Exploring Bitcoin’s Lightning Network
The Lightning Network is arguably the most anticipated scaling solution for Bitcoin to date. Why isn’t everyone using it?
“Speaking of Bitcoin” hosts Adam B. Levine, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Stephanie Murphy are joined by Rene Pickhardt, Bitcoin and Lightning Network Developer. The four lead a conversation on the still in development yet rapidly growing Lightning Network. It’s a second-layer network that enables fast, secure, private and inexpensive payments that don’t make sense to store on bitcoin’s base layer. But while that might sound ideal, it’s not simple in practice. A scrappy community of companies and developers have been pushing the tech consistently forward as the number of hard problems still to solve ticks down.
Even as early as we are, Lightning has proven to be a radical improvement on the user experience of bitcoin. On the bitcoin network, fees vary but typically range from $1–5 and complete with confirmation in an average of ten minutes. With Lightning, fees and transaction times drop dramatically: the transaction fees are generally 1/100th or 1/10th of a penny and take just seconds.
If the improvements of Lightning are clear, why isn’t everyone using it today? Listen to hear more about the challenges and solutions coming to this rapidly-evolving aspect of bitcoin.
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Author: Adam B. Levine