Charlie Lee AMA:mining pools are trying to force the developers to make a hard fork
On 8th Feb, Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin, host an AMA on 8btc. The event lasts 2 hours and attracts 148 participants and around 10k views. And Charlie Lee answer a total of 37 questions in detail. Find out more from the transcript below:
1.panda117：In your opinion, what is the role of the miners in the process of altering Litecoin’s protocol?
The role of miners is to process transactions and secure the coin. Miners play a symbiotic relationship with users for a crypto currency. Miners provide security, which provides value to the coin. And users using the coin provides value, which helps the miners because what they mine is worth something.
I think there’s a general confusion that SegWit signaling is a vote. It’s more of a signal that Litecoin miners are ready to support new things added to the protocol. In the end it’s the users or the economic nodes that decides if Litecoin should upgrade it’s protocol.
That said, being a symbiotic relationship, you don’t want to do something that hurts the miners and cause them all to quit. For example, if we hardfork to reduce the block rewards to 0, miners are not going to go along with that. And the security of the coin suffers. That will likely kill the coin. On the flip side, if the miners decide to fork to give themsleves more coins, the users will not accept that fork and the miners will be mining a useless fork.
So we want to work with miners to achieve the best for Litecoin.
If the miners do not have the power to vote and effect changes in Litecoin’s protocol, then the miners should not even be asked to vote whether or not to activate SegWit.
Miners are not asked to vote. They are asked to signal for when they are ready to support a new feature. Signaling is a way to coordinate between the miners. The users decide whether or not to accept this new feature.
You can think of this similar to the Byzantine General’s problem. The commander wants the generals to attack. If the general is ready to attack, he raises his flag to signal that he’s ready. Once 75% of the generals have their flags up, they start the attack. And the other 25% will see that and quickly get ready to attack also. The generals (or miners in this case) are just signaling that they are ready. It’s the commander (or users of Litecoin) that really decides whether or not to attack. And in this example, each general can decide not to signal and effectively block the attack.
If miners have the power to vote and they happen to not support SegWit, then will the developers comply with the miners’ vote?
Using the same example as above, if the majority of the generals decide to not signal. The commander has a few options. He can get new generals or he can just tell the signaling generals to go ahead and attack. This makes the battle a bit more risky, but it may have to be done.
In this example, the developers are not the commander. The users are. So as developer, we need to see if the economic majority of Litecoin users want SegWit. From what I am seeing today, the support is overwhelmingly in favor. So if it comes to that, we will have to decide what drastic measures to take to add SegWit to the protocol. But we are not close to that point yet.
2.hellobitcoin：Hi Charlie, please give a brief overview on the direction of Litecoin in 2017? When will the voting results for SegWit be finalized?
The most important goal of Litecoin is to get SegWit activated. Once SegWit is activated, there are a lot more things we can start adding to Litecoin. I really want to work with the Lightning team to get LN up and running on Litecoin. I have talked to Joseph Poon and he is extremely excited about this being possible on Litecoin.
The other thing I want to work on is Confidential Transactions. I think the one property that Bitcoin/Litecoin is missing from becoming the perfect form of money is fungibility. So I would want to explore making Litecoin more fungible.
Voting will end on January 28, 2018.
3.REP：I heard that if Litecoin adopts SegWit, 51% can attack Litecoin and steal all SegWit-activated Litecoin. Is this a possibility? Thanks.
This is a misunderstanding of the SegWit softfork. First, let me clarify what this is talking about. SegWit transactions are anyone-can-spend transactions. The softfork is to change mining behavior to not let anyone spend these transactions, but to only let the rightful owner spend it using signatures in the witness data that is now segregated. So once SegWit activates, it is now safe to use SegWit transactions because no one can steal them. The miners will enforce it.
The question is what if 51% of the miners decide to no longer enforce SegWit after activation. Can they steal the SegWit anyone-can-spend coins?
