Does Litecoin Really Need MimbleWimble? LTC to Work with BEAM Team for Privacy Enhancement
Sometime in early February, an announcement was made by the founder of Litecoin – Charlie Lee- about his intentions for the coin, in partnership with BEAM, to incorporate MimbleWimble in a bid to ensure privacy. After this was revealed, there was a lot of backtalk about whether or not it was necessary and what this collaboration will imply. This is a short background into MimbleWimble, its uses and whether or not Litecoin really needs it.
What Exactly Is MimbleWimble?
Anonymously created by a Tom Elvis Jedusor, MimbleWimble was released sometime in mid-2016 and instantly caused quite a frenzy in the crypto sector because it seemed to gracefully solve a vital privacy problem Bitcoin always did have.
Bitcoin trades have always been very public and transparent, using a protocol called the Consensus Protocol, as a way of ensuring an iron-clad system completely devoid of any possible exploitation. This ensures that in the process of trading Bitcoin, no part of the asset is ever lost, generated or discarded. MimbleWimble, however, works using Confidential Transaction which basically ensures the same transparency but hides the specific values of the transaction while still allowing for public authentication in such a way that no asset is discarded or created.
One further reason why MimbleWimble is interesting is that it uses CoinJoin to take privacy a notch higher. CoinJoin is a trustless way of collecting numerous Bitcoin transactions and merging them into one in such a way that it’s extremely tough for anyone to try to figure out specifics about senders, their amounts and their recipients.
There are currently two assets that fully use MimbleWimble and they are Grin & BEAM.
So, Does Litecoin really Need MimbleWimble?
MimbleWimble is a protocol that generally improves security and privacy for assets. However, apart from security, another main advantage of MimbleWimble is fungibility.
The best way to describe fungibility is the capacity of a coin or an asset to be easily exchanged for any other coin or asset of exactly the same type. This means that their value should be equal and it will help to greatly streamline transactions.
Currently, it would seem like there is no asset that is completely fungible because all the coins are connected in such a way that the values of these coins could differ, based on the coin’s history. If this is considered, then it is very necessary that Litecoin needs fungibility to improve the asset’s general integrity. This is one issue that MimbleWimble will solve completely.
Why MimbleWimble And Not Others?
Apart from MimbleWImble, there are other privacy protocols applicable including Monero and xk-SNARKs by ZCash. Is there any reason why MimbleWimble is better?
zk-SNARKs is considerably a bit more complex than the Confidential Transactions used by MimbleWimble. Because of this, there is a question of its susceptibility to bugs. There also is the fact that zk-SNARKs is much more iron-clad than MimbleWimble. However, the latter’s ease and straightforwardness make it a better choice for integration with Litecoin.
Even though the Confidential Transactions protocol is also present with Monero, MimbleWimble might be a better option for Litecoin because it saves a lot more space. Specifically, MimbleWimble in size is about 0.067 of a Monero transaction. Also, Monero records all outputs and this potentially reduces its scalability.
How Different Will Litecoin Be From Bitcoin After The MimbleWimble Integration?
Currently, there are quite a few similarities in the general application source code between Litecoin and Bitcoin. The Litecoin team have consistently kept themselves abreast of improvements made to the Bitcoin codebase so they don’t get left behind.
It’s impossible that the Litecoin codebase will still be very similar to that of Bitcoin, after MimbleWImble. However, a lot of the codebase similarities could still be kept and easily improved on as Bitcoin does the same.