Whether it’s NFT’s, the Lightning Network, payment platform integrations, or most notably, MWEB, there’s no denying that Litecoin is establishing a unique niche for itself.
After years of dedicated development, Litecoin made a profound bifurcating move with the addition of MWEB, a privacy preserving improvement. Essentially, MWEB makes Litecoin a sounder way to transact with by not allowing the person you’re paying (or, the person you’re receiving money from) see how much money you hold in your address. This is a basic privacy feature that surprisingly, most cryptocurrencies lack.
This can be compared to the act of preventing the cashier at Starbucks from knowing how much money sits in your bank account simply because you bought a cappucino. In a sense, MWEB makes Litecoin more convenient for day-to-day transactions, upholding a level of privacy similar to that which we’re accustomed to in our normal, dollarized economy — except, in a more decentralized manner with no intervening company acquiring data.
MWEB officially launched in May of this year and as of then, has been functioning seamlessly and without interruption. At the moment, it’s only available for users that have Litecoin Core downloaded on their computer, but according to David Burkett (MWEB Lead Developer), light-client adoption may be just around the corner.
In his September update, Burkett stated
“I should be able to get this last piece coded and out for review this month. After that we’ll look at creating a new release (v0.21.3) with these new changes, and then start working with third party wallet developers to hopefully get MWEB added to all major LTC wallets”
Followed by his October update, in which he stated
“The code for supporting retrieval of MWEB UTXOs (unspent coins) for use by MWEB light clients is out for review. It was designed so that light clients can request UTXOs in batches, and verify that each batch is committed to by a recent block……Aside from working with wallet developers and improving documentation to assist with their development, I’ll also be backfilling some functional tests and fixing a few latent wallet display bugs this month in preparation for when we decide to go forward with the v0.21.3 release.”
Put simply, things are about to get spicy. The tools required for Litecoin wallet developers to integrate MWEB are being polished up and are almost ready. A clear pathway to MWEB integration on your favorite mobile wallet is around the corner, meaning, a potential widespread inflow into Litecoin’s MWEB by the average crypto user.
Although at the moment, MWEB can only be used via Litecoin Core (which may require hours to sync and can be considered more technical for the average user), over a million dollars in Litecoin has already moved through MWEB. The initial rollout on Litecoin Core permitted the more technically-oriented users to transact on MWEB before reaching a larger audience and pleasingly, it’s been functioning just as intended. This permitted MWEB to undergo a slower, organic-growth phase which is almost quite ready to reach the hands of millions of light-wallet users.
This places Litecoin in a unique position within the crypto ecosystem. By being one of the most liquid cryptocurrencies (being available on nearly every exchange and on most popular crypto wallets), Litecoin will become the easiest coin to access with these improved privacy preserving features. Many business’ will require these basic privacy features for matters such as payroll, business-to-business transactions, etc. Basically, anything that would require the prevention of non-associated onlookers from gaining details such as how much an employee (or manufacturer, partner, etc.) is being paid or how much money they hold in their address.
As mobile wallets begin to adopt MWEB, the number of Litecoin’s on MWEB are expected to increase drastically. As a natural progression, an important goal would be for business’ that’d benefit from MWEB’s features to consider its integration, achieving increased protection of their users (and their own) data while storing and transacting Litecoin. As MWEB infrastructure continues to be built-out, the next step will be adoption and mass-integration, which will come as more people make use of MWEB’s benefits. Much of the work will also be in the hands of the community in regards to contacting wallets, companies, exchanges, etc. for its continued adoption.
From simply being an idea a few years ago, to today, being a step away from being integrated on multiple mobile wallets, MWEB is gaining ground and is in process of making itself known to the world. With MWEB, Litecoin has made a forward lunge in the crypto payment’s realm and it’ll soon be accessible with just a few clicks on a phone screen. For the vast majority of day-to-day crypto users, MWEB is almost here.