Early this morning EST, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee tweeted the mining pool operated by BW.com had mined its first Segwit signaling block. This pushed the hashpower needed for activation closer to the 75 percent threshold. The response in price was swift, with LTC rising 15 percent at press time, from .0077 to .0097 BTC.
Litecoin SegWit Signals Getting Stronger
Charlie Lee first mentioned Litecoin SegWit activation in a Medium post in early January. As the controversial scaling impasse has continued in Bitcoin, signaling in Litecoin has steadily increased. By early April the hashpower percentage stood in the high 60s, shy of the magical 75 percent needed. Once the threshold percentage is reached, it needs to stay above it for a full two-week period at some time during Litecoin’s 26 activation periods.
For SegWit to lock in, we will need 75% signaling blocks in a 2 week period. We are on period 5. See https://t.co/h9PrRuBrH7 for details.
— Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) April 7, 2017
Here is a hash rate distribution chart for Litecoin, h/t to @cryptoSqueeze:
Many other important individuals in the LTC space also announced their support, including Wang Chun of F2Pool mining. However many believe activation rests in the hands of Jihan Wu and Bitmain, a fact Charlie Lee made light of yesterday, using 4chan’s infamous Chikun meme with his and Jihan’s faces photoshopped in:
— Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) April 11, 2017
Lee had also asked the community not to boycott Wu’s Bitmain over the drama involving Bitcoin and instead use their Scrypt miners to signal for Segwit for Litecoin. It seems to have been a shrewd piece of diplomacy, as BW began signaling and Wu tweeted his appreciation soon after:
I think the community is following quite well. Because it was sold very fast. Thank you.
— Jihan Wu (@JihanWu) April 12, 2017
Litecoin a Testbed for Bitcoin
Many in the industry believe that Litecoin could be the perfect testbed for Bitcoin’s eventual SegWit acceptance. This would indicate the current stalemate between Core, Bitcoin Unlimited and other mining parties can be solved in time. Lee sees activating Segwit as a primary use case for LTC, and that eventual Bitcoin acceptance would not affect that scenario. Enabling Lightning Network micropayments that can compete with other payment networks, like Visa and Mastercard, may leave Bitcoin to cater to larger, more secure payments.
“[LN Node] fee[s] will be relative to the Bitcoin network fee. So Bitcoin LN txns will be more expensive than Litecoin LN txns. It may make economic sense for a LN txn to go via Litecoin and back to Bitcoin to get the cheapest rate.”
It was only a few short days ago that Segwit activation on LTC looked as though it had lost momentum, with hashpower percentages stable in the mid 60’s and the price on a downswing, likely due to the revelations surrounding AsicBoost and Bitmain. This latest development has proved otherwise, and if LTC can maintain its hashpower at these levels, an exciting new chapter in cryptocurrency is about to be written.
What does all this mean for LTC in the future? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Image via BTC Keychain on Flickr