The answer is no. After SegWit activates, the protocol rules are now locked in by all the nodes of the network. Any changes to undo those rules will be a hard fork. That means, if miners decide to try to spend those anyone-can-spend coins, it’s no longer the Litecoin chain that all the other nodes accept. So exchanges would not be on that chain and would not let you deposit those stolen coins. This is equivalent to miners 51% attacking Litecoin and giving themselves more block rewards. They can do that, but they are not mining Litecoin. They are mining a fork of Litecoin that’s not accepted by anyone else.
4.风起云飞扬：If SegWit is tested to be successful on Litecoin, then will it be adopted by Bitcoin?
That’s up to the Bitcoin miners and users. But I think Litecoin will pave the way and show that SegWit is an amazing upgrade to the protocol.
5.touyou ：Will there be a fork for Litecoin in the future? If so, what might be the reason to cause such a fork? Will adopting SegWit lead to forking?Do you think forking is a good thing or a bad thing for LTC and BTC?If a small fork (soft?) happens, can it be stopped with large hashpower?
What other measures can be taken to avoid a fork? Thanks.
I assume this is about a hardfork. I think there’s a chance that we may hardfork. It depends on for what reason. It’s not very likely unless the vast majority of the users want it. Any controversial hardfork would lead to a split coin like ETH/ETC. That’s the last thing I want with Litecoin or Bitcoin
It’s a softfork, so it’s a lot safer than a hardfork. Is it possible that this will fork into 2 coins? Yes, but very very small chance.
I think softfork is a great thing. Hardforks are dangerous and should only be used if it’s non-controversial.
I explained it in a previous answer. Once a softfork activates, large hashpower cannot undo it.
Being careful and take time to plan things out. The Etheureum hardfork was rushed and didn’t have consensus. That’s why it lead to a split coin.
6.send ：Is it safe to adopt SegWit? If severe problems occur, will it be possible to return to the pre-SegWit Litecoin? If it’s not possible to return and severe problems occur, will the existence of Litecoin be in peril? What measures can be taken to salvage such a situation?
I believe it’s quite safe to adopt SegWit. If severe problems occur, miners can soft fork to block creation of new SegWit transactions and block spending of existing SegWit transactions. If that’s what we want. It will of course hurt Litecoin, but it’s not the end of the world. We will monitor adoption of SegWit and take quick measures if needed to.
7.大圣大圣：Some people say that Litecoin developers are not very active and do not market the currency very well, leading to a few big market makers hogging large amounts of Litecoin. How would you retaliate against these claims?
We are not in the position to market Litecoin. A currency does not need to be marketed. We just need more people to use it to realize its true potential. Give it time. Even Bitcoin is mostly just used for speculation.
As for a lot of big whales trading it. We have no control over that if that’s true. The same applies to Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies.
8.fanfanfan：Will Litecoin also adopt Lightning Network in the future? Some people say that Lightning Network will lead to the centralization of Bitcoin — do you agree with this claim? Why?
Yes, we would love to have LN run on Litecoin and will work closely with the LN devs on it
No, I don’t agree. LN can be very decentralized. It will actually improve fungibility and lower transaction fees.
9.baowj ：For solving the problem of transaction malleability, FlexTrans is a better technology than SegWit, so why choose SegWit and not FlexTrans?
Bitcoin concensus is 95%, but Litecoin concensus is only 75%, why is that? If 75% concensus is enough for a soft fork, then why is it not enough for a hard fork to solve transaction and blocksize limitations?
Since SegWit was announced for Litecoin, the support for it has appeared to be much less than when it was announced for Bitcoin, and some large LTC mining pools have expressed their opposition to SegWit. SegWit adoption is clearly no longer a technical argument, but more of a political argument, stemming off from Bitcoin. Whether or not Litecoin developers admit it, as soon as they have announced SegWit plans, they are already engaged in this political battle. Are Litecoin developers politically aligning with Bitcoin Core and forcefully activating SegWit?
Would it be possible to release the code for a hard fork to solve the problems of transaction and blocksize limitations, and let the community decide, rather than the developers forcing their preference on the community? Otherwise, your actions will lead to the same division between developers and the community, and between developers and the miners, just like with Bitcoin.
