Litecoin Launches Mimblewimble Upgrade – LTC Promptly Surges 5.5%
After two years of development, Litecoin (LTC) has now activated its long-awaited Mimblewimble upgrade. Mimblewimble is a privacy-focused decentralized protocol that structures and stores transactions on the blockchain. Its main feature is to improve privacy in user transactions on the network.
According to a Jan. 31 announcement by the Litecoin Foundation, Mimblewimble has been integrated into Litecoin through the Mimblewimble Extension Block (MWEB). This makes the upgrade optional, meaning that its use on the network is entirely at the discretion of the customer.
Mimblewimble now live on Litecoin
Interestingly, the term “mimblewimble ” is derived from the tongue twister used by the magical characters in the famous Harry Potter series. The upgrade is so named because of its ability to obfuscate transactions. It not only hides their data, but also provides a framework for other blockchains to improve the usability of their cryptocurrencies. This works thanks to fungibility and scalability — two qualities most other blockchains lack.
Litecoin introduced the idea of the Mimblewimble upgrade back in October 2019 to its Litecoin Improvement Proposals (LIPs). This comes after the anonymous creator of the upgrade, Tom Elvis Judesor, floated the idea in a Bitcoin developer chat room. However, due to low community interest in the upgrade, the network did not launch the first testnet for the upgrade until a year later.
Notably, the launch of the testnet coincided with intense alerts from Europol, the EU law enforcement agency tasked with fighting serious forms of international crime and terrorism. The authority explicitly warned against digital ledger transactions being obscured and those involved being made anonymous. Criticism from law enforcement intensified in early 2021, prompting multiple exchanges to withdraw their support for a number of coins, including Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH).
As the Mimblewimble upgrade improves Litecoin’s viability as a fungible currency, lead Litecoin developer David Burkett says it also makes Litecoin very useful for daily transactions, payroll payments, and even real estate purchases. The Litecoin Foundation, which sponsors Burkett, is confident that the upgrade will validate LTC’s status as “solid money.” It’s a term used to refer to currencies that are increasingly resilient to devaluation and immune to monetary policy influences.
MWEB was released alongside the Litecoin Core 0.21.2 Release Candidate, which also includes the Taproot upgrade to improve security and privacy. Mimblewimble has also been reviewed and rated positively by Quarkslab.
Litecoin was launched as an offshoot of Bitcoin in October 2011. However, despite its early bird advantage, the cryptocurrency has always struggled to remain relevant in the market. With a market cap of $7.7 billion, LTC ranks 22nd in the crypto market today. At press time, the coin was trading at $110.86 and is up 5.5% over the past few days.