Litecoin (LTC) has relaunched its MimbleWimble testnet, a special protocol that was designed to enhance privacy and confuse the traceability of distributed ledger transactions. Note that MimbleWimble is a modified implementation of the proof-of-work algorithm underpinning Bitcoin in which blocks appear as a single large transaction, strongly preventing the individual inputs and outputs relating to the transactions from being identified.
It was recently reported that David Burkett, the Lead Developer of the MimbleWimble protocol for Litecoin, will now focus on making it easier for “non-technical Litecoin users” to begin testing to functionality, in addition to ironing out aspects of the code that are “fragile.”
Nevertheless, Burkett is targeting full activation of the protocol next year by noting in a Telegram channel that it will be down to Litecoin’s miners and node operators to decide “when or even if they want to activate.” Inline with what the report says, LTC’s MimbleWimble testnet was previously launched on September 30 but was postponed due to low community participation.
According to the report, MimbleWimble progress comes as regulators increasingly look to crackdown on privacy-enhancing crypto-asset technologies, with Europol calling out privacy coins and naming decentralized marketplaces, cryptocurrency mixers, and anonymizing wallets among the top online organized crime threats.
In the same light, in its ‘Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment’ for 2020, Europol asserts that “privacy-enhanced wallet services using CoinJoin [..] have emerged as a top threat,” quoting Wasabi and Samurai’s respective wallets as examples. All wallets that use CoinJoin mix the coins of multiple users engaging in separate transactions, efficiently providing a decentralized mixing service.
In addition, Europol emphasizes that the operators of darknet marketplaces are increasingly moving to integrate CoinJoin Wallets onto their platforms. Europol points to the fact that while Bitcoin is still the dominant currency across darknet market places, Monero (XMR) is emerging as the most popular privacy coin, followed by Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH). As a result, the report identified Litecoin and Ethereum (ETH) as the two most popular altcoins on the darknet marketplaces.