soft fork segwit

With Segwit, Litecoin Faces a (Soft) Fork in the Road

Litecoin is implementing Segwit, and that could lead to increased interest in the alternative cryptocurrency once ranked largest after Bitcoin, but now ranked third after Ethereum and Ripple.

Must Hear: Bitcoin.com Interview with Litecoin Founder Charlie Lee

With Segwit, Litecoin Is Taking a Risk

Charles Lee Litecoin Creator
Charles Lee

As the Bitcoin community still debates what solution it would like to implement to solve the block size debate, the Litecoin community seems to be placing its vote with Segwit, a soft fork solution proposed by the Bitcoin Core development team.

Litecoin has been around for some time, but founder Charlie Lee, Coinbase’s director of engineering, does not tend to the digital currency’s garden as much as would be needed to evoke sustained confidence in the project.

Litecoin entails key differences when compared to Bitcoin. Lee showed foresight by predicting the block size crisis, wherein Bitcoin would need to change its code in order to scale and thus allow for growing numbers of transactions.

Lee kept this in mind while making the Litecoin platform, in which 84 million litecoins are to be mined in total. He continues to retweet people who suggest that, instead of risking a split chain in Bitcoin due to an unpopular soft or hard fork, crypto-users use Litecoin for small transactions.

Can Litecoin Really Be Digital Silver?

While Bitcoin (once called by many, ‘digital gold’) was to act as a savings or long-term speculative digital instrument, Litecoin (referred to sometimes as ‘digital silver’) would be the day-to-day transactional currency crypto-currency users employed.

What we’ve seen instead is a complete ignorance of Litecoin, due in part to lackluster marketing since the early days, when it appeared in the likes of Vice and Wired.

Litecoin held a more than one billion dollar market capitalization in early 2014. However, its price history since then has been unremarkable and sentiment is at all time low, probably, ahead of the soft fork.

The latest notable price increase took place in September 2015, and today you can hear crickets in once popular Litecoin social forums, though conversation has picked up with the announcement of the Segwit implementation.

Litecoin has not quite yet faded into obscurity, though. As a top five cryptocurrency, according to CoinMarket Cap, it is still valued at an overall $172.5 million market at the time of writing. For every day Litecoin remains online and unbroken, it only gains theoretical credibility and value.

The Crypto-Community Is Watching

Ethereum hard forked earlier this summer to undo a major exploit whereby an unknown user walked away with $56 million. Some Ethereum participants rejected the hard fork version and ran the ‘Ethereum Classic chain’, the original copy of the Ethereum blockchain without the hard fork which undid the heist. On this chain, the attacker kept his booty.

Litecoin risks a similar split by adopting Segwit. Will there one day be a ‘Litecoin Classic’? Maybe so. This could largely depend on whether or not the Bitcoin Community elects to adopt Segwit.

Either way, the crypto-community will be watching: Will the Litecoin blockchain split or will the alternative cryptocurrency demonstrate how participants in a software-based online creation community can team together to get things done?

What are your thoughts about Litecoin’s decision to soft fork Segwit? Will this be good or a bad thing for the cryptocurrency?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter


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