Litecoin (LTC) Founder Charlie Lee Apologizes for Phony Walmart Story

Litecoin (LTC) Founder Charlie Lee Apologizes for Phony Walmart Story

The Litecoin Foundation is currently dealing with a significant crypto adoption goof sending the asset’s price tumbling. While it took a while, Charlie Lee, the company’s founder, has come out to clear the air over what happened.

‘We Screwed Up.’

Yesterday, Lee appeared on a Bloomberg TV segment. He admitted that the company “screwed up” after an employee had retweeted a false report regarding a partnership with e-commerce giant Walmart. In the news segment, Lee vehemently denied any collaboration with the e-commerce giant, adding that the Litecoin Foundation will continue to investigate the source of the fake news.

The announcement, which has since been taken down from Globe Newswire, had referenced a partnership between Walmart and the Litecoin Foundation. The partnership reportedly included accepting Litecoin as a payment method for products on Walmart – a move that would have been an incredible boon to the crypto industry.

The news had caused a 35 percent surge in the price of LTC, showing that the market was reacting positively to the prospect of a partnership with a company on the scale of Walmart.

Sadly, the news turned out to be fake news. In a statement, the Litecoin Foundation explained that the press release had come out without their knowledge, and they didn’t know about its spread – which had been so rampant that several major media outlets had covered it. In response to the hype, one of the company’s social media handlers had tweeted the press release out without getting appropriate clearance.

Apologizing, Globe Newswire also explained that a fraudulent user account had been used to share the press release. A spokesperson for the press release published called this an “isolated incident,” adding that they would continue to work with investigators to find who started the firestorm.

In his Bloomberg interview, Lee explained that anyone could start accepting Litecoin without getting approval from the Litecoin Foundation. So, he was pleasantly surprised when he woke up and saw the press release about Walmart accepting the coin. Sadly, it turned out to be fake. The market appears to have forgiven Litecoin, with the asset rising by 3.6% in the past 24 hours. The Foundation – along with Globe Newswire – will investigate the incident to prevent a recurrence.

Walmart Looks to Integrate Crypto Nonetheless

While Walmart isn’t partnering with Litecoin just yet, the company does appear to have crypto in mind. A job listing published last month shows that the company is looking for a crypto expert to develop and drive a digital currency product roadmap ad strategy.

In the job listing, Walmart indicated that it requires someone with a 10-year of experience in product and program management and technology product commercialization. The ideal candidate will be experienced in blockchain and crypto-related technologies while also having a strong knowledge of today’s crypto ecosystem.

The company is joining its biggest competitor, Amazon, looking to hire a digital currency lead.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Jersey-based CoinShares Launches Physically-backed Litecoin (LTC) ETP on SIX Exchange

Jersey-based CoinShares Launches Physically-backed Litecoin (LTC) ETP on SIX Exchange

  • CoinShares launches Litecoin electronic-traded products (ETP) on Tuesday.

One of Europe’s largest digital asset investment firms, CoinShares, announced the launch of its physically-settled Litecoin electronic-traded products on Swiss-based SIX exchange. Each ETP contract will be backed by 0.20 LTC (~$38, as of writing), and will trade under the ticker symbol, LITE.

The Litecoin ETP is the seventh digital asset added to the company’s portfolio, adding to the $4 billion assets under management by the investment firm. CoinShares Physical, the firm’s ETP investment arm, holds two-thirds of its assets in Bitcoin, with Ethereum gradually taking up a larger share. The post reads,

“Each unit of LITE is backed with 0.20 litecoins at launch, providing investors with passive exposure to the Litecoin network’s native asset.”

LITE will carry a base fee of 1.5% p.a., and the base currency is set to USD only. Chief Revenue Officer of CoinShares, Frank Spiteri commented,

“As demand for digital assets amongst the traditional investment community steadily increases, we are starting to see the green shoots of demand for investment exposures outside of the top two dominant networks.”

The Jersey-based firm reported an explosive quarter in Q1 2021, with an 11% growth in total Bitcoin and Ethereum inflows reaching the $4.5 billion mark.

Litecoin currently trades at $223 and ranks ninth on Coingecko’s largest market cap list with a total market cap of $14.8 billion.

