Litecoin Foundation to Sponsor UFC Title Match to Increase Crypto Adoption

The Litecoin Foundation is reportedly set to sponsor a title event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts organization that, according to the Foundation, became a global phenomenon over the last 25 years.

Through an announcement, the Litecoin Foundation noted that throughout the last year it has had the opportunity to partner with “some great companies and brands,” and that it will continue to explore these opportunities in 2019.

It notes that it sees “many parallels” between UFC’s growth and that of Litecoin, as both saw their growth increase thanks to their respective communities. It further touted that the development is a “milestone” for the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

This is a milestone for Litecoin and cryptocurrency in general as no other coin has sponsored a UFC event to date. With brands and institutions continuing to push into cryptocurrency and blockchain, this is yet another signal of this technology moving closer towards the mainstream.

The sponsorship deal will see Litecoin’s logo be displayed on the fighting ring’s canvas, giving “LTC global awareness that can spark interest and drive engagement with people from all walks of life” who may not be familiar with crypto. Notably, UFC events receive “millions of viewers.”

Per the Foundation, this could be a step in a “long and fruitful relationship” with the mixed martial arts organization. Charlie Lee, who created Litecoin back in 2011 as the silver to bitcoin’s gold, tweeted out about the announcement.

As CryptoGlobe covered Lee recently argued he isn’t to blame for the cryptocurrency’s 90% decline this year. He has been criticized for selling most of his LTC holdings late last year when the cryptocurrency was close to its all-time high, in a bid to avoid a “conflict of interest” when talking about the cryptocurrency.

As reported, some of the funds he got from the liquidation were donated to the Litecoin Foundation, and to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Digital Currency Initiative. Litecoin itself isn’t centrally managed, but is supported by the Litecoin Foundation.

Lee, a former software engineer at Google who has served as director of engineering at Coinbase, has been focusing on his role developing Litecoin and increasing merchant adoption.

The Monero Hard Fork – Did it Help GPU Miners?

Monero, the open-source altcoin created to provide fungibility, privacy and decentralization, successfully underwent a hard fork on 9th March, 2019, resulting in a hash rate plummet of over 80% and a purge of ASIC miners from the network. This is the latest development in Monero’s ongoing war against ASICs, which is designed to prevent too much centralisation of mining hash power. But what exactly does it mean for GPU miners?

The War with ASICs

Monero performed its first anti-ASIC hard fork in April 2018 to counter ASIC machines such as the Antminer X3. The Monero Core Team vocalized specific concerns over government manipulation or imposed regulation of the network and has consequently committed further to increasing ASIC resistance, building its strategy on making scheduled hard forks to prohibiting ASICs from engaging with the network.

In deliberately excluding ASIC mining, Monero is committed to CPU and GPU miners, and resisting centralisation. Preventing potential 51% attacks is doubly important for a privacy coin like Monero, and as mining farms grow in size and the number of hash-power-for-hire marketplaces increases, it’s important to remain committed to this path. The recent Ethereum Classic attack in January shows that it is possible to carry out a 51% attack, even on an altcoin with a fairly high market capitalization.   

The one danger is that over time, Monero’s commitment to its six-monthly hard forks may be unsustainable. This is because community consensus becomes increasingly harder to achieve – the last fork spawned four Monero spin-off projects.

 The Implication for GPU Miners

Monero’s introduction of the anti-ASIC Proof of Work protocol saw hash rates plummet by 83%, boosting profitability for GPU miners who typically mine other more profitable coins. However, the hash rate is already beginning to climb, recovering to 313.75 Mh/s from 95 Mh/s.

The drop in hash rate made Monero one of the most profitable coins to mine for a time, but through the laws of supply and demand, the hash rate is already equalizing. The market didn’t rally in response to the hard fork as one might have expected, the sluggish response may be because most mining farms and GPU mining rigs require too much manual effort to change mining algorithms – although software is becoming more sophisticated.

Monero Network Hashrate

Monero’s upgrade has also introduced further security-oriented changes to the dynamic block algorithm to help mitigate potential ‘big bang’ attacks. Sticking to its privacy coin roots, the upgrade further introduced a dummy encrypted payment ID, improving the homogeneity of each transaction.

The latest hard fork is therefore a significant improvement on Monero’s founding principles of privacy, security and decentralisation which should be welcomed. Plus, it’s a boon to GPU miners, and demonstrates that if you’re agile, there’s still money to be made through GPU mining.

Matt Hawkins, CEO at Cudo Ventures

Matt Hawkins is a distributed computing expert and entrepreneur. He founded and sold a data centre business and is now applying his knowledge, network and his enthusiasm for crypto market and technology developments in Cudo Miner. Matt believes decentralised computing is better for the environment, and Cudo’s vision is to help make computing more ethical and sustainable – whether its reducing waste or creating innovative ways to support good causes.