Litecoin, a digital currency launched in 2011 that is often called the “Silver to Bitcoin’s Gold” within the cryptocurrency sphere, has remained largely ignored by investors during last month’s altcoin craze, which pushed the value of the entire alternative cryptocurrency market above $4 billion.
But the push within the Litecoin community to activate the much-hyped, controversial Segregated Witness (SegWit) upgrade framework on the Litecoin network - which failed to garner sufficient support within the Bitcoin miner community due to disagreements between large mining pools - has once again reignited investors’ interest.
Over the last couple of days, agreement among Litecoin miners on SegWit has risen dramatically, with several large pools like F2Pool, LitecoinPool and Batpool signaling their support. The SegWit framework requires approximately 75% of blocks mined on the network to come from pro-SegWit miners, before activating.
Although the SegWit upgrade fixes the transaction malleability bug, investors are betting that SegWit activation on Litecoin will open up the door for instant transactions to be enabled via Lightning Networks in the near future, allowing Litecoin’s blockchain network to service hundreds of millions of users.
Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin and Director of Engineering at San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, recently said this about the potential of the Lightning Network:
“Even with LN, Bitcoin still cannot service every person in the world. I think the calculation was that at 1MB blocks, LN and SegWit on Bitcoin can service 500M users.”And at press time, about 68.06 percent of Litecoin blocks mined within the last 24h have originated from mining pools in support of SegWit, according to statistics site LitecoinBlockHalf.com:
News of the rapidly-rising support for SegWit prompted many cryptocurrency investors to pile into Litecoin towards the end of March and into the start of April, pushing the price of the digital currency to $9.489 on April 3rd - its highest value since July 12, 2014:
While the hype surrounding the upgrade may have injected some life into Litecoin’s previously stagnating development efforts and future prospects, the LTC/USD exchange rate has much to go before it gets back to its all-time high of $53.08, recorded on November 28, 2013:
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Litecoin photo by BTC Keychain