Litecoin (LTC) has re-launched the MimbleWimble Test Network, a protocol designed to improve privacy and hide the traceability of distributed general ledger transactions.
MimbleWimble is a modified application of Bitcoin’s basic Proof of Work (BTC) algorithm, in which blocks are displayed as a large transaction, preventing individual inputs and outputs related to transactions being identified.
David Burkett, the lead developer of the MimbleWimble protocol for Litecoin, will now focus on facilitating the start of “non-technical” job testing for Litecoin users as well as eliminating the “fragile” aspects of the code.
Burkett aims to fully activate the protocol sometime next year, indicating on his Telegram channel that Litecoin miners and contract operators will decide “when or even whether to activate”.
The LTC MimbleWimble Test Network was previously launched on September 30th, but has been delayed due to low community participation.
Litecoin’s progress in MimbleWimble comes as regulators increasingly seek action to combat privacy-enhancing cryptocurrencies, with Europol invoking privacy coins and building decentralized markets, cryptocurrency mixers and anonymous wallets among the best-regulated cybercrimes.
In its assessment of the cybercrime threat in 2020, Europol stated that “improved wallet services by cutting coins with coins […] have become a major threat,” citing Wasabi and samurai wallets as examples. Wallets using Coinjoin mix coins for multiple users who engage in separate transactions, effectively providing a decentralized mixing service.
Europol claims that dark market operators increasingly want to combine wallets with coin portfolios on their platforms.
Europol also notes that while Bitcoin remains the dominant currency in the darknet markets, Monero (XMR) appears to be the most popular coin for privacy, followed by Zcash (ZEC) and DASH (DASH). The report identified Litecoin and Ethereum (ETH) as the most popular alternative digital currencies in the darknet markets.