When Bitcoin Core announced the roadmap at the Hong Kong summit in 2015, you were one of the people to sign on the roadmap. On that roadmap, it was clearly stated that a hard fork will occur in the future. However, now the Core team simply seems to see it as an afterthought. Based on the active involvement of the Core team in different discussion forums and the lack of mention for a hard fork, it seems like a hard fork will never happen with the Core team.
Do you still support the Core team? Do you think it was right to sign on the roadmap back then? Is your support for Bitcoin Core related to you having a relative at BTCC? If, in the end, Bitcoin goes with BU’s scaling solutions and FlexTrans, what direction will Litecoin go?
There are many reasons. First, FlexTrans is not better technology. It’s a huge change to how things are stored. There’s a lot of risk involved with making such a big overhaul. And last I read, there were quite a few bugs in the implementation. I also don’t believe that tagging system is best used to store protocol-level data. A fixed structure is easier to manage because you know exactly how much data you have and what data is where. Lastly, FlexTrans requires a hardfork. There’s little reason to risk a hardfork for this.
I believe 95% is too conservative. A soft fork can be safely done with 75%. This is different than hardforking at 75%. For a hardfork, all nodes need to upgrade. For a softfork, only miners need to upgrade.
Yes, it’s unfortunate that SegWit on Litecoin became political too. One of the reasons I’m doing this AMA is to try to pull the politics out of SegWit on Litecoin. Let’s not let Bitcoin politics pollute Litecoin for no reason.
There’s absolutely no need for Litecoin to hardfork today. We are not adopting SegWit to solve the block size limit. So anyone that tells me why don’t we hard fork to 2mb on Litecoin, I know that they are bring Bitcoin politics to Litecoin. I’m not going to engage in that conversation. We are softforking SegWit into Litecoin so that we can fix transaction malleability and add future improvements like Lightning networks, Confidential Transactions, Schnorr signatures, MAST, etc. Period. If you don’t think adding these things to Litecoin is for the best, tell me why it’s not. And if you think hardforking to fix transaction malleability is better, I will explain to you why it’s not better. Don’t ask me to hardfork Litecoin to add 2mb block size. That’s just ridiculous.
A hard fork is always on the table. But SegWit first and then see if we still need it. I’m not sure Bitcoin will still need a hardfork after SegWit. If that’s the case, then great! I think the Bitcoin Core roadmap is good and I support it.
Not at all. I introduced Bitcoin to Bobby. Neither Bobby’s role at BTCC or my role at Coinbase have any influence on my views of how Bitcoin and Litecoin should improve. With a $17B marketcap, Bitcoin improvements need to be very conservative. The Bitcoin Core devs should not make reckless moves with so much money on the line. With Litecoin, we are doing things a bit less conservative like our 75% softfork activation for example. This is because Litecoin’s marketcap is only $200M. I think we are making the right tradeoffs.
With such a controversial topic, I can’t see how Bitcoin can possible go BU and FlexTrans. It will likely just not change, and that’s fine. It’s still the best store of value we have ever seen. Whatever happens, Litecoin is going the SegWit direction. And we welcome any Bitcoin Core devs to join us if Bitcoin for some reason goes in another direction.
10.bitcoiners ：How is the scalability of Litecoin? Can Ethereum’s functions/advantages be applied to Litecoin?
Litecoin has 4 times as much onchain scaling than Bitcoin. And if SegWit goes through, with LN, Litecoin can scale immensely. The rootstock team may be looking into adding ETH functionality as a sidechain to Litecoin after SegWit. So we will see about that. As far as adding ETH functionality straight to the Litecoin protocol, I don’t see that happening. But we will see!
11.MacBook ：Do you support Bitcoin’s scaling of blocksize to be larger than 1M? What do you think is the best scaling solution? Why?
I don’t know if Bitcoin needs to scale larger than 1M. SegWit will improve scaling and LN will help a lot to. We may figure out future technologies so that we may never need to increase the blocksize. I think that would be the best. But of course, if it comes time that we need to increase the blocksize with a hardfork, we may just have to do that. But we are not there yet today.
