Mobilizing MWEB: Litecoin Core v0.21.3 - A new era for mobile wallets

We are pleased to announce the release of Litecoin Core v0.21.3! In this update, we focused on accelerating MWEB adoption, by making it easier than ever to access MWEB via mobile wallets. Essentially, MWEB (MimbleWimble Extension Blocks) is an optional technology making Litecoin a sounder way to transact. MWEB offers the sender and receiver of a transaction some additional confidentiality, by obfuscating the amount of Litecoin being sent. And it's completely optional. MWEB makes Litecoin one of the most fungible digital assets to ever exist and increases Litecoin's scalability!

For this update, we designed the LIP006 specification, and added the server component of LIP006 to Litecoin Core. You can read more in-depth about LIP006 here and the release notes for v0.21.3 here. In short, if you want to support MWEB adoption, please upgrade to Litecoin Core 0.21.3. If you don’t already run a full node, or aren’t sure what that is, we hope to explain and convince you to run a full node yourself.

The Litecoin Network is powered by an interconnected system of ‘nodes’ which communicate with each other. When a transaction is detected by one node, it relays this transaction to another node. When a block is mined, the new block data is also shared between the nodes of the network. Each one of these nodes individually verify and validate transactions and blocks, which is part of the fundamental design that makes Litecoin decentralised - without a single person being able to change or dictate ‘consensus’.

Full nodes are slightly different from light nodes, in that they contain the full history of all Litecoin data, from when Charlie Lee created the first Litecoin in the “genesis block” to today. These full nodes are the powerhouses of the Litecoin Network and provide access to light nodes to access the Litecoin Network without having a full copy of the Litecoin blockchain. This is why we want to encourage as many people to run a full node. 

Running a full node is as simple as:

  1. Finding a computer which has 160gb+ of free disk space & runs 24/7.
  2. Install Litecoin Core: Please visit Litecoin.org
  3. Open port 9333/tcp on your router.

As you might’ve guessed, you’ve probably used a light node before! Mobile wallets like Litewallet are a type of light node which fetch data from full nodes. As MWEB is a new type of transaction, previously mobile wallets (light nodes) weren’t able to query full nodes for MWEB related data. But with the release of Litecoin Core v0.21.3, this is no longer the case!

Later this year, the Litecoin Foundation plans to announce mobile wallets with full support for MWEB transactions, which brings Litecoin closer than ever to being the most fungible digital money to exist. We are also working with a number of third-party partners to bring MWEB support into their wallets. To be the first to know more about these developments and keep your node up to date, please follow the Litecoin Foundation for future announcements.

For an in depth look into the changes done behind the scenes to Litecoin Core, please read the v0.21.3 release notes.

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