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Lightning Labs Releases the First Bitcoin Mainnet-Ready Lightning Network

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Lightning Labs Releases the First Bitcoin Mainnet-Ready Lightning Network
Photo: Pixabay

The mainnet release of the Lightning Network software is deemed as one of the most thoroughly tested versions of the Lightning Network technology.

Lightning Network is considered to be one of the most excellent solutions currently for the scalability of the Bitcoin network and developers from around the globe are flexing their muscles to make it available for Bitcoin investors. Since the start of 2018, the development of the Lightning Network has caught a good pace and earlier this week the mainnet for the Lightning Network reached 1000 Active Nodes.

On Thursday, March 15, the California-based startup Lightning Labs officially launched the beta version of its software called Lightning Network Daemon (LND). Investors and project leads have appreciated this launch by saying that till date, this is the most thoroughly tested version of the technology.

The Lightning Network is basically a second layer protocol developed atop the Bitcoin’s blockchain network, which takes transactions off the chain, thereby reducing congestion on the main network while expanding the blockchain’s operational abilities by manifold times. This will let millions of users in the coming years thereby solve Bitcoin’s scalability issues to a great extent.

In the ongoing development process, there have been several implementations of the Lightning Network in the past, but LND is the first one to get a beta release. The company has also managed to raise $2.5 million in seed funding with some big names from the tech industry contributing to it, including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, BitGo CTO Ben Davenport, serial-founder-turned investor David Sacks, co-founder Kevin Hartz, Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev.

Expert Views on the Beta Release of the Lightning Network Daemon

Many of the investors praised Lightning Labs for successfully achieving this milestone. One of them, Ben Davenport, CTO at the blockchain security company BitGo, said Coindesk:

“It’s something the entire community has been focused on and working towards for the better part of two years now. It’s really the culmination of a lot of work by many people, not just Lightning Labs. … We see it as a very important piece of the scaling solution for bitcoin, and perhaps other digital currencies as well.”

Another expert, developer Jack Mallers, who is working on developing a Lightning Wallet called Zap on the top of LND, said:

“This release is a step forward for the network itself. What I mean by that is: Before all the apps, we need to build a healthy network that has liquidity, reliability, high-uptime nodes, healthy channels, etc. We need to onboard an entire industry onto a new layer and build a healthy topology. This release kinda marks the ‘start’ so to speak.”

Alex Bosworth, who is currently developing several applications of the Lightning Network said that this is really a notable development as the future-release will no longer include network breaking charges. Bosworth noted:

“It should be good for my apps because it should signal the end to breaking changes. During the alpha we’ve had to wipe and restart a lot and that kind of distracts from the app making and makes the services less reliable.”

Lightning Labs co-founder and CEO Elizabeth Stark said that the latest release is only developer-friendly at this point in time. However, anyone, who wants to use the LND, can do so by operating the Bitcoin and Litecoin full node depending on which cryptocurrency one wants to use.

Stark said:

“Like the early days of the internet, it will start with advanced users with command-line interfaces and then evolve into a much more usable experience.”

According to the startup’s CEO, by this year-end the company aims to launch Lightning-enabled wallets for mobile and desktop.

Bitcoin News, Cryptocurrency news, News
Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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