Litecoin (LTC) has released its long-awaited fungibility and scalability upgrade Mimblewimble Extension Block (MWEB) after almost two years of development, testing, and auditing. This is considered one of Litecoin’s most significant upgrades to date.
«After years of hard work, we are finally ready to release MWEB,» said Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, explaining that the update will be part of the Litecoin Core 0.21.2 release candidate. It will also include the security and privacy-enhancing Taproot update, which was activated by Bitcoin (BTC) back in November.
«The planning, development and now activation of MWEB has been a true community effort, beginning with multiple years of donations from Litecoin supporters all over the world, and culminating with the dedication and attention to detail of David Burkett; who led the project,» Lee added.
Mimblewimble (MW), a protocol created by the anonymous “Tom Elvis Judesor,” derives its name from a spell in the Harry Potter book series. The protocol comes with, among others, Confidential Transactions, which makes transaction amounts unknown, as well as the coin mixer CoinJoin, according to the Litecoin Foundation.
Furthermore, MWEB’s EB stands for Extension Blocks, a proposal originally set forth by Bitcoin developer Johnson Lau in 2012. «Extension blocks can be seen as an interconnected “adjacent chain” (or, imagine a parallel highway) running next to Litecoin’s main chain,» the Litecoin Foundation said, adding that there are bridges to connect these two chains.
This allows users to switch between chains whenever they want, which increases fungibility and privacy as opposed to the main chain’s more see-through nature.
«MWEB is a crucial next step in Litecoin’s evolution,» MWEB’s lead developer Burkett is quoted as saying. «The optional confidentiality MWEB provides gives the user notable and needed protections for small everyday items, to salaries, or even buying a home.»
Due to the nature of blockchains, transactions and details of transactions are public and easily accessible to everyone. At times, this can pose problems, particularly when confidentiality is required. The MWEB fungibility feature aims to address this issue by allowing users to opt-in to confidential transactions.
Meanwhile, now that MWEB is available, Litecoin miners need to begin the signaling process, which is a way to approve and vote on a new update. Once the required 75% threshold is reached, the activation date will be locked and MWEB will go live.
At noon on Tuesday, the 22nd coin by market capitalization, LTC, is trading at USD 110, up by 4% over the past 24 hours. It remains unchanged over the past week. Overall, the coin is down 27% in a month and 15% in a year.