Bitcoin is in dire need of a proper scaling solution. While SegWit is already live, the adoption rate is incredibly poor so far. The Lightning Network is certainly something to look forward to in this regard. Unfortunately, no one knows for sure when this solution will come to the mainnet. Some big progress has been made this week, as the Lightning Protocol 1.0 seems operational.
To put this into perspective, a multi-client Lightning transaction was completed. This event took place on the main Bitcoin blockchain, which is a major development. It is the first time something like this happens. Bitcoiners have been waiting for this scaling solution for some time now. None of this means all Bitcoin issues will be resolved overnight, mind you. This is just a test which was successful, but that is all there is to it for the time being.
Lightning Network Comes one Step Closer
For the time being, Bitcoin users have to deal with the many issues. Confirmation delay and exuberant fees are the new normal even today. With the Bitcoin price dropping a bit, there will probably be even more transactions in the near future. Until Bitcoin scales, congestion will still be the new normal. It is an unacceptable situation for the world’s leading cryptocurrency, though, that much is certain.
It is good to see such tests be completed successfully. After all, the Lightning Network has been in development for some time now. Building such a solution from scratch is not easy by any means. It requires a lot of coding, testing, more coding, and more testing. Although the proof of concept on the mainnet works, there is still plenty of work to be done. There is no official release date for the Lightning Network, nor will there be one until everything is effectively ready.
Once this technology comes to market, interesting things will happen. Bitcoin will finally have microtransactions, get rid of most transaction delays, and reduce the fees as well. It may even become a peer-to-peer currency once again. How all of this will play out, remains to be seen, though. Bitcoin has a colored history when it comes to scaling. Very few things go off without a hitch, and this development will be no different.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock