Lightning spreads in the landscape of cryptocurrency.

Initially designed for use on bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency according to market size was also the first to implement the concept, presented as a way to make transactions faster and cheaper. But with the emergence emerging as a pressing problem across the industry, developers of other cryptocurrencies do not leave the idea once unseen getting lost .

The 2018 seizure, litecoin, zcash, ethereum and ripple are just a few of the many crypto-occurrences that plan to implement or test a form of lightning network.

Known as “Silver Bitcoin Gold”, it is perhaps not surprising that Litecoin is one of the most advanced, working in close collaboration with Lightning Labs to launch its version at the same time as Bitcoin.

But others are close, developers taking formal steps to add the concept to their prospects. The most recent project to embrace the idea is Stellar, the seventh largest cryptocurrency, which has added lightning to its 2018 roadmap in January.

And its developers see a similar potential to unlock the progress of lightning.

Jeremy Rubin, a Bitcoin Core collaborator, who leads the development of the Starlight Network, went so far as to say that technology was needed for any platform that would like to remain efficient for payments.

Rubin tells CoinDesk:

“Lightning is perhaps the most important protocol innovation in cryptocurrency right now.When the Bitcoin lighting network will be fully operational, any community not preparing no evolutionary off-line solutions will be left in the dust of payments. “

Like the lightning

That said, not all blockchain projects are interested in lightning exactly as described for bitcoin.

For example, the ethereum developers are working on an out-of-the-box scaling technology called raiden, while the neo has its own version called trinity. While working from a different code, both projects adopt the same concept, seeking to create a higher level network with which users can move transactions.

Other cryptographic networks simply recognize that a lighting-like system will be needed to evolve in the future, although they do not have the time to focus on current implementations.

For example, several cryptographers working on zcash privacy-friendly cryptocurrency offered BOLT, a new type of lightning-style micropayment technology that also preserves the network’s anonymity. And the developers of the project hinted that the technology was being developed, although it is unclear when it will be launched.

Similarly, monero, another privacy-sensitive cryptocurrency, also plans to add second-level scaling technology, although its developers say that obtaining its fundamental rights of confidentiality is a priority.

Yet there are some who believe that they are trying to evolve blockchains at the base layer.

Grin, which should be launched later this year, uses clever cryptography to build a blockchain that eats old useless data as it grows, which requires far less space in the long run . And IOTA, claims to have created a “blockchain without blockchain”, which allows the system to evolve (although the project has seen a fair share of skepticism).

Good to Better

Yet, other developers believe that this is part of a multi-faceted approach to scaling, one that is perhaps the best approached with a number of different features. 39, potential options.

Indeed, the developers of some blockchain projects, such as Stellar and Ripple, believe that their protocols are scalable, but still consider lightning – like technologies as a kind of font. insurance.

Stellar’s roadmap specifically states that cryptocurrency does not need lightning, but that the technology would have a “huge positive effect on the scalability and long-term safety of stellar “.

“Of course, unlike Bitcoin, stellar does not need to” back up “. We’re just going from a good place to a better one,” he reads.

Ripple CTO and the co-founder of Interledger, Stefan Thomas, argue about the same thing: the XRP registry is already more extensible than the bitcoin blockchain. Nevertheless, despite the claims, it should be noted that the team is still exploring second-tier payment channel technologies in order to prepare future users.

Puzzle Pieces

There is even talk of the possibilities that could be activated when several networks of lightning rods could be interconnected, although this possibility seems far away.

Elizabeth Stark, co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs, one of many startups working on this idea globally, argues that apart from bitcoin and litecoin, she did not not seen the technology adopted significantly. “

“Some communities are interested or working at the beginning, but it will take time,” she said.

This does not mean that there would be no far-reaching effects if and when all these cryptocurrencies succeed in absorbing lightning technology. Developers are already beginning to imagine how today’s dominant exchanges could be replaced by technologies that would allow users to exchange different assets between strings of blocks, and many consider connected lightning networks. as a key factor.

“I have the impression that many other crypto-currencies are interested in cross-channel exchanges and decentralized exchange technology,” Stark said. adding:

“Lightning is an obvious way to get there.”

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which owns an interest in Ripple and Zcash Company, the for-profit entity that develops the zcash protocol.

Lightning in the distance image via Shutterstock

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