Litecoin, often referred to as the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold” was one of the first innovative altcoins with its introduction of the scrypt hashing algorithm to make mining fairer. However in recent years, opinions have been divided as to whether Litecoin is bringing anything new to the table or just riding the coattails of Bitcoin.
There are plenty of room for discussion, but one thing has to be said: Litecoin has been holding strong for four years now, and it looks like it will continue for many years to come.
Block Reward Halving Coming Soon
On 25 August 2015, Litecoin will go through a big milestone where its block reward will halve, from 50 LTC to 25 LTC. Litecoin enthusiasts hope to see a major price increase take place from this day forward, even though the Litecoin Association stresses that the Litecoin price is not paramount to what the virtual currency is trying to achieve.
Litecoin, just like Bitcoin, offers a plethora of new tools and innovative technology to revolutionize the world as we know it. The financial aspect is a major part of Litecoin and its technology, yet the possibilities have far wider implications.
That being said, the Litecoin block halving remains an important milestone in the history of this altcoin, as fewer coins will be generated on a daily basis. Unlike fiat currencies, where additional money can be printed at the whims of central banks, Litecoin and other virtual currencies rely on miners to bring additional coins in circulation. With block rewards halving at regular intervals, the total amount of LTC will be increasing at a slower pace, without devaluing the existing coin supply.
The Litecoin Association has produced an educational video explaining the block reward halving here:
A Brief History of Litecoin
Despite using a different hashing algorithm, both Litecoin and Bitcoin show a lot of similarities; after all, Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin.
7 October 2011 was an important day in the history of Litecoin as this was the day when the genesis block was mined. On October 23rd, Litecoin was officially released to the public on the Bitcointalk forum. A total of three blocks had been pre-mined by Litecoin developer Charlie Lee, to ensure the network was stable.
Charlie made a decision to pre-announce Litecoin nearly a week before the actual release so that more users would be aware of the launch. This pre-announcement ensured a fair launch and distribution of coins, something that was greatly appreciated by the virtual currency community back then.
Growth of the Litecoin Ecosystem
While many people doubted the potential of Litecoin at that time, the virtual currency has achieved global adoption and widespread acceptance in its four years of existence. Litecoin is listed on nearly every cryptocurrency exchange in the world and is an alternative payment method on platforms such as eGifter, BTCTrip, CheapAir.com and also payment processors such as GoCoin.
Similar to the Bitcoin network, Litecoin has a lot of computational power dedicated to finding new blocks, confirming transactions and securing the network. A major milestone was reached in October 2014 when the Litecoin network surpassed one terahash of mining power. To put things into perspective, Litecoin is one of the very few virtual currencies to surpass that goal, which goes to show there is a healthy interest in what Litecoin has to offer.
All of this has translated to Litecoin holding the second largest market capitalization and an overall ranking of #2 on CoinGecko. At the time of writing, Litecoin’s market capitalization is over US$144,753,337.61.
Litecoin has consistently also showed that it has one of the strongest altcoin community, coming in only behind Bitcoin and Dogecoin when measured in terms of Facebook, Twitter and Reddit activity. Its developers have also been hard at work improving the source code judging from its Github activity.
張貼者： sub.tw 於 上午1:05
What's New in version v0.10?
This is a major release of Litecoin Core, featuring the technical equivalent of Bitcoin v0.10.2 but with Litecoin specific patches. On a general level, most of what is new is is hidden where block synchronization and various internals are considerably faster and more efficient, and it has several major privacy improvements. The most significant changes include:
- Watch-only wallet support. This allows the wallet to track transactions to and form wallets for which you know the address of but do not have the private key to.
- Faster blockchain synchronization due to headers-first synchronization and support for downloading blocks in parallel. Downloading the blockchain is now much quicker and can be completed within a few hours instead of taking days for some users.
- A REST interface which allows unauthenticated access to public node data when the -rest flag is specified.
- RPC Server “Warm-Up” Mode which starts earlier than previous versions. This helps users or services relying on it know that the server has already started and will be available soon.
- Improved signing security. This is due to using the libsecp256k1 library for signing instead of OpenSSL. libsecp256k1 is a cryptographic library optimized for elliptic curve uses which Litecoin relies on and was created by Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille. Featuring better security, via hardening against timing leaks and derandomization, this library is believed to be better tested and more thoroughly reviewed than the implementation in OpenSSL.
- New utility applications including litecoin-tx for transaction related functionality and litecoin-cli for RPC command line functionality as litecoind no longer accepts them.
- Strict DER encoding for signatures (BIP 66). This introduces block version 3 and a new consensus rule which prevents non-standard transactions from being included in blocks. This also removes the dependency on OpenSSL’s signature parsing. Eventually, libsecp256k1 will be used for all consensus related tasks, depreciating the need for OpenSSL entirely.
- RPC Access Changes. RPC access now supports binary network addresses. This means that you can specify a single IP address, a CIDR network address or a netmask for accessing the RPC service. Please note, wildcard string matching no longer works and will display an error in the debug.log file when you attempt to use a wildcard string in the rpcallowip= variable, either as a config setting or launch parameter. For some examples on what has changed, please click here.
The major user-visible features that were new in Bitcoin v0.9 and v0.10 are not actually new for Litecoin v0.10 because we backported it to Litecoin v0.8 (like Coin Control).
For a complete list of Litecoin Core specific changes, you can view the release notes here.
For a complete list of Bitcoin Core specific changes, you can view the release notes here.
What’s New in version v0.10.2.2?
Litecoin v0.10.2.2 is a minor release from the previous release candidate, featuring improvements and bug fixes. The changes can be seen below:
- Added option -alerts’ to opt out of the network alert system. Please note that disabling network alerts should only be used by power users as this system is used for network emergencies and important security releases. The default behavior is that network alerts are enabled.
- Detect and reject LibreSSL. This prevents a non-approved SSL library being used for compiling Litecoin Core, preventing potential consensus compatibility issues.
- Improved getbalance RPC functionality to allow the user to display zero confirmation transactions (this works with watch-only addresses as well).
- PID file bug fix for non-Windows based systems.
- Bug fix for signing and verifying messages.
New GPG Signing Process
To enhance the security of Litecoin Core releases, we have changed the GPG signing procedure and opted for one of the Litecoin development team members to individually sign the release binaries.
Prior to this, we used a team signing key. The problem with this is that if the key were to be compromised, we would not be able to identify the member of who it was obtained from. Switching to this new procedure allows us to pinpoint the leak, revoke the individual key and leads to further decentralization of the build process.
As with any release, please use GPG to verify the integrity of the release binaries. This ensures that the binary you have downloaded has not been tampered with. Linux, MacOS and Win32 cygwin command line GPG instructions are available here. Please also note that we GPG sign the binaries as a convenience to you, the ultimate way to verify the integrity of the builds is to build them yourself using Gitian. Instructions on how to perform these builds, can be found here.
For the v0.10.2.2 release, the binaries have been signed with key identifier FE3348877809386C.
Binaries for Litecoin can be located at https://dev.litecoin.org covering all major operating systems. Litecoin Core 64bit versions are now also available.
The master-0.10 branch contains the latest commits to the next stable releases of Litecoin Core.
Updates will be placed here as needed.
Sign up for announcements only or development discussion.
While this branch has been extensively tested to be compatible with the existing Litecoin 0.8 network there is the possibility that we missed something. BACKUP YOUR LITECOIN DATADIR and wallet.dat because after you run v0.10 the old v0.8 version is no longer compatible with your on-disk data.
張貼者： sub.tw 於 上午10:16
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