In a major breakthrough in solving bitcoin’s scalability issues, Blockchain developers Lightning Labs together with Blockstream and ACINQ have announced the release of Lightning Protocol 1.0. For the first time ever all three developers have successfully tested Lightning payments including live transaction and interoperability of the software on the Bitcoin blockchain, which definitely brings the project closer to public launch.
Lightning Network is basically a second level network built on the top of the Blockchain network, which basically acts as an off-chain payment layer. The specifications for the Lightning Network were developed by the three above mentioned developers and other Bitcoin enthusiasts through an open, collaborative process.
Having released the first version, the project’s team is looking for peer feedback and reviews for final specifications from the higher development community. In addition, the three are also working on beta release of their inventions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Pierre-Marie Padiou, founder of ACINQ said:
“This is the Lightning standard we’ve been working on for more than a year. There’s been a lot of work from us and from all participants. It’s a big milestone.”
Another major result derived from the test is that all the implementations are compatible and interoperable with each other.
“We’ve been able to make successful payments on the mainnet that goes all around the world, and which involves different compatible implementations. That’s kind of a big deal.”
Interoperability Between Different Implementations
According to Padiou, the interoperability between implementations will provide strong foundation for future developments. He also believes that the latest test results have given a further boost in getting closer for public launch. As the specifications are now said to be complete, developers know what rules to be followed while building their own Lightning network.
Proved compatibility and interoperability between the implementations makes Lightning network very useful for small value payments in the future. In this regard, according to Bitcoin Magazine, Elizabeth Stark, CEO of Lightning Labs stated:
“Interoperability is key to making Lightning a success. We have worked for over a year to design a specification so that we and other developers can write implementations that talk to each other. This ensures that no matter which implementation a user is using, they will be connected to one Lightning Network.”
Work In Progress for Beta Release on Blockchain
These successful tests have shown that the project has moved closer to the public launch but still, a lot of work needs to be done. However, according to Padiou, each team needs to release their own beta software for the mainnet in order to allow users to make real and actual payments on the Lightning Network.
The official Medium post by Lightning developers suggests that the three teams are now actively working on their individual implementations strongly fovusing on two main features – stability and security, while upgrading the network.
Currently, scalability is one of the key requirements for Bitcoin’s blockchain network as the traffic on the network is increasing with each passing day along with Bitcoin’s popularity. Moreover, with financial institutions getting involved in the Bitcoin mania, traffic is expected to grow further at a huge rate.
Given trading of Bitcoin futures contracts is just around the corner, the cryptocurrency has surged by a whopping 17.8% during past 24 hours crossing the new milestone of $15000. According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin is trading $15060.30 with a market cap making more than $250 billion. The overall market cap of cryptocurrency now stands above $400 billion.