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Author: Lujan Odera

South African Crypto Exchange Suspends Bitcoin & Litecoin Withdrawals Due to Balance ‘Discrepancies’

South African Crypto Exchange Suspends Bitcoin & Litecoin Withdrawals Due to Balance ‘Discrepancies’

South Africa-based cryptocurrency exchange iCE3 suspended Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) withdrawals this week after noting “discrepancies” in the balances of these crypto-assets on the platform.

Director GC Grobler announced on Tuesday that “after consultation and deliberation with our partner Merkeleon.com and their subsidiary Coinspaid.com, we have not been able to reach a satisfactory conclusion.”

As such, the exchange decided to suspend deposits and trading of these two cryptocurrencies, “pending the outcome of a full investigation and reconciliation,” on the advice of their legal and adoption team.

“This is being done for the protection of all clients,” reads the notice. Holders of other crypto assets were unaffected, and withdrawals allowed,

“We urge you to do so as soon as possible.”

The exchange reported several other issues, including their email system going down, some users not able to log in, and unable to withdraw Bitcoin Cash (BCH). At one point, ZAR (South African Rand) withdrawals were also affected due to reaching the daily transfer limits.

As of today, withdrawals for crypto access except for BTC, LTC, and USDT are up to date. The exchange is expected to have all USDT withdrawals cleared in the next 24 hours.

“We have a manual backup solution in place to continue processing withdrawals as it appears likely the platform will be taken offline completely in the next 24hours,” noted the exchange adding, “We understand your frustration, and we are doing our best to communicate information as fast as possible.”

The exchange will continue to update the situation as it progresses.

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Author: AnTy

Flare Network to Integrate Litecoin Ahead of Its Mainnet Launch; FLR Airdrop to LTC Holders Coming

Flare Network to Integrate Litecoin Ahead of Its Mainnet Launch; FLR Airdrop to LTC Holders Coming

Litecoin is getting a significant use case as it integrates with Flare, opening up Litecoin to Ethereum style smart contracts.

Flare Networks, a smart contract integration protocol, has announced that it is gearing up to integrate Litecoin. According to an official tweet, the Ripple Labs-backed network will support the Litecoin protocol as part of the lead-up to its launch, which is set for the year’s second quarter.

Litecoin Comes to Ethereum

Flare said that the Litecoin integration would improve Litecoin’s compatibility with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. DeFi users will now be able to interact with Litecoin on Flare with Ethereum-style smart contracts, all in an environment that ensures interoperability and composability.

A follow-up tweet confirmed that Flare plans to airdrop its FLR tokens to Litecoin users as part of its anticipation building for the mainnet launch.

Flare also added that it would reduce the number of FLR tokens that it had planned to distribute to its founders by five billion. The reduction will help the company facilitate the airdrop to Litecoin users, with Flare promising to reveal more details on the airdrop soon.

Many have followed Flare’s forthcoming launch with great hype. The Ripple-backed network has been making moves for a while now, promising a new age in the crypto space as it ushers in more functionalities.

In August, it marked a milestone as it revealed the details of a new bridge to connect XRP with the Ethereum blockchain. The trustless bridge will allow all XRP tokens on the Flare network – known as FXRP – to be used within the network. At the same time, Flare explained that the bridge would provide a “scaling platform” for Ethereum tokens and applications.

As for XRP, Flare will integrate the Ethereum Virtual Machine to offer advanced smart contracts on its network. The move was praised by many, including Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse and the XRP Army.

Flare’s Relationship with Ripple

Flare eventually conducted an airdrop of its tokens to XRP users on December 12. At the time, XRP had joined several large-cap cryptocurrencies that had rallied. Sadly, things went awry for XRP after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) slammed Ripple Labs with a lawsuit.

According to a complaint with a Manhattan federal court, the SEC alleged that Ripple had engaged in an unregistered securities offering when it conducted its XRP Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2013. The case is set for pretrial hearings in February, although many in the industry have reacted to it.

