Upcoming Litecoin Technology and General Timelines

 

And an Open Call for Litecoin Github Contributors

Disclaimer: I don’t represent the Litecoin Foundation. The following timeline is based purely off of my own assessments. This is by no means indicative of a timeline that the Litecoin developers are striving for. Rather this is simply an informative guide for the Litecoin community in regards to what’s in store for Litecoin Technology sometime in the future. Much of this technology will also be implemented into Bitcoin.

ltc-200px.png

1. MAST

  1. What does it do? It allows more privacy by hiding lumped transactions through a Merkle root. It also allows for complicated smart contracts. Smart contracts are currently capable on the LTC blockchain, it just takes up a lot of space.
  2. When will it be released? Of all the tech, this is the closest to being released. I speculate it will be available after the 2X Hard Fork in November. (But who knows?)

2. The Lightning Network

  1. What does it do? Allows instant transactions and reduced fees.
  2. When will it be released? The LN isn’t being developed by the Litecoin Foundation specifically. It is being developed by Lighting Labs. There is a prototype wallet called ZAP! by Jack Mallers. If you’re a coder, you can help them test it. That being said, it will take a significant amount of time in order for the LN to be a fully functional product. Perhaps a year to create stable wallets. Multiple years to scale it out.

3. Atomic Swaps

  1. What does it do? It allows people to trade one coin for a different coin without an exchange. This is called cross-chain swaps. It actually utilizes LN to do it.
  2. When will it be released? LTC performed a test run of on-chain Atomic Swaps with Decred/Vertcoin/Bitcoin. This means it was not through the LN. If it takes a year for stable LN wallets, it will take longer to build AS on top of that and longer still to integrate it into the mainstream.

4. Covenants

  1. What does it do? You are able to select LTC to be bound together and stay together no matter what. When LTC blocks are formed, all the LTC are lumped together. Covenants will allow chosen LTC not to be lumped in with the other coins but be continually bound together in blocks. This allows the Colored Coin protocol to be implemented. It also allows “vaults” which will be added to Litecoin Core. This means you basically can lock up LTC in case someone gets your priv keys. If they try to spend it, the coins have a delayed transaction time (let’s say a day) for it to be sent. But as the wallet owner, you have a special “key” that lets you spend the LTC faster than the ones your attacker is sending. This offers Litecoin users more security and lessens the significance of losing your private keys.
  2. When will it be released? Honestly, I have no idea. Right now, it doesn’t seem to be a high priority from what I gather.

5. Colored Coins

  1. What does it do?Allows LTC to be repurposed to be attached to an asset. Yes. That means ICO’s. But think bigger and be more creative. Johnson Lau speculated you can assign LTC to a computerized car like Tesla. In other words, your LTC could be given the property to act like a key to your car which you could send via your mobile phone. *mind blown*
  2. When will it be released? I’m not sure this is very high on their priority list. BTC might take the lead before LTC on this one. Maybe 2 years?

6. Confidential Transactions

  1. What does it do?Allows anonymity between LTC transactions, something similar to Monero.
  2. When will it be released? Charlie recently expressed in an interview that he thinks this might be the next project to work on. So I assume once MAST is implemented, they will focus on this next. My general guess would be in about a 6 months to a year.

TL&DR

MAST, LN, AS, Covenant, Colored Coins, and Confidential Transactions.

As you can see there is a lot of exciting stuff in store for LTC! However, there is much to do and Litecoin could use some exceptional talent. Not only do these protocols need to be written, but they need to be constantly tested for bugs. Therefore, this is an open call to any and every coder who needs a passion project because Litecoin is and always will be an open-sourced and decentralized currency.

Specifically, here are some projects that need attention. This was a list I gathered from a couple LTC dev’s and by poking around on various Litecoin github’s:

Not sure where to start? Take a look at Bitcoin’s dev guide as Litecoin is very similar: https://bitcoin.org/en/developer-documentation

Oh and if you get stuck, go to the IRC litecoin-dev channel to get some guidance. The dev’s tend to be very responsive to those who want to contribute and need help troubleshooting.

If you’re interested in working on the Android Loafwallet but aren’t up to date on Java, here’s a great comprehensive guide:


 

L.S.C. Donation Addresses

LTC: LgGHRsbYHs93gKttBMehLzth3xDAU3tCSZ

BTC: 36Nc4cJxcwp5Xn6wfo1W9UuC5SRQKXHmYy (Segwit address. Legacy and Segwit chains accepted)