Litecoin, the world’s eight biggest cryptocurrency, is in the throes of introducing experimental new privacy features. This is its MimbleWimble protocol implementation, initially proposed back in November 2019, that aims to add opt-in privacy for those using the network.

Today, David Burkett, the developer in charge of this integration, has provided an update on its implementation. He revealed that big progress has been made, and the initial code will be complete and ready for review on March 15.

“There are still a ton of ways we can (and will) continue to improve the MWEB code, in particular around syncing, but most of what remains is not required for initial launch…I will be submitting the code for review on March 15th,” tweeted Burkett.

Harry potter spell
MimbleWimble is named after a spell in Harry Potter. Image: Shutterstock.

Litecoin was one of the early names to establish itself on the market and has long been championed for its cheap and fast transactions.

However, privacy is one of the features that the Silver to Bitcoin’s Gold—as Litecoin is often referred to—has arguably been lacking. In order to tackle the issue, developers proposed allowing users to access opt-in privacy by conducting MimbleWimble transactions on an Extension Blocks-style side-chain.

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Extension Blocks were originally proposed in 2013 as a soft fork scaling solution for Bitcoin. The idea was focused on enabling better fungibility, which means that each unit of the cryptocurrency has the same value as any other unit, whilst minimizing the potential impact on the existing wallet ecosystem. It was eventually rejected in favor of the Segregated Witness (SegWit) upgrade. MimbleWimble, in turn, is a privacy-focused protocol that has real-life implementations in cryptocurrencies such as Grin and Beam.

Litecoin’s MimbleWimble implementation project has been in development for over 12 months now and even saw the launch of the MimbleWimble Extension Blocks (MWEB) testnet last September.

Enter MingleJingle

In his new post on Litecointalk, Burkett has drawn attention to MingleJingle, a new proposal by Tevador, the lead developer of RandomX, the mining algorithm used in Monero. RandomX was activated on Monero’s mainnet in 2019 with the objective of keeping the network protected from ASIC mining while providing a high level of security.

MingleJingle is a redesign of the original MimbleWimble protocol offering fully non-interactive transactions, which means that the sender only needs to know the recipient’s address consisting of 2 public keys.

Other important features include addresses that are not linkable to wallets, as well as transactions outputs that are not linkable to addresses.

According to Burkett, Tevador’s extensive experience with Monero stealth addresses made it possible to introduce a number of improvements to the project and to improve MWEB addressing and output structure.

Adding more tweaks to the overall mechanism of concealing transaction details, Burkett said that the code is now ready for the new testnet. He added that it will contain all of the consensus, P2P, and wallet code necessary for supporting MWEB.

“The only thing it will be missing is the activation code, which I will add after the reviews and audits are all finished,” he said.

Earlier, Burkett said he hoped to see the MimbleWimble upgrade activated on Litecoin’s mainnet at some point in 2021, provided miners and node operators signal their support. With the latest progress update it looks like that might just happen.

Source: decrypt