Founder’s Statement: The hidden secrets behind LTC

On the occasion of Litecoin’s 10th anniversary, the creator Charlie Lee dictated the “history” to us through a Twitter thread. It takes us back to the initial stages of the crypto world and uses documents and images to let us know some of the secrets of Litecoin.

The copycat pattern before LTC

As we are about to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Litecoin, I think from my perspective, now is a good time for the history of LTC. My memory of events can sometimes be vague, so for those mentioned, please correct anything I say. Let’s start now.

Bitcoin’s first altcoin was actually Namecoin. It uses the same mining algorithm as Bitcoin, sha256d. A dozen other altcoins appeared after Namecoin: Ixcoin, Iocoin, Solidcoin, Tenebrix, etc. These are all launched earlier than Litecoin. Unfortunately, these altcoins are now gone.

These altcoins tried different things, such as faster block time and different mining algorithms. At that time, Bitcoin was mainly mined by GPU. Tenebrix returned to CPU mining by using Scrypt. This is actually very important because miners are the first users of tokens.

It is very important for anyone to be able to mine tokens easily. If your miner base is large, then your user base is large. These users will actively promote the adoption and help the token’s success.

But the problem with these altcoins is fairness. Most of these altcoins have huge pre-mining. For example, Tenebrix pre-mined 7 million coins. This means that the founding team is motivated to push the coin higher so that he can make a lot of profits without much work. And users will also get something, such as the founder bribing the exchange in order to go public. We have already seen this in the 1C0 boom in 2017.

It may be released without source code or only Windows binaries. In this way, a small number of users can profit as soon as possible. This is the pattern of altcoins before the emergence of Litecoin. So what I am trying to do with Litecoin is to change everything. Fairness is essential.

Fair release of the mainnet

I basically got all the advantages from these altcoins (speed, CPU mining) and made a fair release. This is why Litecoin can succeed where other projects have failed.

Regarding the name, I first thought of Elite Coin, but then the name Litecoin popped out of my mind.

I spent a few days working on the code of Litecoin. To be honest, Litecoin is not difficult to code. The most difficult part is actually creating the genesis block. Satoshi Nakamoto never recorded how he did it in Bitcoin, and the code was not open sourced with Bitcoin.

So, I had to do some “reverse engineering”. On October 8, 2011, I announced Litecoin on the Bitcoin forum. The Bitcoin forum was basically the only place where the crypto community talked about Bitcoin at the time. No one had used Reddit, Twitter, or Facebook yet. Litecoin’s code can be downloaded and compiled by anyone, so they can check the code to ensure safety. Litecoin is a lightweight version of Bitcoin, which is faster, cheaper and easier to use.


People can immediately mine on the testnet to make sure everything is running properly on their system. This is very important so that everyone can mine when the mainnet is released. So the release of Litecoin will be fair. In order to do this, I have to share the genesis block with you. What I did was to lock a block after the genesis block. I mined the 2nd and 3rd blocks, and hard-coded these hash values ​​in the code, and kept a few parameters so that people would not Will privately mine a long chain from that genesis block and win all early blocks. So I lied, there is a pre-mining of 100 LTCs of 2 blocks, but these LTCs are not available, and I locked them.

Later, I posted a post on the Bitcoin forum to let people vote on the launch time of the mainnet.


When the mainnet was released, I announced the configuration parameters required for mining on the mainnet. All everyone has to do is paste it into their Litecoin configuration file and restart their client so they can mine to the real LTC.


I managed to complete the fairest release of Litecoin. This is one of the biggest reasons for Litecoin’s success today. Surprisingly, few projects used Litecoin’s release method for many years.

Regarding the Litecoin logo, the original inspiration came from this cool picture, but it did not translate well into a beautiful logo.


The current logo was designed by Robbie Coleman and his team. Due to decentralization, people have created and used many other signs. People can use any logo they want, and I can’t do anything about it.


The road to LTC’s listing, the love-hate relationship with Coinbase

Liquidity is very important for any project token. Without liquidity, you can’t do anything. If there is no liquidity, large fluctuations in the price of tokens will make merchants and merchant processors unable to accept tokens.

Soon after the launch of the Litecoin mainnet, LTC was added to the early Bitcoin exchange BTC- e. This helps a lot, because miners can quickly gain liquidity. LTC quickly became one of the most popular coins on BTC- e. (BTC-e’s chat function was one of the most innovative functions at the time.)


From 2011 to 2013, I spent a lot of time helping LTC’s early growth and promoting adoption as much as possible. I talk to almost all exchanges on LTC.

In May 2013, Bitfinex introduced support for LTC. The LTC trading volume on Bitfinex is very large, which is a huge milestone for LTC.

In March 2014, BTCC added support for LTC. BTCC is China’s first crypto exchange and was once the largest exchange.

At the 2013 Bitcoin conference, I participated in an interview with Bitstamp co-founder Nejc Kodrič. In the Q&A after the speech, I asked if Bitstamp would add LTC, which would be a correct business decision. However, he just smiled and did not reply. But it did happen, but it took a little longer, in June 2017, 4 years later.

The similar thing to Bitstamp is Bitpay. At the same meeting, I asked Tony Gallippi, the co-founder of BitPay, and he nodded casually. But it is great to see BitPay added support for LTC this year.

