Feb 21, 2023

Australian Engineer Forks Ordinals Protocol to Litecoin

This week marked a major milestone in the world of cryptocurrency, as a small bounty and a bit of coding prowess enabled the forking of the Ordinals protocol to the second-ever crypto network, Litecoin (LTC).

The feat was accomplished by Anthony Guerrera, an Australian software engineer who on Feb. 18 posted a repository to GitHub that forked the Bitcoin (BTC) Ordinals protocol to Litecoin. This allowed for the use of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on the Litecoin network in much the same way they had been made available on Bitcoin earlier in the year.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Guerrera said he was inspired to make a Litecoin Ordinal fork due to a 5 LTC bounty posted by the pseudonymous Twitter user Indigo Nakamoto on Feb. 11, which eventually rose to 22 LTC, or about $2,000.

“I knew it was possible because Litecoin has taproot as well as SegWit,” Guerrera said, referring to the Bitcoin protocol updates that improved the privacy and efficiency of the network, while allowing for NFT-like structures called “inscriptions” to be attached to satoshis.

The cost to inscribe an image onto the Bitcoin blockchain can be quite expensive, but Guerrera said the cost to inscribe a litoshi — the LTC equivalent to a satoshi — is “about two cents.”

Guerrera said the process of creating the fork only took one week, as “the changes were quite simple.” He updated the Ordinals code to work with inputs from the Litecoin network instead of the Bitcoin network, and accounted for parameters that differed between the blockchains such as the total possible number of coins and block time creation differences.

In a Feb. 19 tweet, Guerrera said he’d inscribed the first ever Litecoin Ordinal, inscribing the MimbleWimble whitepaper onto the blockchain in the so-named “inscription 0.”

The inscription of the whitepaper is in the wake of the May 2022 Mimblewimble Extension Blocks (MWEB) upgrade that allows Litecoin users to opt-in to confidential transactions and other blockchain improvements such as helping reduce excess and unnecessary transaction data.

Guerrera said he dedicated the first inscription to the MimbleWimble technology and to make people aware that Litecoin now has a privacy sidechain attached to it. As for the future of the forked protocol, Guerrera will “keep contributing to this fork as much as I can” and port across updates from the original Ordinals.

The forking of the Ordinals protocol to Litecoin is a major step forward in the web3 space, and could have major implications for the use of NFTs in the crypto space. With the cost of inscribing a litoshi being so low, it could open up the door for more people to experiment with NFTs and the use of the Litecoin network for NFT marketing and promotion.

Moreover, the implications of this fork could also extend to the use of the Litecoin network for other web3 applications such as NFT marketing agencies and web3 agencies. This could create a whole new opportunity for people to use the Litecoin network to sell NFTs, and could open up a whole new market for the use of the Litecoin network.

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