Internet rumours say that there is a master private key for Bitcoin, and it’s in the possession of Gavin Andresen, is this true or just a lie? As the founder of Litecoin, could you tell us if there is a master private key for Litecoin?
There’s no master private key. There’s an alert key that Gavin and others have. That let’s them send an alert messages to all nodes. But that’s it and the alert system is now deactivated in 0.13.
For Litecoin, only I have the alert key. And the alert system is also deactivated in Litecoin 0.13.
13.悠悠然：How many people does the Litecoin developer team currently consist of? What are their roles?
We have 9 people that contribute to Litecoin development. There’s no specific roles. We just contribute however we can.
14.爱财 ：From an investing perspective, all I know is that Bitcoin has just come out of a rebound, while the price of Litecoin is still flatlining at the bottom. This shows that Bitcoin is worthy of investment, while Litecoin appears to be practically dead, with the same price for over 2 years. Litecoin no longer appears to have any value for investors, how do you plan to solve this?
I don’t plan to solve this. We are focused in making Litecoin useful as money and keeping the network safe. The price is for investors and speculators to figure out for themselves. Litecoin value in fiat terms has been pretty stable, so that’s actually a good thing if people are using it as store of value or transactions.
15. IMJENNIM：What do you think of the politics around SegWit and how should we as a community deal with the politicization of technical issues?
I think politics is bad. One thing Bitcoin is not good at is that it does not have a good way to deal with politics. Maybe that’s not a bad thing as you don’t want any one party to be able to change Bitcoin to benefit themselves. So Bitcoin resisting change may actually be a good feature.
Some altcoins are looking at ways to improve on Bitcoin’s governance model. For example, Decred has a way where stakeholders can vote on how the coin will hardfork and improve. I think that’s very innovate and may be a way to resolve these deadlocks.
16. 海贼王BTC：I heard there are rumours that mining pools are trying to force the developers to make a hard fork. Is there any truth to that?
Yes, there’s truth to that. Some pools are bringing Bitcoin politics into Litecoin and wants to have Litecoin set an example for Bitcoin. I am not playing that game. Leave Bitcoin politicis out of Litecoin. If you don’t have Litecoin’s best interest in mind, I have no interest in talking to you.
17.nxttyisgood：Is Litecoin’s current position a little bit awkward? It’s falling off as one of the most prominent Altcoins. What is your view on that?
I don’t view Ripple as competing in the same space as Bitcoin and Litecoin. So to me, Litecoin has been #2 for the longest time. It’s been challenged by others like Auroracoin, Dogecoin, etc, but it has always shown resiliency. Today, I have to admit the challengers are much stronger. Ethereum has industry support and is doing something really different than Bitcoin. And Monero is trying to be a true fungible coin. Both I think deserve to be there.
I’m not concerned about this at all. And I do believe that SegWit can help unlock the true potential of Litecoin, which is to work alongside Bitcoin and be used as a global store of value and means of transfer.
18.helloruli：Do you own large amounts of XMR and DCR?
I own a decent amounts of XMR and DCR in relation to my BTC and LTC holdings. My crypto portfolio breakdown is here: https://twitter.com/SatoshiLite/status/828480761619550209
BTC is orange. LTC is grey. ETH is purple. XMR is brown. DCR is blue.
19.korbit：Zcoin is implementing the MTP algorithm. I heard that this algorithm is very good, will Litecoin consider it?
We don’t plan on changing the PoW algorithm in Litecoin. Doing so will require a hardfork. So we won’t do it at this late stage unless we need to do it because Scrypt is broken.
20.一颗芒果冻：Hello, what is the position of Litecoin as a cryptocurrency? Is it more for payments or something else?
Litecoin is a store of value and means of transfer.
21.江卓尔（Jiang Zhuo’er）：When voting is “1 choose 1” like in the case of the Great Leader of North Korea, even if Kim Jong Un receives 95% of the votes, it’s not a democratic decision.
