Stellar Lumens (XLM) Implementing Lightning Network

Built for Bitcoin; Now for Everyone!

Earlier this month, Lightning Labs released the first beta for the Lightning Network protocol. While there have been multiple test versions of the Lightning Network, this is the first beta version for the Bitcoin network, with various improvements on its code base.

The Lightning Network is an off-chain application that allows blockchains such as Bitcoin’s to process a greater number of transactions at scale.

“The Lighting Network protocol dramatically improves the scalability of blockchain currencies like Bitcoin by streamlining the number of nodes involved in each transaction.”

Blockchain scalability is a hot topic, fueling the recent Bitcoin civil war that led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash and the adoption of Segregated Witness on the Bitcoin network.

“Lightning Network transactions involve a small group of nodes that link sender and receiver. These nodes are connected via ‘payment channels’ established on the underlying blockchain.”

The Lightning Network is the much anticipated scaling solution the Bitcoin community has been waiting for, but it seems that not only Bitcoin will be implementing the off-chain payment network…

Roughly a week after Lightning Labs’ beta release, the Stellar Lumens team announced it would also be integrating the Lightning Network, with a target of late 2018 for a live launch of the payment protocol.

Integrating the Lightning Network has been one of the key goals on the roadmap for Stellar in 2018. Interestingly, Stellar highlights on its roadmap page how it does not need “saving” like Bitcoin and is “going from one good place to another.”

Default Scaling Solution for Other Blockchains?

With other blockchains potentially following Stellar’s example, the Lightning Network and similar applications could become the default route for creating blockchains that can scale and meet the demands for long-term adoption.

Another feature to look out for is that of Atomic Swaps, which allow cross-blockchain transactions. A series of successful tests have already taken place with Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Decred, to name a few!

Atomic Swaps could make third-party exchanges obsolete in the future as the interface becomes more user-friendly and it makes further advancements.

Once individual blockchains can perform to meet mainstream demands, they can begin to communicate with each other. Just as the Internet is linked together and we can share Websites on social media or link our YouTube accounts to our Twitter accounts, once this level of synchronicity is reached with blockchain tech, an Internet 2.0 can truly be formed.