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Altcoin Report: Ethereum Classic Embraces the Hard Fork

Source: bitcoin

Litecoin

Ethereum Classic undergoes a successful hard fork, Zcash prepares for its grand introduction, and Jaxx adds Litecoin. Want to catch up on your latest altcoin news? Read the stories below.

Also read: Altcoin Report: Monero Shutting Down Until January

ETHEREUM CLASSIC

Following a recent DDoS attack, Ethereum Classic has undergone a successful hard fork to set things “back to normal.”

This is not the first time such a move has been executed, and unfortunately, the price of ether has suffered in the long run. Immediately following the hard fork, the cryptocurrency dropped by about three percent, although this may be a direct reaction to bitcoin’s recent rise (currently $681 at press time). Others are arguing that the system has already undergone too many forks and that Ethereum isn’t likely to benefit as it once has.

The decision allegedly stemmed from cryptocurrency developers without any public input, which has ultimately led to controversy. In response, a small group has already formed to “continue the original ETC chain.”

ZCASH

The launch of Zcash is set to take place on October 28, and mining companies are preparing themselves as best they can. The new cryptocurrency has already earned the attention of platforms like Jaxx, which announced plans to integrate the new system into its blockchain wallet.

Describing his venture, founder Zooko Wilcox states:

“Zcash is a new technology that lets you put encrypted data into a blockchain. Blockchains as they currently exist, don’t offer much (or any) control over the disclosure of the data you put on the blockchain. Any data you put in there is visible to all users of the blockchain. Zcash is the first protocol of its kind, and is the accumulation of years of academic research, hard engineering work, and diligent security work.”

JAXX

After several calls to add Litecoin to its system, Cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx has announced plans to comply. The virtual coin will be added to Jaxx’s platform and apps, giving users easier and more refined access to what is being touted as the world’s fourth largest cryptocurrency.

Director of the Litecoin Association Andrew Vegetabile explained:

“Having Litecoin integrated with Jaxx allows our community members, who are also members of other communities, to feel a sense of unity when accessing platforms that allow multiple cryptocurrencies. This partnership enables those cross-community members to access their various cryptocurrencies in one platform without having to worry about keeping up with multiple wallets and applications.”

Know of any altcoins that belong in our regular reports? Post your comments below!


Images courtesy of YouTube, Bitcoinist.

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Altcoin Report: Ethereum Classic Embraces the Hard Fork

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Litecoin Is Back: New Roadmap Signals the Start of a Renaissance

Source: bitcoin

Litecoin roadmap

The Litecoin Association has released a roadmap for the future of the well-known cryptocurrency, introducing new software clients, protocol improvements, and the consolidation of the various communication and governance structures.

Also read: Education not Speculation: Message from the Blockchain Training Conference

The main points of the roadmap concern software for both consumers and miners, touching on a new membership drive for the Litecoin Association (LA), legal issues, and communication with the Litecoin community.

Litecoin Is Back with a New Roadmap

The document may signal the beginning of a comeback for litecoin — even though it never really went away. LTC prices in recent months have hovered around the $4-5 USD mark, after lying low for much of 2015.

Litecoin has historically been the cryptocurrency with the highest name recognition and market cap after bitcoin, but has fallen out of the limelight in recent times thanks to other projects promising features beyond mere currency transactions — namely Ethereum.

The Litecoin community has also suffered minor setbacks, such as a hack resulting in stolen login credentials from its primary online forum, LitecoinTalk.

In November 2015, the project had to fight an application from a German citizen to trademark the word “litecoin” in the EU — under classes that appear to have nothing to do with cryptocurrency.

Despite never achieving the same levels of consumer and merchant acceptance as bitcoin, Litecoin remains popular in China, where it is traded on all major exchanges and enjoys an exalted status above other altcoins.

About 75 percent of all LTC trading happens in Chinese yuan (CNY), with the remaining quarter coming mostly from USD markets. The three most active LTC exchanges are BTC-e, Bitfinex and OKCoin.

New Wallets for iOS, Android

One hindrance to Litecoin consumer adoption has been a lack of wallets on the iOS platform, but this is about to change.

Developed in cooperation with the team that produced bitcoin’s Bread wallet, “LoafWallet” is a “Simple Payment Verification” (SPV) wallet designed for easy mobile use with security features such as AES hardware encryption and app sandboxing.

It also promises a simple user interface, integration with Apple Watch and Siri, and the ability to purchase coins from within the app.

A version of Electrum-LTC for Android devices is scheduled for late July, complementing the desktop client already available for all major operating systems.

Electrum-LTC for Android will also have SPV, keeping an indexed copy of the blockchain on Electrum’s servers. Wallets will feature encrypted private keys and have a cold storage option.

Other Online Services

The Litecoin Association will take over responsibility for the project’s social media tipping bot “LiteTip,” previously an independent project that has become inactive as of late.

The roadmap also gives development updates for Litecoin Node, a tool that simplifies the deployment and maintenance of Litecoin supernodes. Online wallet LiteVault is scheduled for an update as well.