When voting is “2 choose 1” like in the case of the presidential election in the US, then even if Trump only receives 51% of the votes, it’s still a democratic decision. Therefore, no matter who has the right to vote (1 CPU 1 vote, 1 IP 1 vote, 1 coin 1 vote, etc.), shouldn’t the developers offer more than one voting choice and then proceed according to the popular vote? Not like the way it is now, where the developers make a decision on their own first, and then only offer a “1 choose 1” vote. In the current case of “1 choose 1”, do mining pools have the power to decide whether a protocol applies or not?
Being a decentralized currency, Litecoin developers cannot prevent another party from running. Just like Bitcoin Core cannot prevent Bitcoin Unlimited from putting out a competing client. So there’s no reason for us to put out a choice we don’t believe in. It’s like having the Republicans put out 2 candidates instead of the 1 they truly believe in.
Miners and mining pools have a say, but they do not have complete control of the vote.
I have a question for you Mr. Jiang. You are currently against SegWit for Litecoin for purely political reasons relating to scaling on Bitcoin. This is because you own a large amount of BTC and it has nothing to do with Litecoin. When is LTC1BTC going to do what’s best for Litecoin and signal support for SegWit?
22.lpbjt ：As the biggest holder of Litecoin, why don’t you lead or manipulate Litecoin’s price a little bit?
I am definitely not the biggest holder of Litecoin. Since Litecoin was not premined, every LTC I own is either mined or bought on an exchange. I know of a dozen people who have a lot more LTC than I do. And even if I did have a lot of LTC, manipulating the price seems like a really bad idea for moral, legal, and practical reasons.
23.kaka1986 ：I would like to ask a blunt and low-level question: when will Litecoin’s price reach 1,000 CNY?
Whenever all of you decide to buy a lot more LTC! I wish I do, but I have no control over the price. If I did, LTC will already be worth 1000 CNY!
24.510685947：I see that the distribution of Litecoin is quite concentrated to the top 100 addresses. Will Litecoin turn to POW and POS?
The reason why 50% of LTC is in the top 100 addresses is because Litecoin is still mainly used for speculation. So holders hold most of their coins on exchanges, which keep their cold storage coins in a few addresses. This is not true for Bitcoin as BTC has much more uses than LTC right now.
I do not plan to change Litecoin to PoW/PoS anytime soon. At one point, I did consider using my PoA (Proof of Activity: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=102355.0) proposal on Litecoin, but changing it now is going to be quite controversial. But I am keen on seeing how it progress with Decred.
25.火商：A direct question – how many LTC do you have? How do you feel about people’s view of Litecoin as an “Altcoin” (the Chinese term has a slight slandering feel about it)?
I won’t reveal how many LTC I have. I don’t have a problem with the Chinese term for Altcoin. Everyone knows that Bitcoin is the king and that’s fine by me.
Do you believe that Litecoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency?
Is “decentralization” a unique attribute of blockchain?
Many countries and banks are now developing digital currencies.
Do you think these digital currencies will achieve decentralization?
If so, how? A blockchain that is not decentralized – will it work?
Yes, Litecoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency.
Yes, blockchain’s main feature is decentralized consensus.
These digital currencies will never be decentralized as they will be controlled by the countries and the banks.
No, it’s no longer the same if it’s not decentralized.
27.fanfanfan：If national governments or banking consortiums such as R3 developed their own digital currencies that can achieve cross-border payments within seconds and with low transaction fees, then why would anyone still use Bitcoin or Litecoin? Thanks.
One of the key features of decentralized currencies is uncensorable transactions. Governments cannot block you from using Bitcoin/Litecoin to pay anyone you want. But with a government-built digital currency, they will still have this power. So cryptocurrencies will still have its use. The second key feature is that cyrptocurrencies’ inflation schedule is set and cannot be changed without full consensus. So governments cannot inflate away your money.
28.fermi ：Is it true that the upgraded Litecoin will offer anonymity? Currently there are many cryptocurrencies that offer anonymity, such as Dash, XMR, Zcoin, Zcash, etc. Is Litecoin using a totally new technology for anonymity or rather a similar algorithm as the above cryptocurrencies? If totally new, could you briefly describe it? Thanks.
