The two teams are working together to explore whether MimbleWimble is the right fit for Litecoin.
Here at Inferno we’ve made no secret about our interest in MimbleWimble, the exciting new blockchain protocol that manages to combine both privacy and scalability thanks to its approach of avoiding storing any sensitive information on the blockchain at all. Earlier this week, we looked at Beam, an Israeli project that implements MW in a standalone blockchain.
As it happens, Charlie Lee, known as ‘Satoshi Lite’ recently expressed his intention to improve the privacy and fungibility of Litecoin by adding confidential transactions:
Fungibility is the only property of sound money that is missing from Bitcoin & Litecoin. Now that the scaling debate is behind us, the next battleground will be on fungibility and privacy.
I am now focused on making Litecoin more fungible by adding Confidential Transactions.
He stated at the time that his dev team was exploring MimbleWimble, and now a new development has arisen. Team Litecoin and Team Beam are working together to figure out whether Litecoin should use MW to improve Litecoin’s privacy – essentially by removing the transaction path, amounts and addresses from the blockchain where confidentiality is desired.
Beam recently posted a Medium blog to this effect, writing, ‘We have started exploration towards adding privacy and fungibility to Litecoin by allowing on-chain conversion of regular LTC into a Mimblewimble variant of LTC and vice versa. Upon such conversion, it will be possible to transact with Mimblewimble LTC in complete confidentiality.’
This would be a fantastic development, because we believe that MimbleWimble is hands down the best privacy solution out there. But it’s not for the faint-hearted, and Charlie Lee knows there are challenges involved. On a technical level, it would involve moving coins from the Litecoin main chain into a MW sidechain, or another similar solution. And, when you’re dealing with a $2 billion network, there’s little room for error. Plus the quirks of MW mean that you can’t just send money to an address; both sender and recipient have to be online at some point to arrange the terms of the transaction, which may cause some inconvenience – especially where cold storage is concerned.
Nonetheless, it’s a great move and shows real vision on the part of Litecoin and a commitment not to stand still. The market responded positively to the news, with LTC rising 10%.
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