Since the inception of Bitcoin, there have been countless Alt-Coins that hit the market to compete with the #1 coin. One of the early Alt-Coin being Litecoin (LTC).
Litecoin was created by computer scientist Charlie Lee. While working at Google, he discovered Bitcoin and began mining it. It was not until 2011 when he decided to launch Litecoin after seeing likes of Namecoin other coins launch. The mainnet went live on October 13, 2011.
Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin Core and had changes that made LTC faster with a larger max supply and used a different hashing algorithm known as Scrypt instead of Bitcoin's SHA256.
Lee left Google in July 2013 to begin working at Coinbase and working on Litecoin the same time. While his time at Coinbase did not go without controversy, Lee announced on a Reddit post that he had sold all of his LTC and no longer holds any due to conflict of interest being that he was working at Coinbase with his coin listed and at the time was one of only a few exchanges that were around. This spread accusations of insider trading but Lee eventually left Coinbase in June 2017.
Litecoin has been compared many times to Bitcoin as silver is to gold. Even by the creator himself.
If you compare gold and silver, the weight of silver is lighter than gold being the same volume. Gold is heavier and harder to transport and transfer across borders. This comparison to Bitcoin and Litecoin makes sense as LTC is faster and being a "lighter" version of BTC.
Over the years since Litecoin launched, it has gone for a ride on the crypto rollercoaster and seen an all-time high price of $360 USD then falling in the bear market with the price currently sitting at around $41 USD at the time of writing this.
Fast forward and the next major event for Litecoin was back in May 2017, SegWit was activated for Litecoin through a soft fork and showed the potential being able to add many features that many want for Bitcoin such as privacy features like confidential transactions that have yet to be implemented.
At the beginning of 2019, Lee tweeted that he will be focused on the development of confidential transactions for Litecoin.
According to a poll that Lee tweeted, 72% of the total 7,159 voters gave a resounding thumbs up to add confidential transactions.
In December 2019, the Litecoin Foundation, which Lee is in charge of, announced a dedicated fund was created to fund the development of confidential transactions.
Following the Litecoin Community Crowdfunding System, the Litecoin Foundation is setting up a dedicated development fund which will go towards sponsoring David Burkett, who is a developer for Grin++, to work on implementing the Extension Block and MimbleWimble code for Litecoin so that we address this issue of fungibility.
The plan is for David to work 30 hours a week. This will be split into 15 hours for Grin++ and 15 hours for MimbleWimble via Extension Blocks. We believe that this will be a mutually beneficial arrangement because Grin++ code will eventually be forked onto Litecoin’s Extension Block. Therefore any development in Grin++ will be immediately beneficial to Litecoin.
For more detailed information on how this will be implemented, you can view the Litecoin Improvement Proposals (LIPs) here:
Leading up to the block reward halving on August 5th, 2019, at block #1,680,000, we saw the price move in mid-May from roughly $77 USD to just above $140 USD in June. As the Halving neared, the price began to decline over the weeks to around $96 USD on the day of the halving.
According to Coingecko, LTC is the #6 coin at the time of writing this with a market cap of almost $2.7 Billion USD.
With confidential transactions being a big new feature to add, will we see Litecoin have a good year in 2020? We just might if the feature is finished in time. Until then, it's the waiting game.
Here's to a Happy New Year in Crypto!