Some cryptocurrency exchanges delisted XRP, while others halted trading in the asset pending the hearing’s outcome. Despite the delisting, XRP rallied by almost 50 percent last week, as every crypto rode Bitcoin’s bullish run. At press time, XRP is trading at $0.28, following a 14% decrease in price.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

New Mimblewimble Code & Community-wide Testnet Launch Might Come in Q1 2021

Implementation of privacy features on Litecoin while other privacy coins getting delisted have people bullish on LTC.

“The first implementation of non-interactive txs is finally ready for testing!” said David Burkett while sharing the update on implementing Mimblewimble to bring privacy to the network.

In the month of December, the first-ever implementation of one-sided txs on Mimblewimble is completed and ready for testing and review and MWEB components have also been added to the GUI.

Going forward, one more week would take to prep Grin++for the final planned hard fork of Grin. And once the new version is released, Burkett will get the new MWEB code ready and launch the new community-wide testnet. This will allow everyone, regardless of technical abilities, to test out the MWEB and provide feedback.

However, there is still no exact date ready for when the code will be finished, but Burkett did ensure that he is “getting very close” but with a lot of automated tests to backfill still, a few outstanding questions about max weight for the EBs & peg-in/peg-out maturity, and lots of small cleanup tasks remaining. He said,

“I’m still expecting to have the code finished sometime this quarter (Q1 2021) though, so it won’t be long.”

Making it a Reality

As per the original plan, the MWEB was to be completed in a year but the team is already two months behind. Burkett said,

“While we didn’t quite meet our original timeline, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I’ve put in countless late-night hours working to make MWEB a reality.”

“But there’s simply too much at stake to release anything less than perfection. LTC deserves it, and we’re all doing everything we can to deliver on that.”

The delay has been because of completely rewriting the code from scratch, while initially it was thought that Grin++’s code would be reused but it didn’t mesh well with the LTC codebase.

Additionally, the original plan included only interactive transactions but that meant users had to be online to receive funds, which would’ve been a whole lot worse for usability, noted the developer who further shared that “at the time, non-interactive txs were not even considered possible in MW, but we figured out a way to do it.”

Enjoying the Greens

During the update, Burkett also urged the community to continue with more donations as he said, “despite huge LTC gains, only 0.25 LTC were donated this month.” Every donation would be matched to litoshi-for-litoshi by Bitcoin creator Charlie Lee.

The price of LTC has been enjoying a rally since 4Q20, moving in tandem with Bitcoin. While Bitcoin went crazy with its over 315% gains in 2020, Litecoin surged just over 220%.

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $10.21 billion is currently trading above $153, up 190% since Oct.

Amidst the ongoing delisting of privacy featured coins, like Zcash (ZEC), Monero (XMR), and DASH from crypto exchanges, some speculate it could make LTC more valuable. Crypto analyst Alex Saunders said,

“More privacy coin delisting news today. My thesis & narrative around Litecoin’s 2nd coming strengthens. With XRP out of the picture & LTC’s regulatory certainty (age, distribution, decentralization, Grayscale Trust) it could regain #3 as it implements privacy features.

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Author: AnTy

Litecoin MimbleWimble Testnet Launched, Privacy Will Finally be Here in 2021

Litecoin MimbleWimble testnet is here, which will bring privacy to the network. Scheduled for launch on Sept. 30, not many participated in keeping it running as such MimbleWimble testnet has been relaunched. The protocol is designed to enhance privacy and obfuscate the traceability of distributed ledger transactions.

Only a few nodes connected and mined, so not “enough blocks to activate mimblewimble yet,” but as more peers get onboard, they will be able to activate the testnet, said Grin developer David Burkett who has been working on this implementation.

MimbleWimble is a modified implementation of the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm that underpins Bitcoin. In this, blocks appear as a single large transaction, preventing the individual inputs and outputs of a transaction from being identified. Burkett also wrote,

“I’m still roughing in very minimal cli wallet support, but hopefully we’ll have a simple way to create mimblewimble transactions by the time it activates.”

Despite this news, LTC failed to pump and continues to trade around $46, down 87.55% from its all-time high. One of the worst performers of 2020, LTC saw returns just about 8.65% YTD.

