The oil and gas industry is a well-oiled machinery that extracts crude oil and gas from the ground and produces refined products and LNG, right to a T. Disruptions to production can be financially catastrophic and safeguards are normally put in place to ensure continuous operations. Prized key elements in the industry are technology reliability, maturity, and reputation. The oil and gas industry constructed its own elaborate systems to verify and qualify each technology and whether it’s worth purchasing or investing in. After all, they wouldn’t want to get caught owning a lemon installed that’s costing millions of lost revenue.
One of the systems deployed is the Technology Readiness Level (TRL), which is adapted from NASA. The TRL is basically a thermometer that categorizes the maturity of technologies from Category 1 to Category 9. Here’s an illustration of how the TRL works based on the European Union’s definition:
For example, the infamous nuclear fusion technology falls between categories 3 and 4 hence the often repeated “Nuclear fusion adoption is 20 years away”. It shows that nuclear fusion, despite years of research, remains a technology that is immature and requires huge funding to reach category 9.
If we use the TRL system to gauge how mature the Litecoin network is, we can conclude the following:
Litecoin shares the same codebase as Bitcoin, albeit slightly modified for faster transactions and lower fees. If Bitcoin is proven, Litecoin is proven too.
Litecoin is up and running since October 2011. The Litecoin network is uninterrupted for 11 years (October 2022 as I am writing this).
The largest upgrade to the Litecoin network, MimbleWimble Extension Blocks (MWEB), took place in May 2022 without a hitch. This demonstrates the network’s reliability and the amount of care and attention shown by the stewards of the Litecoin Foundation, the community, and the developers.
We can summarize by saying Litecoin is at TRL category 9, way ahead of other altcoins that can get 51% attacked, paused, reversed, roll-backed, re-started, etc. Litecoin’s track record has achieved the gold standard in continuous operations, engineering-wise. In the industry, this track record is impeccable and is worth more than its current price.