Defeating the FUD: Litecoin Github Commits Activity

Litecoin pushing for the next stage of its evolution

Ilir Gashi
Jan 18 · 9 min read

There has been some FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) regarding Litecoin’s Github commits activity recently. Most of it perpetrated by this article which claims that Litecoin’s developments is becoming more inactive which is untrue. Whilst Github commits activity do show individual changes to files or sets of files within each project, it is only one small fraction of the Github activity that can be measured and certainly does not show the whole development for any given project.

This article will ultimately defeat the FUD surrounding Litecoin’s developments and will attempt to paint a bigger picture to those people that have fallen victim to this misleading article and claims thereafter.

Let’s delve into three important points.

1. Github Commits ≠ Development

Typically, developers commit code when they are finished working on them in their own branches and submit pull requests to the main repositories — this is considered to be a good developer practice. However, most cryptocurrency projects are working straight from the Master branch which carries with it some potential risks. Firstly, it inflates the amount of Github commits causing the project to seem more active than it actually is which is the case for many in the previously mentioned report. Secondly, working straight from the Master can also lead to the potential disruption of the source code which might damage the already existing infrastructure built. Thirdly, people and/or businesses compiling from the source code would get whatever random state your current development is at.

Because of all these reasons, Litecoin does not use master for staging changes — instead master is supposed to be the latest release. Litecoin Github commits are also synced from the core developers’ forked repositories. Since there is very little difference between the Bitcoin Core and Litecoin Core client, we have merged most Litecoin related commits into a few commits and when a new release of Bitcoin Core is tagged, we pull the changes from upstream and pick our commits (and fix merge conflicts). The result is that Litecoin Github commits seem to be decreasing lately but this is is due to the fact that we have been streamlining our development much more effectively and efficiently in a more structured way, and not because development is inactive as will be discussed further in points 2 and points 3.

2. Litecoin doesn’t need to constantly make new innovations

Obviously, having many developers actively working on any given project is beneficial but the results are automatically shared with everyone. For this reason, Litecoin doesn’t need to constantly strive to make new innovations to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Of course, certain tweaks to the source code and regular infrastructure upgrades are needed to avoid any malfunctions, but Litecoin has been worked on for more than 7 years (more than 98% of other cryptocurrencies in this market) and has built a strong foundation on its development history already.

To put this in perspective, let’s look at the whole Github activity of Litecoin to show the bigger picture in comparison to a few other cryptocurrencies:

Litecoin
37 repositories:

56,055 total commits
150 total branches
818 total releases
1,706 total contributors

Bitcoin
4 repositories:

21,490 total commits
15 total branches
243 total releases
805 total contributors

Ethereum
188 repositories:

187,930 total commits
1,342 total branches
2,355 total releases
3,665 total contributors

Bitcoin Cash (including bitcoincashorg & bitcoin xt)
11 repositories:

37,328 total commits
155 total branches
229 total releases
1,382 total contributors

It makes sense for Ethereum to have more Github activity than both Bitcoin and Litecoin since the goal of Ethereum is to build developer applications so more code is needed to build on this new growing platform infrastructure. But Litecoin’s goal isn’t to build a decentralized developer application platform like the Ethereum project; the goal is to become a method of exchange that compliment’s Bitcoin store of value proposition. Thus, it makes sense that Litecoin should follows Bitcoin’s core developments closely. But let’s look deeper into the Litecoin Github activity to show how development has grown over 7+ years.

Historical developments for Litecoin Core since 2011:

Historical Development of Litecoin Core from 2011 to 2018.

In 2016, Litecoin played an important role in the adoption of SegWit to Bitcoin as it was the first major coin to innovate and adopt SegWit first and ensured the uncertainty and fear surrounding SegWit was mitigated. Litecoin proudly paved the way for Bitcoin to adopt SegWit and most likely wouldn’t have been possible without major voices such as Charlie Lee with his bounty of $1MM and other Litecoin developers.

There will still be regular commits to the master branch as development continues as per our 2019 goals here. Some things to look out for are the Litecoin Core v0.17 which reduces network transaction fees by 10x; as well as private transactions onto the Litecoin blockchain; as well as the growing adoption of the Lightning Network and Atomic Swaps.

Here are some different repositories of the Litecoin Github:

  • litecoin — updated 33 mins ago
  • litecoin.org — updated 2 hours ago
  • p2sh-convert — updated 2 days ago
  • lips — updated 4 days ago
  • litecoin-rpc — updated 11 Dec 2018
  • gitian.sigs.ltc — updated 19 Sep 2018
  • litecoin-detached-sigs — updated 19 Sep 2018
  • litecore-node — updated 27 Aug 2018
  • litecoin-explorers — updated 25 Aug 2018
  • litecore-lib — updated 25 Jul 2018
  • litecore-litecoin — updated 17 Jul 2018
  • liteaddress.org — updated 1 Jun 2018
  • insight-lite-api — updated 17th April 2018

Some people have this common misconception that active Github commit activities translates to higher network security, but that is not the case for cryptocurrencies. The security element that governs cryptocurrencies like Litecoin and Bitcoin are based on the activity levels of the miners themselves. When there are more miners in the network there’s a lot more competition required to validate blocks and thus, hash rate levels increases. The more hash rate a cryptocurrency has the higher its network security.

