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Will Litecoin and Monero merge?

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No, they won't. But mostly because they don't need to merge to enjoy each other's benefits.

OPINION: A tweet from Monero project lead Riccardo Spagni today idly floated the idea of a merger between Litecoin (LTC) and Monero (XMR).

In many ways they're a good match, Bitcoinist reports. Monero can benefit from the liquidity and widespread use of Litecoin, while Litecoin creator Charlie Lee has previously expressed a desire for better privacy features on Litecoin.

But will it happen? No. First, because the tweet was a joke.

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And second, because it doesn't need to.

One of the reasons the cryptocurrency world is unlikely to see serious mergers between large market cap coins is because the potential of on-chain atomic swaps, cross-chain solutions and other seamless bridging systems can produce similar benefits a lot more easily, as Lee pointed out.

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Atomic swaps, bridges and other solutions

As cryptocurrencies proliferate, the need for bridging solutions and more seamless interactions across multiple blockchains has become more apparent. There are a few different ways this is being done.

  • ShapeShift. This is one of the earlier solutions and was designed to allow for quicker and easier exchanging of currencies. It essentially works like a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange in your wallet because that's essentially what it is.
  • Atomic Swaps. Atomic Swaps are a way of converting cryptocurrencies on the spot. It functions a lot like ShapeShift, but it's technically quite different. It aims to be a lot more seamless, able to conduct swaps on-chain and adaptable to a wide range of coins.
  • Cross-chain translators. Some coins aim to create a broader cryptocurrency ecosystem that can encompass multiple blockchains and allow for relatively smooth movement of coins between them. This is one of ARK's main functions. Similarly, South Korean coin ICON (ICX) is designed to accommodate multiple blockchains inside a wider governance system, and the Dragonchain (DRGN) business blockchain solution aims to flexibly let businesses create their own tailored internal blockchains, and then connect those to multiple public blockchains (such as BTC or ETH) as needed.
  • Standardised coin ecosystems. Standardised coin ecosystems are also a growing trend. For example, Ethereum's ERC20 standard now encompasses hundreds of different coins, all of which can enjoy a considerable degree of innate cross-functionality. This is being further expanded by growth of ERC20 decentralised exchanges, and additions like 0x which offer even more "translation" and function across coins. The Stellar Lumens 2018 roadmap also suggests that it might be looking at expanding in a similar direction.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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