Litecoin Moves to Adopt Bitcoin's SegWit Scaling Upgrade

Segregated witness, originally proposed as a workaround solution to the bitcoin scaling issue, is moving closer to rollout on the litecoin network.

AccessTimeIconFeb 3, 2017 at 1:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:03 p.m. UTC
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A code update best known for its polarizing role in bitcoin's scaling debate has just made its debut on another blockchain.

As of this morning, miners securing the alternative blockchain litecoin can now begin signaling support for Segregated Witness. Known popularly as SegWit, the upgrade changes the way that data is stored within a digital currency transaction, allowing more transactions to take up less space on the network while adding other optimizations.

The introduction sets up an interesting dynamic as some bitcoin developers now believe the upgrade is perhaps more likely be implemented on litecoin, as voluntary adoption of the change by bitcoin's miners has largely stalled.

After rising quickly to 25% in November, miners are now showing signs their support may be shifting to a user-configured block size by way of Bitcoin Unlimited.

The protracted path to bitcoin scaling hasn’t stopped other digital currencies from adopting the SegWit approach, however. Back in December, word emerged that litecoin would move to adopt SegWit, a direction that creator Charlie Lee later elaborated on in a post on Medium.

At time of writing, just over 11% of the network's miners have voiced their support, while other data sources point to support hovering at over 15%. At least one major litecoin miner, F2Pool, has reportedly indicated that it will support the measure in the near future.

If the network reaches the predetermined threshold of 75% of miners, SegWit will become the law of the land. Bitcoin has notably set its threshold for SegWit higher, requiring 95% adoption for two weeks.

To some observers, the plan could essentially offer a real-world test subject for SegWit, meaning proponents in the bitcoin world will surely be watching.

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