Litecoin Association and Development Team Unveils Latest Roadmap

Te team behind the development of Litecoin, the first alternative cryptocurrency announced the latest roadmap concerning the improvement of the blockchain solution created by Charles Lee. Litecoin is well known for its similarity with Bitcoin.

Litecoin was first created in 2011, since then the market capitalization has grown –totalling more than $200 million–. Litecoin is a ‘fork’ of the Bitcoin original source code, however, the first alternative cryptocurrency adopted a few changes from its ancestor:

  • The block time was reduced 2.5 minutes per block.
  • The total amount of Litecoins in circulation will eventually reach 84 million (instead of the 21 million Bitcoins to ever exist).
  • The Proof-of-Work algorithm, Scrypt, which is ‘memory intensive’ (it has some level of resistance against ASICs).

Litecoin is especially popular in China, where it’s seen as a Bitcoin-correlated asset.

Litecoin Roadmap

The Litecoin Association is a non-profit organization registered in the State of Texas, USA.

Organised by passionate volunteers the Litecoin Association brings together the expertise of technologists, activists, and business people and works to improve the Litecoin experience for entrepreneurs, investors, consumers and the general public alike.

The association has worked alongside the Litecoin core development team to bring a roadmap, the goal is to boost its adoption and to release new features. The document detailing the association’s new announcements can be found here. In short, the Litecoin Association has decided to bring a new member to its board of directors.

Franklyn Richards will be joining the association’s ranks. According to the roadmap document, Richards has been involved with Litecoin since 2013 managing the association’s youtube channel and social media. Additionally, Richards has directed projects including Litecoin.com and LoafWallet.

In the more technical side of things, Litecoin will see a new client release. This feature-rich update will bring several protocol upgrades, they are too many to enumerate, but the mosts important are Segregated Witness adoption, HD wallet, small optimizations in memory management, faster transaction validations, Tor protocol support, and much more.

Litecoin will also future-proof its implementation, the team will include upgrades that will enable Litecoin to support the Lightning Network, Compact Blocks, and a smart-contract solution.

Source: Litecoin Association

Image via Litecoin Branding Guide

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Bitcoin Core has published an FAQ section regarding the most recent Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP), we are talking about the BIP 152 named Compact Block Relay, the upgrade is poised to reduce the bandwidth and the time it takes for a block to propagate through the nodes across Bitcoin’s network.

The upgrade contains several techniques to decrease a block’s propagation time across the network. The general idea is to take advantage of the fact that full nodes have similar data in their memory pools, thus, a node can only send a sketch of the block to their peers, which will then recreate it, this will save bandwidth as the full block doesn’t have to be transferred.

The block sketch will contain an 80-byte header of the new block, shortened transaction identifiers, and it may also send some other transactions ID which the sending peer predicts the receiving peer doesn’t have yet.

Bitcoin’s core team said in the BIP152’s FAQ:

The advantage of this approach is that transactions only need to be sent once in the best case —when they are originally broadcast—providing a large reduction in overall bandwidth.

Benchmarks of the Upgrade

The upgrade also has a new feature called high bandwidth mode, in which nodes can request the same block to multiple peers in the network to decrease latency, at the expense of a slightly higher bandwidth usage.

Benchmarks of this new method exhibited that a typical 1MB full block containing 2,500 transactions can be relayed with only 15KB of data, and 86% of those blocks will propagate immediately without needing a second request for any other missing transactions.

Bitcoin Core team said that this new Bitcoin Improvement Proposal will benefit the network as a whole:

Decreasing block propagation times on the p2p network creates a healthier network with a better baseline relay security margin.

BIP152 has already a working implementation, and its currently being tested by the developer community. Future plans to improve BIP152 may include the replacement of TCP protocol with UDP transmission, and using an error correction mechanism to handle dropped packets. All in all, these improvements are always welcomed, as they will help Bitcoin to be more robust.

Source: Bitcoin Core

Image courtesy of Unsplash