Litecoin’s creator, Charlie Lee, has been speaking about his crypto’s role in helping Bitcoin scale to greater use – and what technical changes may be needed in the future.
Charlie Lee is one of the most vociferous talking heads of the cryptocurrency world, constantly in demand for interviews and opinions. This week he sat down for a chat with the DataDash YouTube channel’s new DashCast, and had plenty to say about how he sees the future role of cryptocurrencies.
As the conversation moved through ideas about creating greater adoption for Litecoin and Bitcoin, Lee began to muse on the nature of the User Interface and User Experience of cryptocurrency, and what he believes people actually want it to do.
Rather than getting too technical, though, Lee appears to be keen to talk about the future of cryptocurrency – and especially Litecoin – as one where users don’t want to think about how things are happening.
“We’re still kinda early, most people still treat crypto as a speculative investment. It’s more about buying, selling and holding the coin, rather than using it.” Lee observes.
“I wanna help us move more towards using Bitcoin and Litecoin as payments.”
Lee has recently Tweeted about the potential of Litecoin and Bitcoin integration via so-called ‘Atomic Swaps‘ on the incoming Lightning Network, a proposed system to create off-the-blockchain ‘payment channels’ between crypto users in order to speed up transactions. The ‘Swaps’ should allow transactions between different cryptocurrency blockchains without the need to access an exchange, instead the process of trading one amount of crypto for another – essentially the ask and the bid of two individuals matching – is handled by the network itself.
If it sounds technical, it is… But Lee sees it as essentially positioning Litecoin as a side-chain to Bitcoin, where it can be seamlessly used for its advantages, leaving Bitcoin to do what it does best.
LN with atomic swap makes Litecoin effectively Bitcoin’s sidechain, but with much better security via decentralized PoW mining compared to federated/merge mining of regular sidechains. Value can move across chains seamlessly to take advantage of LTC’s faster/cheaper onchain txns. pic.twitter.com/7b2oZacukY
— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) August 12, 2018
“With Atomic swaps on Lightning,” he expands, “you can easily move value across the two chains… So both coins can act as a way of transferring value.”
“The future I see, is that users don’t have to care about the underlying network. Today, when you use the internet it you don’t care whether it’s TCP/IP or UDP, you care that the content – whether it’s a website or Netflix streaming – gets to you.
“In the crypto space, the content equivalent is value. You care about transferring value, either between people or between you and a merchant.
“We want the UI [User Interface] or the user experience – the UX – to be so the users don’t have to know the nitty-gritty details…”
So, how does Lee see development of Lightning Network?
“There’s a lot of different teams working on Lightning Networks right now… but the nice thing is the network is compatible. Bitcoin Lightning Network and Litecoin Lightning Network is pretty much that same Lightning Network. It’s just different coins…”
Again, though, he comes back to the same theme: “The major issue is UX.”
“How to make it easy and even transparent for the user?” is again his key question.
The interview goes on to talk about other aspects of what could be done to help Bitcoin become more scalable and usable – including the controversial issue of block sizes and the reasons that Bitcoin users managed to hold back the proposed SegWit 2x changes late last year.
Most interestingly, the discussion closes with Lee talking a little about increasing privacy and fungibility in cryptocurrency when one of the defining characteristics of Bitcoin is its publicly viewable Blockchain. On the matter, he appears to hold opinions that will be considered controversial for certain sectors of the crypto community.
Privacy, Lee asserts, is “not just about doing things that are illegal.”
“If you’re getting paid in Bitcoin, you don’t want to spend those coins and have someone working out how much money you have, how much you’re being paid. That’s not good.”
He builds on this by later floating the idea that Litecoin could be a test-bed for privacy measure that could later become part of the Bitcoin protocol.
“I think that’s going to happen,” he concludes. “I think privacy features are going to be pretty controversial, so Litecoin could test the waters – so to speak. The question is ‘if Litecoin has private transactions, would exchanges de-list Litecoin or would people be okay with it?’
“With confidential transactions you can still show exchange, you can give them the view key so they can see transactions, but you won’t have a lot of history like Coinalysis can give you. So I think a lot of governments are nervous about privacy coins.”
You can see the full interview here.