Improvements to Litecoin Core

A major release of reference client Litecoin Core v0.13.x is due in 2016, featuring the following notable improvements:

  • Faster signature validation using the libsecp256k library developed by Bitcoin Core developers.
  • Wallet pruning to reduce block size storage.
  • Memory usage improvements including better mempool filtering of transactions.
  • Inbuilt Tor control socket API support if Tor is running and also stream isolation for
    Tor communication.
  • Functionality to reduce upload traffic.
  • Segregated Witness to allow for greater transaction output and mitigation of
    transaction malleability.
  • ZMQ support – ZeroMQ is a high performance asynchronous messaging library,
    aimed at use in distributed concurrent connections. Litecoin will support ZMQ for
    broadcasting block and transaction data.
  • Hierarchical Deterministic wallets – Litecoin Core will support hierarchical
    deterministic wallets (a.k.a. HD wallets).
  • Obfuscated blockchain data – Several antivirus applications detect the Litecoin
    stored blockchain data as a malware threat. Litecoin v0.13 will obfuscate the blockchain data to rid these false positives.

Keeping in line with proposed improvements to Bitcoin, Litecoin’s own protocol will adopt a number of changes to facilitate the features listed above. These modifications will also make the currency compatible with complex smart contracts and the Lightning Network.

The most up-to-date, stable releases of Litecoin Core are available for download at Litecoin.org.

Community Issues

The roadmap promises a new version of the once-active forum, LitecoinTalk. The original was hacked in March 2016 and has been relegated to a read-only archive ever since.

The Litecoin Association itself, under director Andrew Vegetabile, is in the process of re-engaging the community after lying dormant for a time. The Association is developing a new website designed to be a community information hub. A fundraiser and new membership drive are also in the works.

In addition to money for daily operations such as hosting, communications and DDoS protection, the Association requires funds to hire specialized development talent and to fight the battle in Europe over control of the Litecoin trademark.

The LA also announced Robert English (AKA Red and KSAREDFX) as the new Systems Administrator following the departure of Ryszard Mielcarek. English will collaborate with attorney Rishi Nair of Chicago-based Nair Law LLC. to draft new organization bylaws that provide governance for the Association and its operations.

A Brief History of Litecoin

Litecoin was initially developed and released in 2011 by Charlie Lee, intended to have similar utility to Bitcoin while addressing what Lee believed were shortcomings of the Bitcoin network.

Litecoin processes new transaction blocks every 2.5 minutes, as opposed to Bitcoin’s 10 minute intervals, and its memory-hungry Scrypt encryption algorithm is designed to keep the network decentralized by slowing the growth of ASIC mining hardware.

The altcoin also has a larger supply, with the total number of litecoins available for mining set at 84 million.

Often touted as the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” litecoin’s price has traditionally been lower but has followed trading patterns similar to bitcoin. Its price reached a zenith in November 2013, rising over to $40, mirroring bitcoin’s $1300 peak, but has since fallen downwards.

With the publication of its shiny new roadmap, the Litecoin Association and community is hoping for a LTC renaissance — with increased value and a return to prominence outside China, onboarding new consumers, merchants and speculators.

Do you use litecoin? Are new apps and a stronger community structure likely to use it more often?


Images courtesy of BTCKeychain via Flickr.

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Litecoin Is Back: New Roadmap Signals the Start of a Renaissance

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Andrew Vegetabile of Litecoin Association Opposes DAO Fork

Source: bitcoin

Vegetabile

Andrew Vegetabile, Director of the Litecoin Association, came out against a fork of Ethereum/The DAO, Decrying interference with The DAO by outside crypto developers in an open letter to  “Vitalik Buterin, The DAO, future smart contract developers, and the throngs of individuals within the crypto ecosystem” today.

Read Also:  How The Verge’s Russell Brandom Misrepresented the DAO Attack, Bitcoin

Andrew Vegetabile Calls Buterin’s Intervention “Unprecedented”

 

He Cites the widespread negative impact outside of The DAO as significant disincentive:

“…now Ethereum is having to face this very situation. From legal to sociological effects, the direction the leadership of a coin takes can have long outstanding impacts not only to the specific coin, but also to the entire crypto ecosystem by setting a dangerous precedent.”

He calls Buterin’s involvement in affecting an outcome to The DAO attack  “unprecedented” and draws parallels to the bank bailouts of 2008 financial crisis due to the central nature of the intervention. This may seem an extreme comparison, but he isn’t far off here, unfortunately:

“Never in the history of crypto for as far as I can remember has a developer been intimately involved with a third party application in attempting to resolve said applications issues. The best analogy that I can think of at this point is if there was a bug in counterparty code and the Bitcoin core devs got involved.”

Buterin, unlike Satoshi, is a known entity in the crypto community, and the degree of influence he has over the Ethereum community  leads to frequent comparisons of his role to that of a “benevolent dictator.” His mention of a soft fork to “fix” The DAO attack has been overwhelmingly accepted by people with a stake in ETH and The DAO, while other, less invasive solutions have fallen by the wayside.

It is clear that Vegetabile wants the takeaway to be that central intervention is antithetical to the core concepts that make Ethereum and other Cryptocurrencies successful. Furthermore, he posits that the outcome of the DAO attack will not be isolated to Ethereum and smart-contracts.

“My word of advice to all of you is to do absolutely nothing at all.”

 

Vegetabile is also very careful to keep his statements reasoned and civil. It comes off as a level-headed, honest word of warning rather than a vitriolic attack on a competing cryptocurrency. The DAO’s failure will affect the entire cryptocurrency market, after all, and the handling of its consequences by Ethereum and DAO participants will shape how smart contracts and Crypto will be treated by investors, developers, and in court moving forward.

 

How do you think The DAO’s failures should be handled? Leave your thoughts in the Comments below!


Images Credit to: Wikimedia, Litecoin Foundation

 

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Andrew Vegetabile of Litecoin Association Opposes DAO Fork

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