Lightning Network 101

lightning network 101

Lightning Network 101

Should you use the Bitcoin Lightning Network?

Private / Novelty Use

The most likely category at the moment is private or novelty use of the Bitcoin Lightning Network. It is under constant development and new upgrades or changes are made frequently. Private developers make up the main contribution to the lightning network, consequently the “next big thing” is most likely to come from this direction.

Personal Use

Sending funds to family and friends can be fun. Splitting a drinks bill and sending someone R100 worth of Bitcoin via the lightning network is ok. On the other hand, paying for your half of the road trip probably not. Lightning is stable, but it has not been stress tested in the real world with real users. Furthermore, there is no regulation for the bitcoin lightning network. You do not want to use the lightning network for critical or even just somewhat important transactions at this stage.

Commercial Use

Definite No-No. Lightning is not near being ready for mass-market implementation. Because of this, simply educating a large enough user base in the use of lightning wallets is a challenge in itself. We will not mention the technical obstacles that will need to be overcome.

Research and Development

Everyone should involve themselves here. Download a wallet, send some lightning. Play a game, Setup a lightning node, open a channel or simply join one of the many discussions around the web. For lightning to really make an impact on the real world, it needs to be used every day, by as many people as possible. {bitcoin, in contrast, requires a balance of hodlers and speculators}

Companies like Blockstream, are really taking the development of the lightning network seriously. Moreover, they have the resources and technical capacity to deliver some innovative products based on their implementation of the lightning protocol in a very short space of time.

In conclusion, play some games, have some fun, learn something. Maybe even introduce someone to crypto with 100 satoshis. Keep it at that.

 

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