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How Litecoin Saved Dogecoin: When Litecoin Became Dogecoin's 9/11 Hero

Updated: Sep 17


The story of how Litecoin saved Dogecoin on September 11th, 2014, is a compelling and often overlooked even today as Dogecoin's own Wikipedia page doesn't even discuss the history. Go look seriously it's not there!


Introduction

Litecoin and Dogecoin, top proof of work digital money protocols, have amassed a significant following over the years; the former being a lighter version of Bitcoin and the latter inspired by a popular meme and has huge support from Elon Musk (you know the richest and most influential person on the planet). However, early on, they competed for the same miners, and by mid-2014, Dogecoin faced considerable security risks due to diminishing mining rewards and a potential 51% attack as it lost ground in hash rate compared to Litecoin.


Many don't know that Dogecoin is now merge mined with Litecoin, they share the same mining hardware and both are secure and dominant. Additionally, they employ distinct mining devices in contrast to Bitcoin, which relies on different mining hardware tailored for the SHA-256 hashing algorithm. This means both Litecoin and Dogecoin don't compete against Bitcoin for hashrate and security. It's why you can't compare hashrate of Bitcoin vs Litecoin and Dogecoin. It's not apples to apples. Furthermore, Litecoin and Dogecoin are more profitable today than Bitcoin.


Understanding Merged Mining

Merged mining, conceptualized by Satoshi Nakamoto in December 2010, leverages the Auxiliary Proof of Work (AuxPoW) consensus to allow miners to work on multiple blockchain networks simultaneously, enhancing security and reducing the risk of a 51% attack when utilizing the hashing power of the dominant network.



In April 2011, Namecoin pioneered the merged mining with Bitcoin. Drawing parallels, Charlie Lee proposed a similar proposal for Dogecoin with Litecoin in April 2014, exactly 3 years later, foreseeing the mutual benefits for both Litecoin and Dogecoin.



Charlie's Proposal

It was Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, who first suggested the idea of merged mining in April 2014. Expressing his views during a Reddit AMA session, Lee noted, "I am interested in merged mining academically. And maybe this will be helpful to people."


Billy Markus, one of the two creators of Dogecoin, engaged in the Reddit conversation with Lee, exploring the motivations and benefits behind merged mining.


Markus asked, "What is the benefit to Litecoin and the Litecoin community for Litecoin pools to start merged mining with Dogecoin?". Below is the discussion:



Charlie also elaborated on why he initially chose Scrypt mining for Litecoin compared to Bitcoin. He stated it was critical for an alt-coins survival to not compete with Bitcoin. Similar dogecoin was now competing with Litecoin. He suggested either merge mining or switching to a new non-competing hashing algorithm.




Charlie lee also sent an email to Jackson regarding the switch to merge mining with Litecoin.



After several discussions, the Dogecoin community gravitated towards merged mining, recognizing its potential for network security and promising mutual growth and stability. Charlie even linked to potential code that could be used.


Shared Security

On AuxPoW switchover block (371,337) Dogecoin officially embraced the AuxPoW upgrade on September 11th, 2014. This step was more than just about bolstering Dogecoin's security. It symbolized unity and collaboration between the two crypto communities.


Also by coincidence block 371337 is palindrome-ish hinting at a potential deeper connection between Litecoin, Dogecoin, and even Bitcoin.


The "1337" in the block number is a nod to "leet," a term derived from "elite," which is used to describe skill or accomplishment, especially in the fields of online gaming and computer hacking. Interestingly, Charlie Lee initially considered naming Litecoin "elite" before settling on its current name.


Also "13" in between "37 & 37" is potentially harmoniously tying in the birthdays of Litecoin (10/13) and the release date of Bitcoin's white paper (10/31), a subtle acknowledgment to the two foundational pillars. 37 13 37 and 37 31 37.


After the block switch it fortified security for Dogecoin. Thanks to Litecoin miners deciding to now verify Dogecoin transactions, its blockchain became more robust against potential threats, safeguarding its ongoing growth and existence.



The move was more than symbolic; it was a strategic move grounded in game theory also. Through the collaboration, Litecoin arguably established a better game theory than Bitcoin in terms of defense against a takeover by minority networks. This is partly because Dogecoin, a top 10 network, acts like a guard dog, protecting Litecoin. In this light, supporting Dogecoin is intrinsically supporting Litecoin.


Also in contrast, Bitcoin faces more competition from hard forks like Bitcoin Cash, etc., which vie for the same SHA-256 hashrate.


Furthermore, Dogecoin has added continuous tail emissions, each block 10,000 new dogecoin are created. This lessens the revenue reduction from litecoin block rewards after each 4-year halving. Bitcoin miners are more effected by the bitcoin halving and more reliant on bitcoin's price increasing.


This is more of a reason why public miners should diversify and mine Litecoin and Dogecoin. Bitcoin mining is highly competitive right now with the SHA-256 miners. Litecoin and Dogecoin Scrypt miners provide a diversified opportunity as miners can benefit from two popular top 10 chains instead of just one.


Elon Musk and the Hidden Game Theory

Elon Musk's consistent support for Dogecoin has been met with praise and skepticism, also raising questions about whether it indirectly endorses Litecoin. Some prominent Bitcoin maximalist think Elon is stupid for supporting Dogecoin and its continuous block rewards. Not understanding that Dogecoin's inflation rate is better than the US dollar.


By supporting Dogecoin, Musk indirectly champions Litecoin, since Dogecoin’s continuous block rewards and transaction fees perpetually incentivizes Scrypt miners, thereby reinforcing the Litecoin network. This beckons a question: is Musk, aware of this interdependency and game theory, and portraying Litecoin as an alternative to Bitcoin?



Conclusion

Today, on the ninth anniversary of this monumental switch, we reflect on a journey of collaboration and innovation. The Litecoin and Dogecoin communities have not only survived but thrived, showcasing the power of unity and the boundless potential when pioneers like Charlie Lee and visionaries like Billy Markus come together to forge a path of stability and security.


Now its time for the Wikipedia for dogecoin to be updated and reflect how Litecoin saved Dogecoin on 9/11.





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