Now that “Mimblewimble Extension Block” (MWEB) testnet is working, the developer will be focusing on making it easy for non-technical Litecoin users to test it out as well — this means wallet support, automated builds, and better documentation. He said,

“Once I’m confident everything is working as designed, I’ll start looking for ways to break the testnet, to make sure we find and resolve any security or stability weaknesses.”

Burkett also stated that next month, he would share a detailed plan about the remaining work required to get MWEB merged to the main repo, so that node operators and miners can start signaling for activation sometime in 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Litecoin Back in the Limelight with A Network Bustling with Activity

In the middle of last week, Litecoin started surging. With a jump of 30%, LTC went to nearly $70; a level last seen in February 2020 before the coronavirus sell-off, only to come crashing back down to $61 along with the rest of the crypto market.

The digital asset, which has fallen down to the 8th spot and is up only 47% in 2020, is still down 83% from its all-time high of $373.

Litecoin, which was once purported as Bitcoin’s silver, has been absent from the market for some time now. It was in early last year, late January 2019, that Litecoin creator Charlie Lee tried to bring the limelight back to this digital asset by announcing that fungibility and privacy will be coming to it.

But it has been much later that the development started in this direction, for which the community and Lee have been providing the funding.

Grin developer David Burkett is the one who is working on Litecoin mimblewimble implementation, and according to his monthly updates, the testnet is on track for a September launch.

There are also some talks of a possible collaboration between Litecoin and Cardano, but that’s to be seen, if and when it will materialize.

What’s happening

Lee, who is infamous for selling his LTC stash at the top of the market, today took to Twitter to share that Litecoin has seen a bustle of activity recently.

Privacy/fungibility with Mimblewimble testnet is coming soon with the Litecoin Visa debit card to be launched as well.

Grayscale Litecoin Trust (LTCN) has also become publicly tradeable, joining five of its other products.

On the network front, Litecoin’s hash rate is up 50% this year and transactions 100% with about $500 million sent per day, shared Lee. Total LTC addresses meanwhile are up 400% in the last three years.

Moreover, Litecoin SegWit usage has reached 80%, more than Bitcoin’s 50%, which Lee highlighted is because of Blockchain.com not implementing SegWit.

When it comes to transfer counts, Bitcoin recorded 178k per day while Litecoin only had 2.7k on January 1st, 2017, which has now reached 345k and 50k, respectively. Meanwhile, in terms of the transfer value, currently, Bitcoin is processing about $3.5 billion compared to around $100 million on the Litecoin network, as per Coin Metrics.

All this activity and price action is surely working on Litecoin’s favor as people take notice of it. Analyst Mati Greenspan has 18.17% of his portfolio in this digital asset.

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Author: AnTy

Grayscale Receives FINRA Approval to List Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin on The Stock Market

Grayscale Investments’ two more products, Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust and Grayscale Litecoin Trust, have received approval from FINRA for public quotations under the ticker BCHG and LTCN on OTC Markets.

With this move, both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) will be trading on the public stock market for the first time.

The New York-based digital currency asset manager announced on Monday that regulators had given the go-ahead for the sale of its two products, covering two new cryptos to the public.

The company that makes digital assets available in the form of stocks will make these new productions available to the general public in the next two to four weeks.

Grayscale stocks trade on OTCQX, an over-the-counter (OTC) market that is overseen by regulator FINRA, and here securities do not need to be registered with the SEC.

More options for institutional investors

Grayscale’s crypto products amount to shares in a trust that holds the underlying digital asset.

With this approval, institutional investors are now able to get exposure to these two crypto assets that Grayscale sells in the forms of shares, which, as we have seen in the case of both Bitcoin and Ethereum results in a significant premium to the underlying asset. Grayscale’s managing director, Michael Sonnenshein said,

“Grayscale builds investment products that operate within existing regulatory frameworks. With two additional products gaining approval for public trading, we’re broadening access for investors to gain exposure to the digital currency asset class.”

In its Q2 2020 report, Grayscale shared that it had the largest quarterly inflows ever at $905.8 million. Not only GBTC and ETHE saw record inflows, but Grayscale Litecoin Trust saw its largest inflows to date as well. Also, Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust recorded its largest inflows since Q2 2018. The report read,

“After a period of slow growth, Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust and Grayscale Litecoin Trust have seen a marked uptick in investor interest. The two trusts combined have now reached over $20 million in inflows since inception.”

