Charlie Lee admits to using “centralizing feature” earlier to keep Litecoin secure
Litecoin creator Charlie Lee recently revealed the “threats” that Litecoin had faced during its early days (in 2011) and what he did to secure it. In the series of tweets, Lee shared that he utilized a “centralizing feature” to do so and explained the reason behind it.
According to Lee, utilizing “checkpoints” to secure Litecoin was important for the coin as “there were threats of 51% attacks” and it made sense for a coin in its beginning days. Checkpointing is a centralizing feature since it depends on the developers to decide the right chain. He pointed out that in the beginning, Bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto also used checkpoints for stability and reliability of the network.
The Litecoin founder also stated that he considered “preventing large re-orgs in the code”, but eventually decided against it. According to him, it was a good decision and even Satoshi didn’t do it for Bitcoin. He even shared one of the mails of Satoshi to explain it further.
Satoshi wrote in the mail, “It is strictly necessary that the longest chain is always considered the valid one. Nodes that were present may remember that one branch was there first and got replaced by another, but there would be no way for them to convince those who were not present of this.”
“We can’t have subfactions of nodes that cling to one branch that they think was first, others that saw another branch first, and others that joined later and never saw what happened. The CPU power proof-of-work vote must have the final say. The only way for everyone to stay on the same page is to believe that the longest chain is always the valid one, no matter what,” Satoshi added.
The Litecoin creator went on to explain the whole idea of decentralization. He stated that if a new node is spun while having the “same consensus rules as the network”, one needs to conclude which is the right chain and it should be same as the rest of the network. “The whole decentralized consensus is pretty much based on this simple fact to be true,” he noted. “If this is not true, then it’s not decentralized as you have to trust someone to tell you which is the right chain.”
Some of the community members pointed out that checkpointing is actually one of the most efficient ways to deal with 51% attacks. One of the Twitter users wrote, “I ‘m glad finally you agreed with #KOMODO #dPOW approach. Checkpointing is definitely the cheapest and efficient way to deal with 51% attack. And #KMD has been doing it since 2016 and continue to help other projects to do as well.”
While some compared it with IOTA’s Coordinator, “It’s exactly why IOTA is using the Coordinator. It’s temporary but useful in the beginning. That’s all. The next steps are taken to get rid of the Coo.”
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