EDITORIAL: An Overview Of The Lightning Network

Lightning NetworkTechnological advancement has overtime formed the core of all key spheres, with a constant upgrade of existing technology to portray new findings, address flaws or lags and incorporate new features all aimed at providing end users maximum utility through adoption.

An Insight

The cryptocurrency sphere has in recent times seen lots of technological upgrades with emerging products across niches amid calls for improved services by investors, developers, miners and end users. Most paramount herein is the movement for the adoption of the Lightning Network as a panacea to the crypto scalability problem peculiar with Bitcoin. With issues from delayed transactions, security cum privacy lag and high fees which have plagued cryptocurrency (majorly Bitcoin) payment and transactions in the past.

The concept of Lightning Network (Bitcoin 2.0) as first proposed by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja, is hinged on the creation or adoption of a bi-directional second layer peer-to-peer, private payment channel grafted above the blockchain. The Lightning Network (LN) is developed ‘to support huge and more instantaneous transactions; at faster rates with little or no transaction fees’.

Bitcoin and The Lightning Network

Of all coins which require the adoption of Lightning Network, Bitcoin which boasts of the largest popularity and coin market cap remains its top priority. With a below par average of 3-7 transactions processed per second across its block, the lightning network was designed to solve the technical limitations of the Bitcoin blockchain.

As experienced towards the end of last year, when the cryptocurrency market had an influx of new entrants with daily transactions at an all time high. Cryptocurrency users experienced delays in transaction confirmation time as well as huge miner fees being charged for these transactions as a result of congestion of the Bitcoin block network.

To this effect, only high fees could fast track transactions as miners maintained priority based fee charged per transaction. For example: to send Bitcoin worth $30 prior to that time, a fee of between 1 cent to $1 was charged however due to the lapse and congestion, this same transaction cost a fee of between $3-$15 on a regular send and $15-$40 on priority send.

Altcoins from Ethereum, Neo, Zcash and more have opted to adopt LN technology under varying platforms termed Raiden, Trinity and Bolt respectively; as they laud LN development as key to further cryptocurrency adoption and future utility. Most notably, Ripple (XRP) claims to offer the fastest transaction speed which they boast is “1000 times faster transaction than Bitcoin, 1000 times cheaper fees than Bitcoin”.

Ten years after the Satoshi Bitcoin master piece, the lightning network stands out as its first real-time tech change from the default bitcoin and cryptocurrency blockchain.

Tests and Adoption

The first practicality test of the Lightning Network carried out by TorGuard on its VPN service, proved successful as the transaction was completed instantly and incurred no extra fees. Another plus to the Lightning Network’s implementation is its independence away from miner’s support; which allows quicker and cheaper transactions ‘without third party influence‘ on speed or final completion cycle of any transaction.

At this time, there is yet to be a wide adoption of the Lightning Network as finishing touches are envisaged prior to its mass adoption. However a few crypto savvy cum hard core cryptocurrency enthusiasts have begun transacts on the network which has proved void of glitches and backdrops.

With its current state success, the Lightning Network would without doubt promote Bitcoin’s dominance and generally boost cryptocurrency utility over fiat as speed, anonymity and cheap fees all become feasible cryptocurrency characteristics.

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CryptoEnthusiast,CryptoEducator and Angel Investor,Writing Pro and Techie