Litecoin, the crypto ranked 15th on CMC, has had a volatile year so far. In fact, it fell by over 66% in three months following its last ATH.
While its recent performances have led to many traders abandoning the asset, devs continue to work towards remaking the network.
The MimbleWimble Upgrade
Litecoin’s MimbleWimble Extension Blocks (MWEB) upgrade, which has been under development for almost two years, reportedly saw some major code changes recently. In an announcement yesterday, MW developer David Burkett outlined the upgrades implemented to the code, several of which were only partially complete.
The most important of these is the addition of extension blocks to the LTC network through the relatively new MimbleWimble protocol. The protocol had gone live on the network’s testnet in September last year and LIP 2 & 3 are aimed at enhancing the network’s fungibility and scalability.
However, it is noteworthy that this is an opt-in upgrade. The extension blocks can be considered a parallel blockchain running alongside LTC’s main chain and users can transact through either of these.
The MWEB advantage
Through the implementation of MWEB, the network is expected to see increased fungibility, something that is lacking in other blockchains such as Bitcoin. It will protect user information such as the amounts sent/received, change addresses, and the entire transaction history from being broadcasted to the whole network.
Additionally, the protocol change also has the potential to minimize the amount of data stored on the ledger. This would increase the overall scaling of the network.
LIP 3 further aims to enhance the user experience by modifying the traditional MW payment mechanism which relies on interactivity between the sender and receiver to validate transactions. As this can be a “source of frustration” and metadata leakage, LTC hopes to eradicate these issues through the introduction of non-interactive transactions.
A bigger and faster network
For a long time, LTC has continued to use the same hashing algorithm called SHA2-526. According to the said announcement, the network is now shifting to the “much-faster” Blake 3 for all MWEB hashes. Blake 3 is a relatively newer crypto hash function that is reportedly 10 times faster than SHA-2.
Serialization formats for all MWEB data structures have also been made much more compact. The same will result in “less disk space usage, less data transferred between peers, and therefore slightly higher throughput.”
The MWEB upgrade is slated to be the “largest upgrade to the Litecoin network ever.”
It’s worth noting, however, that the developer cautioned the timeline might change for auditing, reviewing the code.
A bullish outlook
According to a recent report, Litecoin’s poor performances were not reflected in its on-chain metrics. The increase in daily active addresses and whale accumulation are signs of traders’ long-term bullish sentiment.
The MWEB upgrade has the potential to enhance LTC’s use case as a mode of payment. This was the initial goal of the network.
If these upgrades do enhance the network’s capabilities as expected, Litecoin may just see newer highs going forward.