Here at BitStarz, we’ve been amazed by the Lighting Network. Prior posts on our blog have looked at the development of the technology and its potential to fix Bitcoin’s growing scalability problem. Taking a step closer to becoming a fully-fledged reality, we are happy to report that the Lightning Network has now reached a new milestone. Announced through Lightning Labs’ official blog, it’s been revealed that the LND 0.4-beta launched has been a success, with its implementation carrying the “safety, security, and reliability features necessary for real-world, real money usage.”
From idea to beta
The launch of the Lightning Network is hotly anticipated, to the point where even a beta rollout has users excited. In its current form, the Lightning Network is designed for use by “developers of future Lightning Applications, along with technical users and prospective routing node operators.” The Lightning Network team has issued a word of caution regarding its use in a beta state, advising users to only “experiment with small amounts” of BTC. Since its beta launch back in December 2017, the user uptake has been impressive, reaching more than 2,000 channels and 1,000 nodes.
An army of followers
Lightning Labs has been quick to publicize and promote the arrival of 0.4-beta, but that’s not the only reason the company has to celebrate. In a new financing push, Lightning Labs has generated $2.5 million through a round of seed funding. What’s arguably most impressive about this round of financing is the names that have opted to get involved. David Sacks (former PayPal COO), Jacqueline Reses (Square Capital CHRO), and Charlie Lee (Litecoin creator) all contributed, which shows just how fondly viewed the Lightning Network is amongst high-profile financial and crypto figures.
Not without criticism
The general reception to the Lightning Network has been positive, but there are those that feel the project’s beta launch is premature. Peter Todd (Bitcoin Core Developer) is of the belief that the Lightning Network will only prove to be a worthwhile development should it be able to remain stable over an extended period of time. In its current form, his feeling is that the Lightning Network is “vulnerable” and “unproven”. Echoing similar sentiments, “Cobra” (Bitcoin.org creator) whipped up a storm on Twitter when he labeled Lightning Labs’ “irresponsible” for its promotion of a premature platform, even going as far to tag Lightning Labs as a “terrible company”. Unsurprisingly, the biggest criticism came from “Bitcoin Judas” and resident crypto-clown Roger Ver. Taking to his Twitter feed once again, he said, “The #LightningNetwork is just a Rube Goldberg device to solve a problem that never actually existed in the first place.” As expected, his comments on the Lightning Network were largely criticized.
Bitcoin price implications
Bitcoin’s price has been on a steady decline in recent months. While the fall in Bitcoin’s value is unrelated to the Lightning Network, many have wondered what a full Lightning Network rollout will mean for Bitcoin’s price over the long term. Influencing its market cap, some feel that a scalable and faster network means that Bitcoin can be conveniently used for everyday purchases. This would result in Bitcoin becoming more functional and potentially see its value increase. As exchanges, merchants, and users move towards the Lightning Network, its impact will surely become wide-reaching. Bitcoin’s scalability issue is arguably the cryptocurrency’s biggest stumbling block, so should the Lightning Network be able to conquer it, it’s certainly plausible that it’ll boost Bitcoin’s value.
The Lightning Network looks to the future!
The Lightning Network is one of the biggest technological advancements to ever reach the cryptocurrency sphere, with it having the potential redirect the path of Bitcoin. Now that its latest beta is active, it looks like a full rollout is closer than ever. When it comes to the Lightning Network, it’s certainly a case of watch this space, as the technology is an undeniable “game changer” for the world’s leading cryptocurrency.