Who Wants to Be the Second: New Litecoin Roadmap Published
Litecoin Association has published a roadmap for Litecoin’s further evolution, which includes, among other things, new client software, enhanced protocol, and consolidation of various management and communication structures.
Historically, Litecoin has been the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, and for a long while was the second most capitalized cryptocurrency as well. However, more recently, it was outranked by other projects like Ripple and Ethereum.
Litecoin Core development Roadmap for 2016! https://t.co/rmHyrFaxMq pic.twitter.com/FAOdvBjP4R
— Litecoin Core (@litecoincore) July 3, 2016
New Wallets for Android and iOS
One of the obstacles for Litecoin’s wider adoption was absence for iOS wallets. However, the roadmap suggests that it won’t be long until the situation changes.
Breadwallet team develops LoafWallet, a mobile wallet with simplified payment verification and security functions like AES encryption of hardware and app sandbox. Additionally, the new wallet is expected to have simple user interface, integration with WATCH and Siri, as well as in-app purchases.
Android users may be interested in new Electrum-LTC scheduled for release by late July. It will feature a desktop client compatible with nearly all available operating systems, SPV, encrypted private keys, and cold storage option.
Other Online Services
According to the roadmap, Litecoin Association will keep on developing LiteTip, a bot for microtransactions and donations earlier presented as a separate project. The documentation also mentions updates of Litecoin Node, a tool for easier deployment and support of Litecoin supernodes. LiteVault online wallet will also be updated.
Improving Litecoin Core
The year 2016 will also see new version Litecoin Core 0.13.x released, which will feature the following improvements:
Faster validation of signatures using libsecp256k library developed by Bitcoin Core
Shrinkage of wallet’s cache for the purpose of decreasing block size
Memory optimization, including mempool transactions filtering
HD wallets support
Segregated Witness integration
Notably, Litecoin will experience some changes basing on earlier proposals for bitcoin protocol. This will make the cryptocurrency compatible with complex smart contracts and Lightning Network.
The new roadmap also mentions a new version of once popular LitecoinTalk forum, which had been hacked and currently exists only in preview mode. Additionally, Litecoin Association itself is developing new communication channels. In particular, they’re developing a new site set to become the main information source for Litecoin fans. Also, the association elaborates the funding issues and membership conditions.
Litecoin was created in October 2011 by Charlie Lee, former Google engineer, and current CTO of Coinbase. As opposed to Bitcoin aka digital gold, Litecoin is often referred to as digital silver. Contrary to Bitcoin, Litecoin processes blocks every 2.5 minutes, thus attaining faster confirmations.
The cryptocurrency is also popular for using scrypt algorithm, which is ASIC-resistant. Thanks to that, the number of Litecoin miners rapidly increased, and for the next four years the cryptocurrency was flourishing. However, in 2014 mining hardware manufacturers, like Alpha Technology, developed ASIC chips for Litecoin specifically. They sold it both to companies and private miners.
August 25, 2015, Litecoin mining reward experienced halving, from 50 to 25 coins. Considering the growing concerns over block complexity and mining profitability, the halving forced many miners to quit, as such new power expenses turned out to be unaffordable to them.
The new roadmap may signify an attempt to win back the lost positions, or at least become more popular among wider audiences. To be sure, Litecoin is quite confident in its market niche, especially in China where it’s traded across all major exchanges.
Earlier this year, Charlie Lee conceded that his cryptocurrency might collapse and described two possible scenarios of Litecoin’s demise.