Charlie Lee, founder and executive director of the Litecoin Foundation, announced yesterday that the Litecoin project intended to add MimbleWimble support to its network, and would associate with David Burkett, a major Grin ++ developer for this purpose. Earlier in the last month, Lee had stated that Litecoin developers were interested in the implementation of Mimblewimble and that they are working to develop it further. A Grin developer had also joined the Litecoin project team to work on the implementation. This announcement comes a month later on Twitter clearing the air about the progress of the project, which was initially developing at a snail’s pace.
This was one of the primary reasons why Burkett was added to the team, that is for speedy development of the project. It is believed that he voluntarily and actively decided to offer his services after the slow progress of the project was talked about. In his words,
I’m just a crypto-anarchist who happens to spend his spare time developing o alternate node and wallet for Grin. My ultimate goal is financial privacy for everyone, and I would love nothing more than to see Mimblewimble on Bitcoin itself. Getting MW added to Litecoin seemed like the obvious next step.
Mimblewimble is a protocol change (does not use Bitcoin’s original “open-sourced protocol”, with its underlying codes altered) that allows “confidential transactions” and “non-interactive coin joints”, and thus, provides a number of added benefits. Confidential transactions primarily imply that the transaction values of customers who would use MW on Litecoin would be concealed and would be difficult to track by third parties as they would be mixed among other participants on the network. Thus this would also render the tracing of and logging the activity of these users arduous. Grin ++ is a variant of Mimblewimble’s original protocol Grin, with a greater focus on “speed, reliability, security, modularity, and scalability alongside the main upstream branch”.
Lee had also asserted that Mimblewimble would not replace the original or base protocol but possibly would be added as an extension block akin to a sidechain. However, in this case, it would be attached to the main chain and miners would have to mine the main chain as well as the extension block at the same time. If the soft fork (variant) follows this and is activated, the miner will have to mine both the main and extension blocks or else an invalid block would be created. He also said, brushing aside common contentions that implementation of Mimblewimble would harm Litecoin’s adoption, that the general response to Mimblewimble was far from negative as “people really like fungibility and privacy”.
Albeit all skepticism that this implementation might have an adverse impact on the cryptocurrency’s potential adoption (as Litecoin might be delisted by crypto exchanges), Lee has offered a donation of 1.5 Bitcoin to the security audit of Grin ++ as a token of support to all the developers behind Mimblewimble as well as in exchange of Burkett’s contribution in particular to the protocol.