Blockchain, the company that states “building the Bitcoin platform that will power open financial future” as its mission, has announced the start of its new project – the Thunder network. The network is a result of company’s focus on the products that only facilitate everyday life and encourage people to use bitcoin to store and transfer value all over the world. Blockchain promises to finally make bitcoin more usable and useful.
The Thunder network looks like an alternative network of nodes that enables instantaneous bitcoin payments and settles back to the bitcoin blockchain once in a while. Every person who at least once dealt with bitcoins transfer from one wallet to another, understands that the whole process used to take from ten to twenty minutes before the blockchain confirms the transaction.
TechCrunch explains that such a long confirmation process is connected with the very notion of the blockchain. First of all, it is a network of servers that share the same record of transactions. Thus, to confirm a transaction all the nodes in the blockchain should write a line with this transaction so that everyone can confirm that the originating wallet has lost some amounts of bitcoins and the destination wallet acquired them.
The decentralized nature of the bitcoin is great on the one hand. But on the other, it makes the transaction process hard to scale and expensive.
Blockchain decided to improve bitcoin transactions and hired Mats Jerratsch to work on a Lightning network. Such type of alternative networks enables registration of transactions within seconds as they run independently from the main bitcoin blockchain. The nodes in a Lightning network don’t need to be aware of all transactions.
Thunder becomes the first version of a Lightning-like network developed by Blockchain. “Thunder has the potential to facilitate secure, trustless, and instant payments. It has the ability to unleash the power of microtransactions, to allow the bitcoin network to handle heavy loads, and to increase user privacy. In this Alpha version, we prove that it can be done. From a feature perspective, there is both a node and a wallet (with GUI) present”, says the official announcement of Thunder.
The Thunder network will enable fast transactions so as a result the network will be able to process 100,000 transactions per second. The Thunder would make bitcoin rather competitive to Visa that processes 56,000 transactions per second.
“The current Thunder prototype is best suited for transactions among a trusted network of users. Try this amongst your dev team or amongst your trusted internet friends, but don’t use it for real payments. Remember: this is alpha testing software. So why release this now? We believe it is critical to get something in the hands of users as soon as possible to gain feedback that will enable us to be ready when the network is. So review it, test it out, open an issue on GitHub, or send us an email”, reports Blockchain.