Many in the Bitcoin community will tell you "Bitcoin, not crypto" and I get it. You will see strong anti-crypto sentiment.
"If anyone says crypto and not Bitcoin- block 'em, unfollow 'em".
But then, something funny... strange happens. They say "but Litecoin is okay".
It's a shrug of the shoulders, but it's there nonetheless.
One of the most under-rated projects for all the right reasons, Litecoin is still silver to Bitcoin's gold, and for those repeating the California gold rush in their quest to leap from one pump to the next, one potential swap chain or DEX to another, they often think that the gap in ranking between BTC, ETH and LTC means Litecoin has lost its relevance or importance. In fact, as long as there is a little volume coarsing through its veins, the entire point of LTC is zero-hype functionality.
While dozens of new projects are added to the crypto inflow daily, working on privacy, or working on cheap fast transactions, or working to be better peer-to-peer ecash, Litecoin accomplished those improvements a decade back. When there were concerns that Charlie Lee, the creator, could hoard his Litecoin stockpile, he sold all of his coins so no one could perceive the project as centralized, or serving its master.
Litecoin is often also seen as a live testnet for Bitcoin. Bitcoin can't afford the catastrophic effects of a bug, and neither can Litecoin, but small risks to the technically theoretical take place here and there, and what is logical and central to Litecoin's creation, holds true for big bro Bitcoin.
So, Litecoin will be adding MimbleWimble, MWEB, which offers some cool types of fungibility and, for the purposes of this post, privacy. It is like having the option of coinjoin in a side chain. It means that Litecoin essentially remains exactly the same, while also having the new potential for deepened privacy.
It appears that it will work, it probably won't go buggy, but if it does the parallel chain can be halted while the main chain simply continues forth. So, unless that is the actual blind spot in the project, it's a low risk upgrade that is also massively majorly important.
But, is it a good idea?
Privacy is the one hot button issue that governments of the world hate. They do not want crypto to function better than any alternative currency or financial instrument they can oversee and control. The governments' desire is to gather data, and use it to their advantage. Our interests, in the crypto world, for greater privacy is largely fueled by a need, no longer just a desire or ideology, but a need for privacy as a protection from government over-reach.
We're entering territory where the rules of technology don't apply to specific protections we have under silly little things like the U.S. Constitution, banking laws, securities laws etc., because the actual technology makes all of these instruments something governments simply don't have a ruler for. But, at the same time, the underlying "type" of each coin seems incredibly easy to define in my view. Ignorance doesn't seem to be providing them much bliss, but that is the battle we're watching.
So, with MWEB, we get yet one more thing that Litecoin promised, and now seems like it is able to deliver. But, what if it comes at exactly the time where the greater governments of the world decide they're going to lower the hatchet on privacy coins?
I mean, every law and proposed regulation I see coming is based on requiring even more exposure to personal data. They want to use the fact that public blockchains post everything, as a means to force every transaction to be linked to one's complete, full identity. Freedom-loving politicians need to be fighting this.
In my next post, I will propose what we should all be on the same page about, which is the proper way to handle actual criminal behavior like money laundering and human trafficking.
The truth is, MWEB is likely to place Litecoin on a radar where, at present, it sits slightly below. Already in the regulatory path for being a PoW like Bitcoin, Litecoin is never the example made, because it represents maybe 4% of the amount of volume Bitcoin enjoys. But, its provenance means it matters, it's extremely fast and cheap transactions mean it matters, its implementation of safety and scale all matter. But, the simple idea that if privacy is not allowed, then neither should MWEB, then it is as simple as requiring use of the main chain. Will the governments be able to gather that on their own, with proper guidance? I somehow doubt it. The real question, then, is whether it is used as yet one more false use case against crypto.
A great thing, but perhaps not the best timing.
But, then it makes me wonder: did they know that, and that's the reason for the timing?
Are they trying to get it in before the legislation comes through, so they can get clarity on how it will be treated? I really don't know. Charlie is a pretty laid back dude, and seems like he likes to just chart his course and let LTC do what it does. Others are responsible for actually coding MWEB, raising the funds for it etc., but everything with Litecoin tends to be in keeping with its original philosophy to keep it fast, light and simple, and following the right elements of the Bitcoin economic vision.
The future will tell us where this is headed, but remember you heard it first here from Gordon, the free man, looking to lead us from the darkness into the light through the power of the crypto revolution!
And on that note, Crypto Gordon Freeman, for now... out.