The California based Lightning Labs has announced the launch of the beta version of its Lightning Network. This is one of the long awaited scaling possibilities of Bitcoin that could make the digital currency’s transactions faster. It brings closer the possibility of recurring payments and use for internet of things (IoT) applications.
The Lightning Network, which has among its features, cheaper and faster transactions on the blockchain has had the alpha versions developed by companies such as Blockstream and ACINQ, but the latest software released by Lightning Labs has gotten Bitcoin closer to more practical uses. This is why the launch attracted the interest of investors such as Jack Dorcey, Twitter CEO, Square Capital’s Jacqueline Reses, Charlie Lee of Litecoin and former PayPal COO, David Sacks.
The company announced that they had raised $2.5 million from such investors as they work at scaling solution. Mr Sacks said that the Lightning Network is the most important developmental project associated with Bitcoin and that the Lightning Lab’s software is the most practical of the protocol.
The LN can be described as the most important scaling solution that the Bitcoin community has been waiting for. Its development is the work of many experienced programmers and coders. Lightning Labs CEO, Elizabeth Stark said that the work has been the combined efforts of many in the community and so will continue to be open sourced and available as a scaling tool for Bitcoin and possibly other cryptocurrencies.
Presently, there are safety nets built into the software, one of which is a transaction limit of $1400. Ms Stark said that the LN is open for advanced users presently and asked all to approach the software with caution since it is still at beta testing stage. Users are advised not to transact any amounts they cannot afford to lose.
Lee, the Litecoin founder and a long-term advocate of the Lightning Network said, “I’m excited to see the launch of this version of the LN, to think that soon, I’ll be able to do across chain transactions between Bitcoin and Litecoin”.
More than 1000 nodes are already hosting the LN and Stark hopes that more advanced users who can host their own nodes will add the free software for faster and cheaper transactions. With the LN gradually coming mainstream, it’s a matter of time before blockchain apps become commonplace.