Development updates from the Litecoin camp have been pretty thin on the ground recently as DeFi has been taking the crypto limelight. The good news is that the project’s scaling and privacy protocol, Mimblewimble, is still on track.
Lead developer David Burkett recently posted the project’s June progress update, which confirmed that it is still on track for a testnet rollout in a couple of months.
“Everything is still on track for a mid-September testnet.”
June Progress Update:
Minimal implementation of the mempool coded. Mining logic has been written for including extension blocks. Mimblewimble transactions can now be broadcast to peers.
Everything is still on track for a mid-September testnet.
— David Burkett ツ (@DavidBurkett38) July 1, 2020
Mimblewimble (MW), named after a Harry Potter spell, uses ‘confidential transactions’ which allows senders to encrypt the number of coins to be sent using ‘blinding factors.’ It vastly improves the privacy of a blockchain while also enhancing its scalability.
Unlike Bitcoin, which is a publically viewable blockchain, Litecoin aims to implement MW to make the network more private, a factor that more crypto users and investors are taking seriously. Back in early 2019, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee tweeted about making these improvements to the network.
“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.”
A year and a half later and development is still underway as Mimblewimble deployment nears. In the monthly update, Burkett stated that a very minimal implementation supporting MW transactions has been written though code has been created to support the mining of extension blocks, which will store MW transactions. It needs more testing, he added.
He continued to state that there were concerns about the way MW block data was stored in a separate database.
“Having separate databases is generally a bad idea though, because we lose the ability to make atomic updates, which means the 2 databases could become out of sync.”
Further problems or vulnerabilities leading to exploits could also arise, Burkett added. The code has been tweaked to enable upgraded nodes to successfully save extension block data to the same place they’ve always done, without having to introduce an additional database.
The developer concluded that the high-level plan for the rest of the summer remains the same with the initial block download slated for July, the chain reorganization logic for August, and the activation logic and testnet launch in September.
Litecoin Price Outlook
LTC has suffered the same fate as the rest of the crypto market and has been on the back foot for most of this year. Currently trading at around $42, Litecoin is back to the same price it started 2020 with.
A move to top $80 in mid-February has been its highest level for some time, and this price has been eroded by almost half over the past few months as markets have retreated.