Bitcoin Developer Peter Todd Believes Lightning Network is ‘Maturing’
Todd’s recent experience with the scaling solution saw him take to Twitter on April 21, 2018, when he attempted to make a payment via Bitrefill over the Lightning Network but was not successful. In the subsequent attempt with Acinq, however, the payment went ahead without any hiccups.
The Lightning Network
Bitcoin, like most cryptocurrencies, is built on top of blockchain technology. If there is a large backlog of transactions pending in the mempool, transfer fees and wait times tend to skyrocket. Given that every new transaction must be included in a block of a fixed size, it takes longer to handle the increased load.
The Lightning Network is defined as, “A decentralized system for instant, high-volume micropayments that removes the risk of delegating custody of funds to trusted third parties.” It is essentially a second layer, off-chain scaling model that will help speed up bitcoin transactions by taking them off the blockchain. The main chain will only be used to store the net result of all transactions that took place off-chain.
Using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network
At first, Todd used Bitrefill, an online wallet that allows users to pay their utility bills using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Since the transaction was not successful, he tried it again, but this time using Acinq’s Eclair wallet. His payment of $48 went through near immediately, and the bill was paid.
He referred to this improvement as a symbol that the Lightning Network is maturing and could now be opened up to the real world. In time, it should also be able to handle more significant and more complex transactions.
The Lightning Network opens a peer-to-peer micropayment channel between two transacting parties. Lightning helps in moving payments off the main chain, thus freeing up space for bigger, aggregated transactions on the blockchain.
Developer Todd paid his bill in three small transactions, each worth $3, $5 and $40. He wrote on Twitter, “Each one worked just as well as the rest.” He broke the payment into three smaller amounts to test the reliability of the Lightning Network.
Todd’s Criticism of Lightning
On February 26, 2018, Todd said that he was not sure if it was a good option to use the C programming language for developing and working on the Lightning Network testnet. A testnet is a copy of the blockchain used by developers for testing, without risking the loss of cryptocurrency. He felt that using C would make the whole network susceptible to DDoS attacks among other problems.
Todd was also involved in a series of tweets with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin as the pair argued over the possibility to scale on chain or not.
However, Trustnodes reported, “Buterin has successfully implemented a highly valuable project that has taken the world by storm and has fired much imagination. Todd, in contrast, has absolutely nothing whatever to show for himself, and with such flawed assumptions as shown, above, it’s not very surprising. He used to be the lead developer of an altcoin that has fallen into such obscurity we can not even name it from memory. Nor can we really recall what Treechains was about.”