch.”
The MimbleWimble Litecoin update has been the cryptocurrency’s most hotly anticipated upgrade. MWEB not only introduces new privacy features for LTC users but also offers the blockchain key performance upgrades.
In addition to enabling confidential transactions on the Litecoin blockchain, MWEB removes unnecessary transaction data from the blocks through compression.
That decreases the block size for greater speed and scalability with more transaction bandwidth per block. It also allows new nodes to join Litecoin’s proof-of-work consensus network with lower initial computing costs.
Reducing the cost to join the network as a node is a tradeoff.
Security proponents, for example, would say it decreases the security of the blockchain to a 51% attack. But MimbleWimble and other scalability proponents would say it increases useability, cuts costs, and reduces centralization of mining.
Will MimbleWimble Save the Falling Litecoin price?
The locked-in and propagating LTC upgrade is more good news this month for the crypto. Gucci announced in early May that it will be accepting Litecoin for payment later this month. Last month, LTC Labs and Antpool partnered for a foray into crypto-anonymity and Dapps.
Will the MimbleWimble upgrade be enough to bolster Litecoin’s fortunes after a year of sliding LTC prices on crypto exchanges? In the short term, that’s unlikely. Crypto exchange markets have hardly reacted to the upgrade news, as LTC slid further along with BTC and ETH in a bear of a crypto market headwind.
But over the long term, Litecoin’s network and developers are laying the groundwork to remain relevant, disruptive, and deliver value to users. Part of LTC’s barrier to wider adoption in the crypto world is that many crypto enthusiasts and investors would just rather have BTC.
So Litecoin is onto the right idea with crypto-anonymity and blockchain DeFi research and development. Rather than resting on its laurels with the marketing gimmick “we’re silver to bitcoin’s gold,” this older cryptocurrency is moving to specialize in the blockchain ecosystem by adding more unique value propositions to its underlying tech.