While many overtly lambast Litecoin (LTC) for being nothing more than Bitcoin-lite, the project has developed its own legs to run on in recent weeks. Case in point, former Coinbase engineering staffer Charlie Lee, the creator of the project, has embarked on an ambitious mission to bring privacy and fungibility to the masses.
But the question remains on everyone’s mind, will he be able to one-up Monero, ZCash, Grin, and the like?
Litecoin Pursuing MimbleWimble Tech
As reported by Today’s Gazette previously, Lee recently took to his well-followed Twitter page, clad with his ever-present chicken mascot, to make a surprising announcement. After hinting at the introduction of fungibility- and privacy-centric features to his brainchild for months, the American confirmed that he would be working on implementing Confidential Transactions (CT) into Litecoin’s blockchain.
For those who missed the memo, CTs are a soft-forkable network upgrade that has been worked on by Adam Back, Blockstream’s chief executive (and arguably a Satoshi contender), that have been implemented onto Monero. In the aforementioned tweet, Lee revealed that CTs would be “the final hurdle for cryptocurrencies to become ‘sound money’.
Yet, in a newfangled message posted just mere days ago, it seems that he also wants to pursue the integration of bulletproof MimbleWimble, rather than plain old CTs. MimbleWimble is, of course, the seemingly controversial privacy protocol that has been the mainstay of Beam — a privacy project that briefly crashed — and Grin, a cryptocurrency that became the flavor of the month on Crypto Twitter just two weeks ago.
And with this in mind, many diehard decentralists and critics of the Litecoin project (trust me, there are many), questioned Lee’s sudden 180° from a proven, battle-tested privacy technology to one that is nascent and potentially volatile.
Litecoin’s most recent move to seek implementation of on-chain privacy comes weeks after Lee pledged to make the adoption of his brainchild a priority in 2019. In an interview with Bloomberg, the American technology entrepreneur remarked that he intends to bolster merchant adoption, rather than specifically focusing on the code.
So hopefully, the eventual integration of privacy, slated to occur sometime in 2019, will push LTC adoption a tad higher, as many are adamant that the project needs to start developing its own identity to stay relevant.
Block Reward Halving Creates LTC Price Buzz
Now that we established the technical hype surrounding Litecoin, what’s up with the block reward reduction?
Well, some cryptocurrencies issued through Proof of Work (PoW) are somewhat deflationary, whereas their underlying inflation rates fall over time. Bitcoin has its halvening, Ethereum has its thirdening (Constantinople) and events of a similar caliber, and Monero has a pseudo-supply cap that bends to promote the security of the chain. Litecoin, just like its de-facto father Bitcoin, has a halvening. And big woop, Litecoin’s halvening is coming up.
Moon Overlord, a leading crypto trader, recently observed that the next Litecoin block reward halving is approaching — and fast. In fact, the project’s second issuance reduction, with the first being in 2015, is nearly 200 days away.
Using historical analysis, Overlord determined that LTC, the sixth cryptocurrency be market capitalization, found a long-term floor 200 days before the same event in 2015. While Overlord was hesitant to explicitly admit that the same was slated to occur, he/she did remark that LTC is nearing that 200-day out mark.
So, if history rhymes, not repeats, LTC could bottom in the coming days (potentially along with the wider crypto market too), before peaking some time in 2021.
As of the time of writing, LTC is up 1.5% in the past 24 hours, beating out the slight losses posted by BTC, ETH, XRP, and other prominent altcoins.