Despite the fact that many see network Lightning Network an opportunity to address scaling issues of Bitcoin, it remains unclear how many developers are really trying to make this dream a reality. According to the President of the company Lightning Labs, Elizabeth stark (Elizabeth Stark), only 10 full-time developers employed full time, focused on the introduction of technology.
On the background of this message, a group of researchers Bsafe.network working under the auspices of the 26 universities, announced a competition that aims to attract more developers to learn new technology Lightning. The main prize has yet to be announced, but we know that the competition is intended to encourage engineers, students and professors to assess the safety and privacy of the network and «learn the attack patterns», which the fraudsters can use to the detriment of the payments made through a network of Lightning.
Though the Lightning Network developers recommend to use the technology only in a test network with fake coins, some of the active users have begun testing the technology on a real bitcoin. Some of these intrepid testers even lost
a little money in the process. Several companies, such as VPN provider TorGuard, are already taking payments using Lightning Network.
A new contest inspired by past successful competitions to improve the standards of cryptography commonly used in the Internet to ensure data security such as AES and SHA-3, said co-founder of Bsafe.network and Professor at Georgetown University, Shinichiro Matsuo (Matsuo Shin ichiro).
He also noted that the international test network Bsafe supported by the universities, will act as an independent research tool for the analysis of the Lightning Network. Matsuo said:
«We think the competition will be found ways to improve network performance Lightning».
Applications for the contest is open to everyone and will be held in March this year. After all the proposals, universities will be tested in a global test network Bsafe. At the conference in August will be declared the winners.
The search for a solution
Matsuo spoke about his hope that the applications will issue the security and confidentiality of technology and how it will interact with the «first level» of the blockchain of cryptocurrency. Because nobody knows how technology will be used or scaled up, the competition can shed light on these questions.
«Technology second level, such as Lightning Network necessary to scale the payments on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, but they can also change the trust model. This means that the Lightning Network can be completely decentralized,» said Matsuo.
This issue has become a significant clue to the critics of the technology claim that the total Lightning Network will not be decentralized. Thus, the contest is an attempt to gather information about the strengths and weaknesses of the network Lightning Network.
After all suggestions would be appreciated, Bsafe.the network plans to publish all bids for the community of Bitcoin could read them. However, in addition to improving the network of Lightning, Matsuo hopes that the Bsafe.network can affect the industry bitcoin and the blockchain.
«Thanks to the participation of 26 universities the results of such competition can be considered independent when assessing the technologies of this kind», — he said.
Matsuo hopes that if the group can convince the community of its neutrality on issues such as the size of the unit, the industry will turn to Bsafe for advice, which the group will offer the results of testing. Matsuo said:
«We already have independent methods of analysis for cryptographic environment, now we need the same for the blockchain, and bitcoins».
In addition to competition, there was another important event for network Lightning Network. The community of bitcoin marks the first transaction in the core network using the Lightning Network, which was made the material purchase. The good news is that the payment occurred «instantly and for free».
This became known after a Reddit user btc_throwaway1337 announced that it has successfully used
LN-network for the purchase. He wrote:
«I have used Lightning Network (using lnd) to purchase a router AR300M VPN using TorGuard, and he’s here! Perhaps it was the first real purchase in LN. It was quick, easy, painless and, most importantly, instantly and for free!».
The user btc_throwaway1337 also provided a proof of purchase that demonstrates that the financing transaction transaction channel cost about 2.4 dollars (the price of the classic transaction is now about $ 30). And because TorGuard already have channels open to sellers and users, he was able to use the same channel for routing payments.