Litecoin has one of the most largest hashrates in Scrypt (~180TH/s) as well as having over 90% market share making it extremely secure. In addition, the Litecoin mining network is also distributed amongst many pool operators and not one single entity owns more than 19% which maintains its decentralization. In fact, Litecoin has been running constantly with no downtime for over 7+ years; without double spending, irreversible transactions or malicious 51% attacks to its network. These qualities are fundamental for a cryptocurrency to thrive in the long term and are qualities clearly shown in Litecoin.

3. Litecoin works today as a cryptocurrency

In fact, Litecoin is only one of three cryptocurrencies in the market to be listed on all major exchanges and all major wallets — the other two are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Whilst other cryptocurrencies in the industry are dedicating their resources on achieving this level of integration, Litecoin has spent 7 years successfully doing this already. And the results speak for itself: Litecoin is one of the longest surviving coins that’s maintained its top 5 position as a mineable coin ever since its inception. It’s highly liquid, secure, reliable and one of the most traded cryptocurrencies in the market today. Litecoin is highly recognised and has grown a large net effect within the industry.

You can also pay with Litecoin at many hundreds of thousands of merchants worldwide ranging from art & collectables, to clothing stores, to jewellery & accessories, to health & beauty, to domains & other digital services, to food & drinks, to games, to furniture, to education, to motor vehicles & accessories, to music & electronics, to travel, to property. It is also expected that Litecoin can reach a potential 1 million merchants through Clover POS+ as stated here.

This vast network of adoption has be driven by a strong grass-roots approach within the Litecoin community which has set it apart from most other communities in this space. Litecoin continues to evolve and grow globally with the focus towards mainstream adoption and we’ve already seen the starting blocks of this by our recent partnership with merchant processors such as Aliant Payments and major businesses such as UFC, HTC and WEG Bank. As more outside businesses enter the cryptocurrency space, Litecoin will be at this forefront pushing for mainstream adoption.

Within the space, Litecoin has started collaboration with X9 developers and XSN to enable Litecoin support on Neutrino; which is a light Lightning Network client, in order to build the the maintenance and hardening of the Litecoin Development on Lightning Network. Lighting Network is an off-chain solution that will help to improve Litecoin’s scalability and capacity as a payments solution. In addition, the Litecoin Foundation has accredited CoinGate as its official Litecoin Lightning Payment processor and currently are beginning a trial with their first selected merchant SurfSharkSecure. Progress on the Lightning Network is growing day by the day, with Litecoin now reaching 122 nodes, with 490 channels and around 56.14 LTC ($1,772.23) network capacity.

The introduction of second layered solutions such as Lightning Network as well as Atomic Swaps makes Litecoin effectively Bitcoin’s sidechain but with much better security via decentralized proof-of-work mining compared to federated or merge mining of regular sidechains. Value can move across chains seamlessly to take advantage of Litecoin’s faster and cheaper on-chain transactions. Some argue that as Bitcoin becomes more popular on the Lightning Network that there is no use case of Litecoin, however, Lightning Network is unable to cater for everyone in the world as well as actually solve Bitcoin’s scalibility issues. In addition, many of the Lightning Network clients and applications also support Litecoin because they see the value that it can bring. With atomic swaps, Litecoin interoperates with Bitcoin on the Lightning Network and with solutions like submarine swaps, you can use on-chain Litecoin for a Bitcoin lightning invoice.

In conclusion, Litecoin Core have been working over 7 years on development and still continues to do so even today. The result is a cryptocurrency that’s highly liquid, secure, reliable and traded in the market today. Github commits is only one aspect of measurement and certainly does not show the whole development or progress behind the scenes. In fact, Litecoin Core is also streamlining its commits so that it makes it easier to onboard and safeguard new code that enters its source code. All these new processes and procedures enables Litecoin to evolve in the next stage of its evolution which is bringing about mainstream adoption. Adoption is what will move us out of this bear market cycle.

Join the revolution with Litecoin now as it leads the industry in mainstream adoption.

References:

Coincheckup. (2019). Github Analysis of cryptocurrencies. [Online]. Available from: https://coincheckup.com/analysis/github. [Accessed 16 Jan 2019].

Gashi, I. (2019). A recap of 2018 — what has Litecoin accepted this year and what’s its next plans. [Online]. Available from: https://medium.com/@mrilirgashi/a-recap-of-2018-what-has-litecoin-achieved-this-year-and-whats-its-next-plans-36fc440faaed. [Accessed 16 Jan 2019).

Litecoin.com. (2018). 1M Merchants can now accept Litecoin Payments via Clover POS+. [Online]. Available from: https://medium.com/@LitecoinDotCom/1m-merchants-can-now-accept-litecoin-payments-via-clover-pos-4bcf4f98be28. [Accessed 16 Jan 2019].

Litecoin.com. (2019). Litecoin Lightning Network passes 100 nodes. [Online]. Available from: https://litecoin.com/en/news/litecoin-lightning-network-passes-100-nodes. [Accessed 16 Jan 2019].

LitecoinPools.org. (2019). Hash Rate Distribution (last 21 hours). [Online]. Available from: https://www.litecoinpool.org/pools. [Accessed 16 Jan 2019).

LTCFoundation. (2019). List of Businesses accepting Litecoin. [Online]. Available from: https://litecoin-foundation.org/businesses. [Accessed 16 Jan 2019).

Ilir Gashi

Written by

Community Manager at Litecoin Foundation