Charlie Lee Announces New Advances in Litecoin Privacy

In January, Charlie Lee, the inventor of Litecoin, first published his plans for Litecoin to implement Confidential Transactions and the MimbleWimble protocol to give LTC users more privacy. Since this However, announcement was followed by a long period of radio silence, and supporters wondered if the promised privacy features would ever be introduced.

Earlier this year, Lee confirmed that he is considering integrating the MimbleWimble and Confidential Transactions into the Litecoin network to strengthen Litecoin privacy by hiding the Litecoin addresses and the amount transferred. Lee notes that while the Litecoin Github appears to be inactive, continuous progress is still being made in improving the cryptocurrency’s protocol.

Hopes that both features will still be implemented were thus restored when Lee announced that two new developers have joined Litecoin’s privacy project. Grin developer David Burkett is reinforce with another developer under the Pseudonym “great! Hodler” the Litecoin Team.

Burkett is closely associated with Grin, which is one of two major Mimblewimble projects alongside Beam. Although both are relatively small in terms of market capitalization (ranking #85 and #92, respectively), both projects have helped Mimblewimble gain attention. Litecoin could prove to be MimbleWimble’s big breakthrough.

Litecoin’s newfound commitment to privacy comes just eleven days after a leaked conversation in which Lee explained that his efforts at the new privacy features have stalled:

I was trying to find someone else to run the project. Progress is being made. Just not as fast as people like, I guess.

A day after this leaked message, Lee publicly stated that he would try to “get the ball rolling again.” But Lee also stressed that he will not set a deadline, which means Litecoin will not be able to introduce privacy features by the end of 2019, as he had originally stated. Although the update is seen as positive by a majority in the crypto community, some users worry that the privacy features could raise regulatory issues. For example, Coinbase UK recently stopped listing ZCash due to its privacy features.

Litecoin’s new focus on privacy also represents a departure from its previous strategy of advancing adaptation. Charlie Lee explained on Twitter:

Over the course of the year, I was distracted with a lot of other things that required my attention. This included the work of the Litecoin Foundation for adoption and awareness raising: Mammoth Film Festival, Glory Kickboxing, Feel the Kpop concert, Flexa SPEDN Support, the Miami Dolphins and more! The purpose of the Litecoin Foundation is divided into two parts: the work on the introduction of Litecoin and the work on the development of Litecoin. In the last few months, I believed that acceptance and awareness was a more important focus for me than development. But I agree that both are just as important in the long run.

However, I believe that now is the time for me to shift the focus from acceptance back to development. I still consider fungibility to be extremely important, and I will bring the ball back to MW/CT. This time I will not make promises on dates.

Featured Image: Sergey Tarasov / Shutterstock

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