Leaked chat shows no evidence of development in Litecoin

Over the weekend, news spread of a leaked chat between Charlie Lee and a colleague in which Lee supposedly admitted that the rumors that no development is happening in the Litecoin chain are true.

A Reddit user published a post containing Telegram messages between Lee, Litecoin Foundation Founding Director Franklyn, and marketer and community manager Ilir Gashi. Their conversations indicated that, essentially, almost nothing had been done on the planned upgrades for this year, including the development for the so-called “Confidential Transactions” that Lee announced on Twitter several months ago.

In the alleged leaked chat, Franklyn (assumed to be Franklyn Richards) expressed his disappointment “that no progress had been made on CT [confidential transactions] since the announcement.” To which Lee replied:

The honest truth is that no one is interested in working on Litecoin protocol development work. At least no one technically competent. You can’t just throw money at this problem. This is true for Litecoin since the beginning. It has only been me, Warren, and Thrasher.

Redditor u/CryptosRUs also posted a YouTube video in which he proves that Litecoin has been stagnant for a while—especially in terms of development.

Lee, as expected, slapped down what he claimed was FUD against Litecoin. On Twitter, the Litecoin founder dismissed rumors that the project has been abandoned, in an apparent bid to settle the nerves of cryptocurrency users, saying, “Recently there’s been a lot of FUD about Litecoin having no code commits in 2019. When you look at Litecoin GitHub, it would seem like we did no work in 2019. There are actually 2 reasons why this is the case even though we have been developing.”

According to Lee, the majority of the updates applied to LTC were originally developed for SegWitCoin (BTC), and as a result, only the original date of development is shown in GitHub.

He said that in reality, the project was continuously updated, in line with these developments originally applied to BTC.

What this means in practice is that although we did work on and release the latest Litecoin Core in May of 2019, if you look at GitHub, most of the commits where [sic] done in 2018. So it would seem like Litecoin developers took the year off.

He also suggested that the core development team at Litecoin was significantly smaller than those working on other cryptocurrencies, and that in any case, developers do not work on the master branch of LTC on GitHub: “In the 8 years history of Litecoin, we’ve only had a handful of core developers working on Litecoin Core.”

In other news reported this week, crypto exchange Binance said Litecoin has been the victim of a so-called dusting attack, which hackers use to attempt to breach the privacy of the cryptocurrency.

A post from Binance explains how the attack is staged, using small transaction amounts to attempt to exploit holes in the infrastructure. “A dusting attack refers to a relatively new kind of malicious activity where hackers and scammers try and break the privacy of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users by sending tiny amounts of coins to their personal wallets.”

While Lee remains clear that the project is still under development, it remains to be seen whether his reassurances will do anything to silence the doubters.

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