We are exploring adding Confidential Transactions to Litecoin. But we can only do that after SegWit is activated. So first things first.
29.maigj ：How much Decred do you have? Will there be a collaboration in the future?
I have some as I mentioned above. I do like Decred a lot. Don’t know if there will be a collaboration in the future. Maybe!
30.korbit:Could Litecoin take note of Dash’s masternode system? Many circulated cryptocurrencies are locked on the masternode network. Nodes can encourage the decentralization of the Litecoin network. Lower circulation can lead to a steady increase of the coin’s price. Can form a network of mutual support from 3 types of nodes: “mining, regular, masternode”.
I think the masternode system of Dash is too centralized. It also benefits the rich. I would stick with fiat if I wanted a system like that. With cryptocurrency, decentralization is important. I would not sacrifice decentralization for these features of Dash.
31.kaka1986 ：What plans do you have in place to increase the value of the Litecoin brand? How to make Litecoin “high end”, rather than a “low end” Altcoin?
I really have no control over that. As the creator and developer, my focus is on improving the code and keeping the network safe. I will let others help with the Litecoin brand.
32.玛_雅 ：Hello, two questions:
A concesus of 75% is too low, no? What if SegWit is activated but the remaining 25% are totally opposed, or even start a hard fork, then what? My suggestion would be to follow the example of Bitcoin and raise the concensus requirement to 95%.
What if miners form a consortium to oppose SegWit’s activation? For example, Bitcoin’s BitQt.com already has nearly half of its nodes running SegWit, but the combined hashpower is only around 23%. The level of decentralization of Litecoin’s hashpower is not as high as Bitcoin’s, so what will happen if a miners’ consortium refuse to signal for SegWit? Does Litecoin have some sort of emergency plan to alter PoW algorithms?
75% is not too low for a softfork. If the remaining 25% opposes, as long as they don’t mine a block that steals from SegWit transactions, they won’t be on the wrong chain. And if they do mine a block that does, they will be mining the wrong chain. If the economic nodes, like exchanges and merchants, are running the new code, they will not accept that wrong chain. Those miners will quickly learn that they are mining coins that can’t be sold and will quickly switch to the right chain. This is why there’s a 2 week period between SegWit locked in and SegWit activation. It’s time for the miners to realize that SegWit will happen and to make sure they are mining the right chain. Lastly, SegWit adoption will be slow initially. So if you are concerned, just wait a few weeks when it’s clear that all miners are mining the correct chain before you send SegWit transactions.
If the economic nodes are all in favor of SegWit and a miners’ consortium is blocking it for Bitcoin political reasons, then we may do something drastic. But changing PoW is not something we take lightly and only will be done on a last resort. I don’t see why we would need to do that. We don’t like to think about that scenario and would prefer to work with the miners to do what’s best for Litecoin together.
33.比特吹 ：Do you have a good relationship with your brother? Is Bobby Lee an American citizen? In that case will his Bitcoin exchange operations in China be limited by capital restrictions?
How is Coinbase’s development lately? I noticed that the exchange volume is quite low, how do you guys generate profit?
Yes, I have a good relationship with Bobby. You need to ask him those questions.
Coinbase is doing extremely well. LTC volume is low as it’s a chicken and egg problem to get people to trade with us. But otherwise, the company is doing very well.
34.satoshi ：Hi Charlie!
Before the founding of Ethereum, Litecoin was the decentralized cryptocurrency with the second largest market cap for a long time, but that has changed over the past year.
Do you think the relationship between Ethereum and Litecoin is one of competition? For investors, what are the main advantages of Litecoin?
Also, do you think the relationship between Ethereum and Bitcoin is one of competition? Their respective social concepts seem to differ quite significantly, could you please share your thoughts, thanks.
I do not see Ethereum as a competitor to Bitcoin/Litecoin. Ethereum is trying to do something different and is not a store of value. Comparing Ethereum to oil makes sense to me. That said, it is competing with Bitcoin/Litecoin for investment dollars. So if you are looking at it solely from an investment perspective, they are competing.