With this, the total number of digital assets available to the public as shares have come to six. Already, Grayscale’s bitcoin product has found a special place among millennials investors on apps like Robinhood. Also, a Charles Schwab report from December stated that the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) was one of its top five equities held by millennials, even ahead of Netflix.

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Author: AnTy

Litecoin Core Major Release Builds ‘Functional Testing Framework’ for Privacy & Fungibility

Litecoin has released the latest version of Litecoin Core 0.18.1 and is recommended for everyone to upgrade which comes with new features, performance improvements, and various bug fixes.

This new major version release is supported on the Linux kernel, macOS 10.10+, and Windows 7 and newer. It should also work on most other Unix-like systems but is not as frequently tested on them.

In order to upgrade, you need to shut down the older version. Once it is completely shut down, you have to run the installer on Windows or copy /Applications/Litecoin-Qt on Mac or litecoind/litecoin-qt on Linux.

The issue in this version is with Wallet GUI as such is recommended not to use coin control features with multiple wallets loaded.

As for the notable changes, there have been new RPCs, configuration option changes, and when called to getblocktemplate, it will fail if segwit rule is not specified in relation to mining.

Also, when creating a fee above the default 0.1 LTC, as the feeRate argument is specified in LTC per kilobyte, not litoshi per byte, instead of rounding down the fee, the RPC commands, walletcreatefundedpsbt and fundrawtransaction will now fail.

Furthermore, in about next year, starting with Litecoin Core 0.20, Litecoin Core will default to native segwit addresses (bech32) to provide additional fee savings. If they see enough additional adoption, they will instead default to bech32 receiving addresses in Litecoin Core 0.20.

Mimblewimble Implementation Update

On May 1st, David Burkett, Grin++, and Litecoin developer posted April progress update on the Mimblewimble integration of Litecoin, claiming that a “functional testing framework” has been built.

Burkett has started integrating with the Litecoin codebase, which began with ConnectBlock logic that validates blocks before adding them to the chain, and has mostly completed end-to-end block validation tests.

Back in March, Burkett had predicted that the Mimblewimble would be running on the Litecoin testnet by the end of this summer.

As for Grin++, they have prepared to have the first non-beta version of Grin++.

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Author: AnTy

Japanese Financial Giant Rakuten Wallet To Roll Out Margin Trading with LTC, XRP Support

  • Rakuten, the crypto wallet and exchange platform is adding Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) for margin trading.
  • The Japan-based financial behemoth has set its sights on offering its clients digital asset margin trading services.

The announcement was made on Monday Rakuten aims to roll out its new services over this spring, after already starting the registration process.

Up To 2x Leverage for Margin Calls Takers

Rakuten rolled out its services in August 2019. Entering the crypto trading market with Raketen Wallet. To begin, Rakuten began its trading services with only three currencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

With the introduction of its margin services, Rakuten will also feature LTC and XRP, allowing traders to take long or short positions for: BTC/JPY, LTC/JPY, ETH/JPY, XRP/JPY AND BCH/JPY.

Within the announcement, Rakuten’s exchange platform will also offer up to 2x leverage to traders who take margin calls, while adhering to Japanese financial market regulator Financial Services Agency’s (FSA) demands for limits to crypto margin trading leverage to 2x from 4x.

The Crypto Market in Japan Is Progressing

In spite of the many hacks against Japanese crypto exchanges like Coincheck and Mt. Gox, Japan remains the largest crypto market for trading volumes. For things to remain the same, the FSA has made it compulsory for digital asset exchanges in the country to obtain a license.

Rakuten went through a broad rebranding campaign, changing its name from Everybody’s Bitcoin to Rakuten after being acquired for 265 million yen (about $2.4 million) back in 2018.

In order to increase its client base, and compete with other market players, its wallet enabled conversions of Rakuten loyalty points into digital assets. Here’s what the announcement from Monday reads:

“As the Rakuten Group’s virtual currency exchange business, Rakuten Wallet will continue to provide transaction services that customers can use safely and securely, and further expand its services by leveraging Group synergy.”

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Author: Oana Ularu