Chat Leak Suggests Litecoin Abandoned, No Code Commits in 2019

A chat thread reportedly between the creator of Litecoin and the platform’s top developers have sparked concerns that work on the cryptocurrency which dubs itself the silver to Bitcoin’s gold has been abandoned.

Though Charlie Lee denies the claim, he admits that he “dropped the ball” on MimbleWimble (MW) and Confidential Transactions (CT) which he’d earlier tweeted should come to Litecoin in 2019. He cited being sidetracked by “a ton of other things that needed my attention” as a reason for deviating from the latter of Litecoin Foundation’s two-fold purpose: work on Litecoin adoption and work on development for Litecoin.

“For that, I apologize,” he tweets. “But it’s not fair at all to say that I strung people along and tricked them…I believe it’s time now for me to shift focus from adoption back to development…”

15/ That said, I believe it's time now for me to shift focus from adoption back to development. I still think fungibility is extremely important and I will get the ball rolling on MW/CT again. This time, I won't make any promises on dates.

— Charlie Lee [LTC] (@SatoshiLite) August 11, 2019

The concern that Litecoin has had no code commits in 2019 comes as the network had its four-year block reward halving. Litecoin’s hashrate dropped 31.3% from its all-time high after the halving while its average mining difficulty fell from its peak 16.5m (July 15) to 15.2m. Litecoin’s price also dropped 24.5% after the halving owing to what some say is the thinning profits from mining as hardware get outdated and miners need investments to upgrade them.

The alleged chat leak reinforces the network’s need for long-term development commitment now more than ever.  It raises questions of what unique value developers have brought to the cryptocurrency to improve its identity as a known copy of Bitcoin code hence the need for the Bitcoin clone to define its clear market position beyond being touted as useful for faster and cheaper transactions. Discussions surrounding the leak push for Litecoin to differentiate itself from other altcoins and not seemingly depend on brand name and momentum.

Bitcoin and Litecoin have been around for long. Aside from being used as a testnet for new features on Bitcoin, Litecoin is also hyped to be a cheaper version of Bitcoin (as a store of value) that could be used to spend the stored assets by swapping it for a fraction of Bitcoin transaction fees.

Now, as there are views that the success of Bitcoin’s scaling solution like Lightning Network (LN) could render Litecoin useless (since in theory LN will handle all volume without issue, a presumably halted development as suggested by the leaked chat is bound to heighten the no use case argument against Litecoin). Though some still doubt that LN too may not be able to compete with the transaction speed of other blockchain platforms, the view that Litecoin will nonetheless fail and fade away slowly even if the Bitcoin’s scaling solution fails leaves room for worry.

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