35.辣条有毒：You have previously predicted Bitcoin at 8888 CNY and Litecoin at 88 CNY, do you still hold your prediction now? If you do, could you also give us a timeline for your prediction to come true? Will it happen in 2017?
The prediction was sort of a joke. No one can predict the future. I just thought it was witty to predict an 88 price on Chinese New Year. Nothing more to that.
36.rmb ：What do you think is the biggest misconception that foreigners have toward Chinese Bitcoin users, miners, and companies? How can we make them change these misconceptions?
What do you think about the POB’s inspections of Chinese exchanges?
I think the biggest misconception is that the Chinese users/miners/companies are just in it for the money and don’t care about the future of cryptocurrencies. It’s probably more true in China than elsewhere as the Chinese are very smart. But I have no doubt that you care about Bitcoin, Litecoin, and cryptocurrencies and can see how that it’s a revolutionary idea. I’m not sure how you can change these misconceptions.
I think it’s a good thing for the PBoC to inspect the Chinese exchanges. Sometimes it’s better to have some regulation to prevent disasters like MtGox from happening again.
37.江卓尔：Since miners and pools only have a say (and not the power to vote), then why ask miners and pools to vote on SegWit?
Firstly, I also have a large amount of Litecoin (200,000). Secondly, it’s not only me that is opposed – all the LTC mining machine manufacturers and major LTC miners I know are against using a soft fork to achieve SegWit, no exceptions. Actually, I am in support of using a hard fork to implement SegWit.
There doesn’t exist such a thing as “what’s best for Litecoin”. In the world of Litecoin, nobody can play “god”, and nobody has the right to decide what is “the best” for Litecoin.
Whether or not this direction is “best” for Litecoin, it must be beneficial for the Litecoin community. You cannot choose a method that is harmful towards a certain portion of the community and then ask them to harm themselves in order to support this future direction.
There’s a misundertsanding that we are asking miners to vote for SegWit. In reality, it’s just signaling for SegWit readiness. If 75% of miners are ready for SegWit, then it activates. And users can choose to use SegWit or not. It’s up to the users to use it. If majority of miners decide to never signal for SegWit, it is true that they can block SegWit from activating. But if users really want it, it will happen.
I will give an analogy to this. Miners are paid to protect the network and secure transactions in the blockchain by mining blocks. Compare this to a jewelry store paying guards to protect all the entrances and windows. There is value in the jewelry store, so the store is willing to pay a lot of money to the guards to protect it. In this example, miners are the guards. SegWit is like adding a second floor to the jewelry store. With a second floor, the store now need guards to also protect the second floor entrances and windows. But it can’t add a second floor before the guards are ready to do this little bit of extra work, because then it opens itself up for a thief to get in on the second floor. So it uses signaling. Once 75% of the guards say they are ready, the store will open up the second floor. That makes sense, right? But what if now the guards say, sorry, we are not interested in guarding your second floor and will not signal for it. Then what? Does the store give up on opening the second floor? No, because the store will make more money with two floors! So it now has a choice. It can fire all the guards and get new ones, that’s equivalent to changing proof of work. Or it can maybe open the second floor when only 50% of the guards signal that they are ready. And there are other options. The point is that if the store really wants to open a second floor, the existing guards can delay but not block it.
In terms of a hardfork SegWit, that is very silly. There is minimal difference in code between a hardfork SegWit and a softfork SegWit. The major difference is that hardfork is a lot more dangerous. It would be stupid for us to do a hardfork for SegWit instead of a softfork.
There is such thing as what’s best for Litecoin. If the majority of the economic Litecoin nodes want to do something, that’s what’s best. It’s of course hard to measure that. The only measurement we have is whether or not people upgrade to the new code. If the vast majority of the exchanges, merchants, payment processors, and users upgrade to 0.13.2, then we have a good idea that they do want SegWit and agree with the Litecoin devs’ plans to improve Litecoin. If that’s the case and yet the miners are refusing to support this improvement, it is then that we need to decide on what to do with the guards that are not willing to protect the second floor.