Charlie Lee, founder of Litecoin, has been in the news for reportedly selling all of his Litecoin – a move which earned him phrases such as “abandoning his own coin” and “putting his financial interests above Litecoin” – but he recently made himself noticeable for a completely different reason by expressing his intent to merge Litecoin and Monero.
Where did it all start?
The news initiated by a tweet from Monero’s project lead, Riccardo Spagni, in which he had posted his picture with Lee and had mentioned a merger playfully.
“Such a productive few days, finally got to sit down with @SatoshiLite [Lee’s Twitter handle] and talk about a possible merger between the Litecoin Enterprise Alliance and the Monero Enterprise Alliance, which we’d obviously call the LAMEA. #blessed #justblockchainthings”
While Spagni might have been kidding, the comments struck a chord with Lee, who immediately came forward with his own series of tweets to consider the idea seriously.
Commenting on the idea in a tweet of his own, Lee was quick to mention that even though he knew that Spagni was joking, he did consider the idea and thought that “it would be good” for Monero and Litecoin to “work together”.
In his next tweet, Lee mentioned that it would be a “win-win” for both Monero and Litecoin since it would make them “interoperable.”
He further mentioned that by working together, Monero will have access to Litecoin’s liquidity since the latter is “close to all exchanges,” while Litecoin would be able to benefit from the anonymity and fungibility that Monero would bring to the table with the collaboration.
He also mentioned that he had spoken to Spagni earlier about the possibility of enabling on-chain atomic swaps between the two cryptocurrencies.
However, he was quick to point out that this functionality will take some time to work properly on Monero and it was up to the Monero community to decide if moving forward with such a functionality would be a “good idea” or not.
So…is this a “good idea?”
A Litecoin Monero partnership would be a good idea, as before the recent drop in value after reports of Lee selling off his personal Litecoin reserve, Litecoin has been one of the most stable cryptocurrencies with access to multiple exchanges around the world. The cryptocurrency – unlike Bitcoin – is not that high in value, but also unlike Bitcoin, has been able to be stable even through the recent drop in Bitcoin’s value.
While Litecoin offers faster transactions and stability in value, Monero offers functions in terms of anonymity.
If the merger or even collaboration on atomic swaps takes place, it will be beneficial for these cryptocurrencies from the perspective of functionality. However, the long term effects of this will have to be considered by the community belonging to each of these coins.
About atomic swaps
Atomic swaps allow inter-currency transfers between blockchains without having an intermediary such as a cryptocurrency exchange between them.
It is akin to how someone from the U.S. can use the Visa network to use an ATM in another country to get cash from their account, but in the destination country’s native currency. The currencies get exchanged internally without the customer having to go to a third party.
Due to the benefits that atomic swaps could provide, implementing them is being considered by a lot of new blockchains, and the latest one to boast of them is the Bitcoin Atom hard fork that was announced earlier this month.