Sometime between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, China’s two largest crypto exchanges, Okex and Huobi, added support for LTC. To my surprise, the transaction volume was crazy.

In 2013, I think it’s time to leave Litecoin. I was lucky to find Warren (the founder of Fedora) to take over as the lead developer of Litecoin. 2013 was also the moment when I decided to work full-time in the encryption industry. At that time, I had been working at Google for 6 years, and I knew that Google was not interested in doing anything related to encryption.

My work in the crypto industry started with an email sent to Coinbase requesting support for LTC. My reply was Olaf Carlson-Wee, his current CEO of Polychain Capital. The answer is the same: not now, maybe later?

But that conversation led me to finally join Coinbase.


In October 2015, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted a controversial tweet. ” Ripple , Stellar and other altcoins are all interference. Bitcoin is far ahead. We should focus on Bitcoin and sidechains.”


But this situation changed in 2016. At that time, LTC trading volume had explosive growth on Chinese exchanges. I knew very well that Coinbase did not support altcoins, but this would lead to the loss of a large amount of funds. The addition of altcoins by Coinbase would have commercial significance. So I suggested to Brian to add LTC and ETH to Coinbase.

The reason is simple. The American people have no easy way to trade and store ETH and LTC. If we support it, Coinbase will steal most of the demand. CEO Mr. Bryan liked this idea very much, but he crossed out LTC, he just wanted to do ETH. Although I agreed to this plan, it made me feel a little uncomfortable. At that time, the global transaction volume of LTC was much higher than that of ETH, and it was the second token by market value. But Ethereum has more potential, so it delayed the launch of support for LTC.

Segregated Witness and the promotion of Lightning Network

This is one of the reasons why I decided to take a 3-month vacation from Coinbase in 2016 to focus my energy on Litecoin. At that time, the SegWit (Segregated Witness) expansion plan was pushed to Bitcoin, but it encountered many obstacles. This is technically reasonable and a good upgrade for Bitcoin. But for some reason, it was blocked by miners, who believed that once Segregated Witness was activated, miners could steal any tokens sent to the Segregated Witness address.

(Segregated Witness is the process of increasing the block size limit by removing the signature data from the transactions contained in each block. When certain parts of the transaction are deleted, this frees up space or capacity to add more transactions to the zone In the block chain. Segregate means separation, and the witness is the transaction signature. Therefore, Segregated Witness, in short, is the separation of transaction signatures. This is also one of the solutions to the blockchain expansion problem, which also paves the way for the Lightning Network Leveled the road.)

I realized that Litecoin has the opportunity to do something for Bitcoin. If we can apply Segregated Witness on Litecoin, this can eliminate all doubts and prove that Segregated Witness is safe and a good upgrade for Bitcoin. Although the testnet can test the technical performance of the blockchain, it cannot test the game theory of the blockchain. This is because the tokens of the testnet have no real value, so if an attacker cannot profit from it, they have no reason to attack the chain. If Segregated Witness is applied on Litecoin first, people will have an incentive to attack it. If miners can steal tokens, someone will do so.

Segregated Witness makes the witness part different from other parts in terms of block size. So it actually doubles the block size. And addressing transaction malleability can make the Lightning Network work. Therefore, Segregated Witness solves a major problem by increasing the block size by 2 times and allowing the Lightning Network to further expand Bitcoin/ Litecoin , which is a win-win situation.

Wu Jihan, the co-founder of Bitmain, is a strong supporter of expanding Bitcoin on the chain. He believes that Bitcoin can be hard-forked to increase the block size, and there is no reason to do something as complicated as Segregated Witness and Lightning Network. But most Bitcoin developers believe that because the nodes are too dense, scaling on the chain will reduce the degree of decentralization of Bitcoin. Because of Wu Jihan’s great influence, he prevented the activation of Segregated Witness on the Bitcoin blockchain.

From the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017, I contacted many LTC miners. I got in touch with Innosilicon, a manufacturer of LTC mining machines. Innosilicon agrees with the addition of Segregated Witness on Litecoin and believes that this will be a better way forward for Litecoin. At the same time, they also persuaded some large clients to support Segregated Witness.

In February 2017, Litecoin began to issue a “segregated witness” signal. Miners can signal whether they support Segregated Witness in the blocks they mine. If 75% of the blocks support Segregated Witness within 2 weeks, it will be locked and Segregated Witness will be activated after a period of time.

Things have gradually turned around.

LTC Pool is the first mining pool that supports Segregated Witness. They initiated a vote against the miners, and they agreed to an overwhelming victory for Segregated Witness.

On April 1, 2017, F2pool also sent a signal.

In the following week, more and more miners began to support Segregated Witness, which seems inevitable.

On April 21st, I held an 8-hour meeting with Wu Jihan, Innosilicon and LTC miners. In the end, we resolved our differences and reached an agreement.

On May 10th, Segregated Witness was finally activated on Litecoin! Dekker, the developer of Bitcoin, made the first Lightning Network payment on Litecoin to test Segregated Witness.

On August 24th, Segregated Witness was activated on Bitcoin! It’s hard to know exactly how much Litecoin can help with this, and I think it will definitely help.

On November 16, the first cross-chain exchange between BTC and LTC through the Lightning Network realized my vision of the seamless transfer of LTC and BTC on the Lightning Network.

This is the history of Segregated Witness and Lightning Network on Litecoin.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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