Litecoin has released Litecoin Core 0.16.0. They are recommending that all users upgrade to this new, major version release, as it contains new functionality, bugfixes and performance improvements, as well as new translations into various languages.
The new core allows for full wallet and user interface support of SegWit. Segregated Witness, or SegWit, originated as a soft fork change in how Bitcoin transactions were formatted, and activated for Litecoin on May 10, 2017. By removing signature data from transactions, the block size limit on a blockchain is increased. With full SegWit support, new arguments have been added to flag address formats as legacy, p2sh-segwit (default), and bech32, presumably to maintain backwards compatibility, and to control the types of addresses produced.
SegWit addresses will get their “redeemscripts” added to the wallet file, meaning that downgrades are possible, even after creating a SegWit address, provided that the wallet file is current. Recovery of old backups is also possible for users who upgrade to the new software.
While this is a major upgrade, some functionality is still not supported. Developers will continue to build out support for such things, including expanded RPC support of SegWit addresses, meaning that more Remote Procedure Calls across separate devices will function correctly with the new address format.
The new core will be configured for Hierarchical Deterministic, or HD-wallets by default. New wallets will be configured in this format, while older wallets will not be upgraded. There will also be more flexibility in where a wallet database file may be stored, meaning that users have greater control over how they choose to install it on their personal computers.
Newer compilation methods for the wallet are enabled by default, which should lead to as much as a 50% speed improvement on supported hardware, and other changes and upgrades are detailed on the Litecoin blog.
With these new changes, including speed and user-interface improvements, Litecoin becomes more user-friendly. This should lead to more people continuing to use it for more than just a store of value when investing. If it leads to more people using Litecoin for actual merchant transactions, then the logical conclusion presumably would be an increased volume of Litecoin transactions on a regular basis.
Litecoin is currently trading at just under $120, according to CoinMarketCap. It’s currently seeded at #6 by market capitalization, with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and EOS ranked above it. It’s just above Cardano and Stellar, so this move may help to solidify that position for the time being. Assuming that Litecoin continues to make moves to increase its adoption by everyday users, we could see good things for it in the very near future. The Litecoin Foundation recently tweeted a call-to-action for NYC and Boston-based Litecoin enthusiasts, to volunteer for a project. One might assume that they’re going to use these two cities as test markets for some new efforts to increase adoption.
Any NYC or Boston-based #Litecoin enthusiasts who'd be interested in volunteering some time for a project with us? Leave a comment.
— Litecoin Foundation (@LTCFoundation) May 29, 2018
If we see success in whatever Litecoin has planned for these two cities, then it’s reasonable to assume that they’ll also expand into other geographical regions. Whatever they’re doing, it’s clear that there’s a plan.
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