It has been just over 2 years since Segregated Witness was activated on the Litecoin network and over those years adoption of the technology has been somewhat moderate, settling and flatlining at around 50% for the majority of 2019. Since August that number has soared, peaking yesterday at 75% and setting a new all time high for the metric breaking the previous peak of 66% in November of last year according to data provided by Blockchair.
We reached out to Litecoin Core Developer, Loshan who said of the news:
Litecoin led the way forward in adopting the bloat-reducing tech: SegWit. In the future, we hope to lead adoption in cutting-edge blockchain technology.
Segregated Witness has been a contentious change to the network that was shrouded in political disagreement in what came to be known as the block size controversy. It enabled a couple of changes including a fix to the malleability issue on the network that would help pave the way to layer two scaling via the Lightning Network and secondly an effective blocksize increase to 4MB by separating out the witness data from a transaction to its own area, however the realistic maximum of a block is still limited to ~2.5MB.
Segwit also provides greater transaction efficiency and reduced fees for those who use it instead of the legacy address system. While Segwit has become a majority of the network, adoption of Bech32 (Native Segwit) which offers even greater efficiency has been slow, predominantly because large service providers and exchanges take time to upgrade their infrastructure.
When Coinbase first rolled out support for the technology, adoption swiftly jumped from 9% to 33% in February 2018 and for a while adoption was correlated somewhat with that of Bitcoin, including this most recent spike over the last two months indicating some other large service on the network has quietly upgraded.