Bitcoin is no doubt the king of cryptocurrencies. However, the Bitcoin blockchain has a severe scalability issue that is threatening to make the world’s flagship cryptocurrency lose its golden crown if proper care is not taken. A handful of experiments have shown in recent times that the Lightning protocol would surely make bitcoin great again.
Now, Lightning Labs, a team of expert developers focused on making the Lightning Network dream a reality has achieved massive success by releasing the beta version of their highly anticipated Lightning Network Daemon (LND).
LND Beta Goes Live
It is no news that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (or simply ‘Lightning’) offers bitcoiners a faster and cheaper means of carrying out transactions. Due to this fact, thousands of blockchain developers and volunteers around the globe have been testing and experimenting with the Lightning Network.
Lightning Labs have announced the beta release of their groundbreaking Lightning Network Daemon (LND) after over 12 months of hard work.
The LND is software that makes it easier for developers to access the Lightning Network. As per the team, LND is the first of all its implementations of the Lightning to advance into its beta stages; but one good thing about all significant implementations is that they are compatible with each other.
Investors Made it Possible
It’s a season of bounty harvest for the Lightning Labs team indeed. Launching a beta version of their LND is not the only good news at the moment as the team has also announced receipt of funds from technology giants and cryptocurrency big whales such as Robinhood co-founder, Vlad Tenev, Square and Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, and the erstwhile PayPal COO, David Sacks. And that’s not all, the creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee also contributed some funds to the project as well.
A New Dawn for Lightning
Expert developers have expressed their excitement over this great feat achieved by the Lightning Labs team, touting the LND beta launch as the “true beginning of layer-two payment network.”
“This release is a step forward for the network itself. What I mean by that is: Before all the apps, we need to build a healthy network that has liquidity, reliability, high-uptime nodes, healthy channels, etc. We need to onboard an entire industry onto a new layer and build a healthy topology. This release kinda marks the ‘start’ so to speak.”
Handle with Care
While a lot of developers are referring to the LND beta release as the beginning of Lightning Network on Bitcoin, the creators have advised users to observe some precautionary measures while working with the system as it has not yet gotten to the highest level of perfection. This release is only for expert developers who are well grounded in the use of command-line interfaces.
Also, it’s pertinent to note that developers interested in using LND are required to run a full Bitcoin or Litecoin node depending on the user’s preferred cryptocurrency. With Lightning, you can use Bitrefill to top up your mobile phone on the mainnet using bitcoin. The service is supported across 163 countries and also allows you to buy vouchers for Steam and Viber.
Just bought some mobile minutes for my phone on the main @bitrefill site at https://t.co/bSNbvZEa3m Lightning was listed in the payment dropdown. Settlement was instant and I paid no fees. Channel open fee was about $0.05 and that channel will not expire. The future is here ⚡️
— Alex Bosworth ☇ (@alexbosworth) March 15, 2018
The CEO of Lightning Lab, Elizabeth Stark, reiterated that, “Like the early days of the internet, it will start with advanced users with command-line interfaces and then evolve into a much more usable experience.” Stark also hinted that before the end of 2018, Lightning Labs would create more user-friendly Lightning-supported crypto wallets for desktop and mobile devices.
When the Lightning Network is finally crafted to perfection, will it be able to bring back all the merchants that have stopped accepting bitcoin as a payment method due to its scalability constraints? Only time will tell.