The Litecoin network is set to undergo some big changes in the coming months. The activation of both Mimblewimble via Extension Blocks and Taproot hinges on overall miner participation and will likely take a while to be met. So far, neither solution seems close to reaching its threshold, primarily because mining pools have yet to signal activation.
Mimblewimble via Extension Blocks (MWEB)
The LIP introduces a new way to let users benefit from additional privacy through opt-in Mimblewimble. The upgrade would also introduce a new transaction format courtesy of extension blocks, running along the main chain at the same interval. The Mimblewimble transactions would occur within the extension block, ensuring the main chain is not flooded with more data than necessary.
Moreover, this upgrade would let users move their coins in and out of the EB upgrade through an integrated transaction process. Using extension blocks makes sense when dealing with public ledgers. So far, the activation window sits at 3.29% actual and 5.86% on average, which is not sufficient. Unfortunately, only one pool – Antpool – signals for MWEB today, although that will likely change in the weeks ahead.
The activation windows for MWEB will be 8,064 blocks long and requires 75% of all blocks – or more – to signal the upgrade and lock it in. Signaling began at block 2,217,600, which was roughly 3,500 blocks ago – at the time of writing.
Like Bitcoin, the Litecoin network will likely receive a Taproot update. It will feature the same functionality and upgrades, streamlining the processing of transactions to increase speed and reduce overall costs. While Litecoin is relatively cheap to use compared to other blockchains, a further cost reduction is always worthwhile.
Under the Taproot banner, the Litecoin network can bundle transactions and signatures together. It is primarily beneficial to multi-sig transactions and will benefit regular transfers as more inputs are condensed into a single one. Moreover, it combines single-sig and multi-sig transactions into one verification process, creating a more level playing field.
The activation windows for Taproot are also 8,064 blocks long and require 75% – or more – of all blocks to signal the upgrade and confirm a lock-in. Signaling started at block 2,161,152 and has support from Poolin and Antpool, with other pools hopefully following their example.