Throughout Litecoin’s over decade-long existence, the past two years have been without a doubt, the most action-packed in terms of active development on the network. Although Litecoin’s largest-ever upgrade, MWEB, has taken much of the spotlight, a few under-the-radar projects have been picking up pace and gaining the community’s attention. Historically, Litecoin has been known to follow development of its similarly-coded sibling, Bitcoin, but with the activation of projects such as MWEB, Litecoin has initiated the process of building its own road.
MWEB, Litecoin’s fungibility and confidentiality-increasing upgrade, has officially been running on Litecoin for over two weeks now. Over a thousand coins have been opted into/out of the extension block and thus far has been working flawlessly. The activation also went smooth thanks to the majority of miners in the Litecoin community agreeing to this upgrade by signaling in favor of its addition.
Although at the moment MWEB can only be used by downloading Litecoin Core, multiple mobile wallets such as Litewallet and Cake Wallet have stated their intention of integrating it and are working towards doing so. Downloading Litecoin Core may take several hours (due to downloading the entire blockchain), so at the moment, can only be used by having a device that permits this. On the other hand, once user-friendly mobile wallets begin to integrate MWEB, it’s expected for the amount of locked-in Litecoin’s to surge. As a side benefit of the initial MWEB roll-out occurring on Litecoin Core, Litecoin’s node count has notably increased and has surpassed Dogecoin’s, increasing the network’s decentralization.
MWEB is an an opt-in feature that eliminates publicly viewable address amounts, as well as eliminating the ability for another person (besides you and the person you’re paying) to view the amount of coins that were sent. In other words, by using MWEB, a cashier at a store does not have the ability to see how many coins you hold in your address after paying for an item. This is the equivalent of a cashier not being able to see how much money you have in your bank account after paying with your debit card. Also, people other than yourself and the cashier cannot see how much you’re spending. As you can see, these are basic features that already exist within our current day-to-day financial life, but are surprisingly missing from cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin. Thankfully, Litecoin’s MWEB helps fill this void and makes the payment experience more convenient for both parties involved in a transaction. Looking towards the future, the MWEB development team, led by David Burkett, have stated their intention of continuing to build on Litecoin’s MWEB by potentially adding features such as Dandelion and CoinSwap.
On another note, just last year, the token-creation platform, OmniLite, was also launched on Litecoin. OmniLite development was spearheaded by Litecoin developer Loshan and is based on Bitcoin’s OmniLayer. OmniLayer permits the building of assets, such as the most popular stablecoin, Tether, on top of Bitcoin’s blockchain. It also provides the ability for one to build platforms such as decentralized exchanges and NFT marketplaces. Unfortunately, due to Bitcoin’s high fees, a few developments on OmniLayer were pushed to lower-fee (and more unproven, riskier) protocols. Now, with OmniLite being live on Litecoin, one can gain the benefit of creating assets on top of a low fee network AND one with over 10 years of reliability, having never experienced a network outage.
Thankfully, builders have taken notice and as a result, the first NFT marketplace, “LiteVerse” launched on Litecoin recently. Litecoin’s cheap fees will permit users to buy digital artwork and avoid the hefty gas fees that networks such as Ethereum are notorious for. At the moment, multiple art collection’s have already been published and the platform received over a hundred signups within the first few hours.
A few months ago, Loshan also announced the creation of Plasma, the soon-to-be-released Litecoin-based Lightning Network (LN) mobile wallet. At the moment, Bitcoin and Litecoin are the dominant two cryptocurrencies that have a Lightning Network, a second layer scaling solution that was built to combat Bitcoin’s high fees. Due to the saturation on Bitcoin’s blockchain, the BTC community desperately needed to build up its LN to make the coin-sending experience more user friendly. Litecoin, on the other hand, does not have this problem and as a result of its cheap fees, the growth of its LN has been slower than Bitcoin’s. At the moment, many users still conveniently send coins on Litecoin’s layer one.
Saying that, Plasma is the first major application on Litecoin’s LN that will make the user experience and on boarding process easy. Essentially, this will be the first major step towards the expansion of its second layer scaling solution. This is an important step to take in the ever-growing cryptocurrency space in which over time, Litecoin could also and most likely will experience fee increases. LN apps such as Plasma will provide the tools for when that day comes.
On Twitter, Loshan mentioned that there are plans to integrate technology such as LTC/BTC Atomic Swaps, which would permit users to exchange between both (quite literally, swapping) one for the other on the app. Due to the nature of how the Lightning Network is designed, to begin using it, one is required to pay a fee in order to open their first payment channel (and an additional fee for closing it). Because of Litecoin’s cheaper fees vs. Bitcoin, users may find it more convenient to open a payment channel via Litecoin’s LN and later atomic swapping over to Bitcoin.
There’s no doubt that development on Litecoin has been ramping up in recent years. Originally, Litecoin was known for simply following Bitcoin’s path, but especially with the creation of MWEB, it’s beginning to establish its own. The combination of Litecoin’s low fee environment with its remarkable network uptime (even higher than Bitcoin’s) provides a unique opportunity for developers to build on top of an established cryptocurrency that holds name recognition and wide adoption.
Whereas most cryptocurrencies have failed over time (many due to flawed designs and coin distribution mechanisms), Litecoin and Bitcoin have broken the 10-year mark. It likely makes more sense for developers to build on top of lasting blockchain’s if the work they’re building is also desired to be long-lasting. When building on top of other unsteady and unproven protocols, one must accept the risk of countless hours of work facing collapse (e.g. Luna crash).
Relatively speaking, the cryptocurrency space is still in its infancy and the time to build is now. Thanks to Litecoin’s reliability (and the unfortunate collapse of most protocol’s over the past decade) the opportunity to develop lasting projects on lasting blockchains is becoming clearer by the day and highly encouraged. It’s time to build the future of money. If you are a developer and would like to be a part of the money revolution, please contact us here.
Stay tuned for updates on future Litecoin developments!