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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.

The post Litecoin Is Back: New Roadmap Signals the Start of a Renaissance appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

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

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Kvě 10

OpenBazaar’s ‘Ambitious Destination’

Source: bitcoin

OpenBazaar

The OpenBazaar team has released its roadmap to the public via a Medium blog post and a picture of the company Trello board. The decentralized marketplace had “received a better than expected response,” and has gained visitors from all across the globe. With this, the company thought it would let the community know the upcoming development plans for the future.

Also read: BitcoinAverage: Craig Wright Can’t Keep Bitcoin Down For Long

“Today we’re releasing our high-level roadmap for OpenBazaar, — Our mission is to make trade free for everyone, everywhere. Our vision is for OpenBazaar to become Commerce 2.0: a permissionless and censorship-resistant protocol for global trade using Bitcoin.”

OpenBazaar’s 1-2 Year Roadmap

The developers of OpenBazaar say the roadmap goals are an “ambitious destination” that will likely take 1-2 years. The team tells the community the project is fully open source and users are invited to join the Slack group to help contribute. Additionally, they write the roadmap is called “high level” and some expansions include “important platforms such as mobile.” The outline detailed in the OpenBazaar blog says there constant ongoing commitments of which some are short term, medium, and long-term goals.  

Some of the long-term achievements the team wants to tackle are improving the moderation system, reputation enhancement, listing flexibility, discovery search, and more privacy. The OpenBazaar developers intend to enable Tor and other privacy-centric features after additional development is added. OpenBazaar states, “Going forward, we will be upgrading the network backend to IPFS, which is discussed in greater detail below. This upgrade will be a significant step forward to eventually integrating Tor.” Short term deployments for the decentralized marketplace include:

  • Email notifications
  • Webhooks
  • Backups
  • Order management
  • Inventory management
  • Order process UI
  • Sales control center improvements
  • Advanced digital goods
  • Blockchain ID on-boarding

Some medium-term goals include “big ticket” items such as an Interplanetary File System (IPFS). The protocol is a hypermedia for building distributed file systems, and would be an extension to the OpenBazaar network architecture. This feature would act like BitTorrent says OpenBazaar and the developers say, “when you visit another user’s store, your node will download and begin seeding that store data to other users.” The new framework will benefit users a great deal with enhanced censorship resistance, persistent content, multi-transport, local connections, and improved DHT implementation.

Additionally, OpenBazaar developers want to add advanced messaging that are encrypted and sent in real-time. The team also wants to add a full featured Bitcoin wallet integrated into the platform. OpenBazaar says the goal is to help new Bitcoin users manage the cryptocurrency on the site. The decentralized marketplace blog states:

“OpenBazaar uses a basic BIP32 wallet to manage multisignature escrow transactions in a user-friendly way. Ultimately, we want to include a full featured wallet in the application. The goal here is to make it easier for users to manage their Bitcoin (especially those that are new to Bitcoin) and incur fewer bitcoin transaction fees when transferring funds out of the app.”

Lastly OpenBazaar says it will be fully compatible with off chain proposals such as the Lightning Network and Segregated Witness. The team also details it will be working on a mobile app noting that, “mobile is eating eCommerce like software is eating the world.” They plan to launch a client-only mobile application and hope that it “empowers users” to manage their node.

The decentralized marketplace has a lot of work to accomplish and many community members are supporting its future stake in the new economy. The company got a lot of honourable mentions at the recent CoinDesk Consensus 2016 event and completing a roadmap like this one will bring the team quite a few more.

What do you think about OpenBazaar’s roadmap? Let us know in the comments below.   


Images via OpenBazaar Websites, and its associated blog

 

The post OpenBazaar’s ‘Ambitious Destination’ appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

OpenBazaar’s ‘Ambitious Destination’

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